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I Guess Smoking on Planes Is A Thing Again?

I Guess Smoking on Planes Is A Thing Again?

Once upon a time, anyone–from the crew to the captain–could smoke on a plane. And, in a way, those days are back again. Despite laws against it, apparently, lots of people are smoking or, rather vaping, on planes. And they’re getting away with it. Several FlyerTalkers have caught their fellow passengers sneaking a few puffs on flight and even celebrities have been spotted under vapor clouds. That’s apparently because, at least according to The Cut, everyone is vaping on planes.

Where Are They Doing It?

Apparently, the bathroom is a popular spot. One person said they vape the most openly on “international” flights because “people in other countries aren’t familiar with the device” wherever those countries are. But, according to “numerous sources” taking the occasional hit of a Juul at 35,000 feet is the norm for millennials. And while “numerous sources” sounded kind of dodgy to me, I asked all of the millennials that I know who vape and they all said that they vape on every flight. Some head to the lav, some just sneak a few puffs when the lights are out and other passengers are asleep, or right in their seat when their seatmate is looking the other way. And, they say, because they’re puffing on e-cigarettes with vapor with no added scent, their neighbors are mostly none the wiser.

Is That Safe?

Maybe? Maybe not? While the science is still out on whether or not vapor is as harmful secondhand as, say, smoke, there have been instances where vape batteries have caught on fire while they’re in passengers’ carry-ons. How often does that happen? The verdict is still out on those numbers as well. But it is clear that officials have been underestimating the numbers of burns and fires that are due to electronic cigarettes for quite some time. In the meantime, stowing your electronic cigarette in your carry-on is perfectly within TSA regulations.

However, vaping that cigarette is still pretty illegal. While some fliers report flight attendants turning a blind eye, or being able to successfully take a few puffs in the lavatory, that’s not always the case. Some fliers have just gotten a slap on the wrist when caught. But one Spirit passenger was banned for life when he vaped on a plane; Dennis Quaid’s seatmate sued him for the cost of his business class ticket; and if your vaping sets off the plane’s fire alarm and you cause the plane to divert, you could even be arrested.


Do you vape on planes? Have you spotted a vaper in the act? Let us know in the comments’ section.


[Photo: iStock/Monika Wisniewska]

View Comments (7)


  1. RandyN

    June 26, 2019 at 7:46 am

    I’ll say it: Losers vape. You look like idiots and the rest of us assume you’re weak-willed, not very bright, lack ambition and have nothing to offer. You may as well be shooting heroin, because to everyone else you’re just trash.

  2. MRM

    June 26, 2019 at 8:06 am

    Vaping? LOL! Only folks that don’t pay attention to reality have fallen prey to that marketing windfall! Vaping’s illegal on planes and anyone caught doing it should be treated just like smokers: a huge fine and possible jail time. I have as much time for vapers as I do smokers: NONE.

  3. RFNJ

    June 26, 2019 at 10:04 am

    Wow, the vitriol here. I am the first person to say that vaping should not be done on planes. If you are addicted to nicotine, and don’t think you can make it through the flight, use a patch.
    As for the people making lifestyle comments and calling people trash, you need to get off your moral high horse, because your position is dubious at best.

  4. chrisboote

    June 26, 2019 at 10:10 am

    Anyone vaping near me I will insist be prosecuted

  5. mvoight

    June 26, 2019 at 12:16 pm

    If they vape or smoke on their outbound flight, they should be banned from flying back

  6. pdsales

    June 26, 2019 at 3:19 pm

    Samuel L Jackson: “I thought I killed all the snakes on a plane, where did all these vipers come from? Oh, you said vapers? Never mind.”

  7. eddieflyer

    June 26, 2019 at 7:12 pm

    I don’t give a flying F is somebody vapes. I know FT attracts people into rules, but get a life people. You’re not breathing it and it’s not going to catch the plane on fire.

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