Unfortunately, I am a smoker.In the 20th century things were easier and many airlines allowed smoking onboard which is almost impossible now.

Anyway the electronic cigarettes were introduced a few years ago and I have heard that some airlines allow them onboard. What airlines do allow the use of electronic cigarettes onboard?

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    Allowing e-cigarettes would give sense for using the no-smoking sign to indicate that passengers should switch of their electronic devices ;)
    – user141
    Jul 8, 2013 at 9:40
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    @AnkurBanerjee he had included this link in the question
    – Dirty-flow
    Jul 8, 2013 at 11:43
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    @happybuddha Not true, he is a salesman who is trying to sell his stuff.. Jul 8, 2013 at 16:11
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    Ryanair sells "smokeless cigarettes" for smoking on board. As @Doc pointed out in a comment to my now-deleted reply, they are not to be confused with electronic cigarettes, which are also smokeless. To quote from a review: "it's mainly hollow except for a small stick like look and feels waxy, and is slightly brown and infused with nicotine" The brand is SIMILAR.
    – feklee
    Jul 9, 2013 at 8:13

5 Answers 5


I remember reading a piece about these recently enough that I thought it was on here. Evidently not. Anyway, there are brands like Vapestick, which at least on their website state that it's legal to use them onboard. I assume they'd get sued to infinity and beyond if that wasn't true, by now.

From their website:

While it isn't illegal to smoke electronic cigarettes on planes, it could definitely raise questions or cause other passengers to be alarmed, so you will need to approach the situation carefully if you plan on getting away with it.

However, further down the same page they also note that despite it not being illegal, many airlines do BAN it, so it's best to check with your airline first.

Electronic cigarettes on planes are banned by some airlines operating in the US. In the UK, you can still get away with it in most cases, but there's no way of knowing for sure. The easiest way to smoke electronic cigarettes on planes without raising any questions is to smoke in the rest room.

Personally I find something mildly suspect about how they tell you to 'get away with it' and the like. If there's a place in this modern world you really don't want to be upsetting people, it's onboard an airplane at 37k feet...

  • I think that smokers would benefit from a brain transplant - or at least a partial one, for a range of reasons. However, using an e-cigarette in an airline restroom would seem as "harmless" as eg chewing nicotine gum or wearing a nicotine patch. I agree that the terms used are unwise - but the aim would be to not trigger incorrect reactions in uneducated people who thought you were smoking. | Example parallel case: If I was going to dismantle an electronic doofer on an aircraft to adjust or repair it (unlikely) then the rest room would seem to be the location of choice. Jan 9, 2014 at 9:59
  • @RussellMcMahon: I consider myself to be fairly educated, and would prefer that one not smoke an e-cig within close proximity to me on an airplane (or anywhere else). I would consider smoking an e-cig in the restroom a reasonable compromise for those who feel the need for a nicotine fix by inhalation.
    – Flimzy
    Sep 2, 2014 at 10:25

This is an interesting social/legal questions which I expect will change in the coming years. One airline that actively sells e-cigarettes on the plane is unsurprisingly Ryan Air (they'd do anything for an extra £/$/€). Interesting article from the BBC about this subject back in 2012 -http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-18734753

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    Ryanair do NOT allow electronic cigarettes on their flights. They do allow passengers to use "smokeless cigarettes", which they sell on board the flights. These are not electronic cigarettes, and do not release any vapor like electronic cigarettes, but have been described as being like cotton wool dipped in nicotine.
    – Doc
    Jul 11, 2013 at 14:36
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    Perhaps you read a different article. Quote from the BBC article - "Ryan Air allows e-cigarettes but also sells its alternative - a cotton bud soaked in nicotine."
    – CMartin
    Jul 11, 2013 at 15:14
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    To wade into the argument, airlinereporter.com/2009/09/… It seems CMartin is right! Jul 11, 2013 at 15:20

I can't give a definitive answer, however I suspect that you will not find any major airlines anywhere in the world that allow electronic cigarettes.

All of the airlines I've flown recently have specifically called our electronic cigarettes as not being allowed on their flights, either in the in-flight magazine, or by specifically stating them as not being allowed during the safety briefing.

Even if you ignore the potential confusion between real and electronic cigarettes, the fact that these devices potentially give of a harmful vapor which then gets passed into the recirculated air within the aircraft would be enough for any major airline to ban then.

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    Electronic cigarettes do not release harmful vapors: T.R. McAuley: Comparison of the effects of e-cigarette vapor and cigarette smoke on indoor air quality, October 2012, Vol. 24, No. 12, Inhalation Toxikology. Jul 8, 2013 at 22:46
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    Yes, and normal cigarettes don't cause cancer. (I couldn't actually be bothered looking up a study that says that, but there are hundreds of them!)
    – Doc
    Jul 9, 2013 at 1:34
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    @ThorstenS. Even if e-cig vapors aren't carcinogenic, they're still going to mess with the allergies of other passengers, not to mention being really, really annoying. At best, it would be like spraying cologne all over yourself mid-flight.
    – reirab
    Mar 12, 2014 at 20:50
  • @reirab: I am surprised to learn something new. Could you explain in detail how the function of e-cigs cause allergies and release annoying smell ? Mar 14, 2014 at 15:56
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    @ThorstenS. I'm not sure about their exact function, but I do know that I have to stand at least 10-20 ft. away from the people who use them on break - even outside - to keep from smelling them and having allergic reactions to their vapors - and I only have mild allergies. I can't imagine what it would be like for those with severe allergies/asthma. Normal cigarettes do this, too, of course, though the e-cigs that my coworkers use are actually worse in that regard than normal cigarettes.
    – reirab
    Mar 14, 2014 at 16:38

Consider that even if the airline ignored it, it is very unlikely that your fellow passengers would. I would view use of an electronic cigarette as something similar to passing wind, with the exception that passing wind is not always avoidable for biological reasons. I would certainly not consent to someone near me using one in an enclosed space such as inside an aircraft cabin.

Also, in some airspace jurisdictions it is illegal to smoke or release other gases into the cabin of a flying aircraft. You may find the local police waiting to arrest you when the plane lands.


All international carriers that I have flown on, prohibit smoking on board flights and all have added specifically e-cigarettes to the announcement/safety video to explicitly state that these are also forbidden.

The US Department of Transportation prohibits the use of e-cigarettes and in addition, prohibits the charging of these devices on-board - which is also recommended by ICAO:

U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration today issued an interim final rule (IFR) to prohibit passengers and crewmembers from carrying battery-powered portable electronic smoking devices (e.g. e-cigarettes, e-cigs, e-cigars, e-pipes, personal vaporizers, electronic nicotine delivery systems) in checked baggage and prohibit passengers and crewmembers from charging the devices and/or batteries on board the aircraft.

“We know from recent incidents that e-cigarettes in checked bags can catch fire during transport,” said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “Fire hazards in flight are particularly dangerous. Banning e-cigarettes from checked bags is a prudent safety measure.”

On January 22, 2015, the Federal Aviation Administration issued a Safety Alert for Operators recommending that air carriers require their passengers to carry e-cigarettes and related devices exclusively in the cabin of the aircraft. Also, on June 9, 2015, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) published an addendum to the 2015-2016 ICAO Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air prohibiting the carriage of e-cigarettes in checked baggage and restricting the charging of these devices while on board the aircraft.

Passengers may continue to carry e-cigarettes for personal use in carry-on baggage or on their person but may not use them on flights. The Department’s current regulatory ban on smoking of tobacco products on passenger flights includes the use of electronic cigarettes. Nevertheless, to prevent passenger or crewmember confusion, the Department has proposed to amend its existing airline smoking rule to explicitly ban use of electronic cigarettes aboard aircraft.

In effect this means that all US-flagged carriers prohibit smoking of e-cigarettes on board; all carriers prohibit charging of these devices on board; and could also possibly mean that any carrier flying into the US should also abide by these rules.

For Europe, EASA also has a similar safety information bulletin based on the ICAO bulletin which also has the same restrictions.

I should note that these restrictions go towards charging of the device as it has a heated element which is a fire hazard. As far as I understand charging of the device is an integral part of the entire smoking experience - so it would make sense that smoking them would also be forbidden.

Finally, I don't know anyone who would assume vapestick (a manufacturer of e-cigarettes) is the authority on where they should be used. Even if you ignore the bias, it is a very, very, very bad idea to smoke in the toilet of an aircraft. It is the fastest way to get a fine, be banned from the airline, and possibly put in jail.

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