Since the ban of cigarettes indoors in public spaces, e-cigarettes have become more and more popular. Around 3 million people vape in the UK alone, and while the potential health impact of using e-cigarettes may still be in question, their use on an aircraft is not.

Here are some handy tips for e-cigarette users when flying to and from the UK.

  1. You can take your e-cigarette or vaporiser on board an aircraft, but you won't be able to use it in the cabin (much like a normal cigarette)
  2. Unlike a standard cigarette; e-cigarettes, e-cigars, personal vaporizers and electronic nicotine delivery systems all contain lithium batteries, which must be carried in the cabin and not in your suitcase.
  3. As well as not being able to use e-cigarettes on board, you can't recharge them during your flight. This is to avoid the risk of the device overheating in the cabin.  

Devices like e-cigarettes, mobile phones, mp3 players, laptops and tablets run on lithium batteries. These batteries fall into two categories - rechargeable (or lithium ion /lithium ion polymer) and non-rechargeable (or lithium metal) and the rules are slightly different for each.

Rechargeable batteries are allowed on planes, as long as they have a Watt hour (Wh) rating of between 100 to 160 Wh.  If you're not sure what the rating is, check on the battery or on the device, or even on the manufacturer's website. 

Non-rechargeable batteries are allowed on planes as long as they have a maximum 2g of lithium metal content. Again, check the battery or the device, or the manufacturer's website if you're unsure of the battery's metal content.

If you're taking loose lithium batteries of any kind on your flight, you can have only two and they must be individually wrapped in either the original retail packaging or taped over to prevent any shorted circuits. You must take these with you in your cabin baggage: they must not be stored in your hold baggage under any circumstances.

If your batteries are already in devices such as your camera, you can either take them with you in your cabin baggage on board or pack them in your checked luggage.

Read our guidance on the items that you can take on a plane


David Edwards 2 years ago / Reply

With the proliferation of power banks on sale with a capacity 150000mAh with a output voltage of 5 volt used to charge up other devices, I am unable to find guidance regarding these power banks. Although other electronic devices rated up to 160Wh are allowed, what is the ruling with regard to these devices. i.e. Can they be carried in hand luggage if they are (a) charged or (b) fully discharged. Guidance please.

Richard Taylor (CAA) 2 years ago

There is not any specific guidance on carrying power banks in hand luggage. Providing the device does not exceed 160Wh is can be carried in hand baggage but should not be used during the flight. As always, ensure that devices are purchased from reputable retailers and so conform to international safety standards.

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