Last Updated on September 1, 2021
So you are a minor and want to know if you will get busted for bringing e-cigarettes with you when you fly.
This post specifically looks at the rules about flying with vapes if you are under 21.
Let’s get started.
Will The TSA Confiscate Your Vape Pen?
The Transportation Security Administration is the team that runs airport security. They don’t mention if minors can bring vape pens onto planes anywhere on their website.
So I took a look on Twitter to check if they have answered this question before.
Jonah had asked if a minor could bring a vape on a plane. The TSA replied:
Vapes are allowed and must be packed in carry-on bags. We recommend that travelers follow the local laws at both their departure and arrival airports.@AskTSA on Twitter
TSA agents enforce laws but they are not regular police. They have a specific job to do which is to ensure aviation safety by making sure that dangerous items, weapons, or explosives are not brought on to planes.
When your carry-on bag or checked luggage is screened at the airport TSA staff are not trying to do normal police work like catching possession of illegal herbs or vape pens.
In fact, possession of a vape pen is not even illegal across all states. For example, in Florida the sale of products containing liquid nicotine is illegal but the possession of a nicotine-free vape pen by a minor is not.
Another Twitter user also asked if a minor could carry a vape in a carry-on.
The TSA won’t say outright that a minor can be in possession of a vape pen. It’s not their job. Federal and local state laws still apply at the airport, but TSA agents are not looking to catch minors carrying vape devices. The TSA agents are still government employees, so they will not tell you to break the law and advise you to check state laws regarding age restrictions. But they won’t confiscate a vaping device from a carry-on bag. The security agents are not even the same people who will check your age.
The TSA simply wants to make sure that all vape pens are packed in hand luggage and NEVER packed in checked luggage.
Likewise, with vape juice liquids. The TSA will want to make sure any vape juice is in containers under 3.4 oz and packed in your one plastic quart-size liquids bag. But they won’t check for age restrictions
The reason you can’t pack a vape pen in checked luggage is that vape pens contain lithium batteries.
Lithium batteries, and vape pens, pose a risk of fire. If a fire starts in the cabin of the plane then someone will be able to put it out. Fires in the checked luggage compartment are a lot more serious.
So a vape pen that is packed in checked luggage can be confiscated regardless of the age of the passenger.
Vape pens that are packed in carry-on luggage will pass through airport security without the agents blinking an eye, even if you are under 21.
Look at the response Hussain got when asked if he could fly with pipe tobacco when he was under the age of 21.
Despite nicotine products being illegal for minors, the TSA doesn’t concern themselves with that. They simply inform Hussain that tobacco can be packed in carry-on bags without restriction.
The Bottom Line
Minors under the age of 21 can pack vapes or electronic cigarettes and bring them on to planes. The TSA will not single out minors to search for vape pens, that isn’t their job.
However, that doesn’t mean possession of e-cigs becomes legal at the airport. There are health concerns regarding both vaping and nicotine and that is why there are laws that aim to discourage minors from vaping.
If you are under 21 you should probably not bring your vape on a plane because you should probably stop vaping, but you will be able to bring it past airport security without any problems.
If you are a stickler for the rules and want to know your legal status when carrying a vape as a minor then check the local state laws where you are traveling.
If you are just worried that you will get busted by airport security then you can relax!