Vaping on Holidays in 2021: Everything You Need To Know

Last fact-checked 13 April 2021 | Report a factual error on this article

Slowly but surely, we’re all getting closer to having a proper holiday again!

At the moment it’s still illegal to leave the UK for holidays footnote 1, but that could all change as soon as 17th May, according to the latest report from the Department for Transport footnote 2.

In this guide to travelling with vape kit, we’ll show you what you need to pack, buy locally or leave behind when travelling to some of the UK’s favourite holiday destinations. 

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Vaping rules in popular holiday destinations

International airports are vape-free zones, and every country has its own rules governing the sale and use of e-cigarettes.

Even if you do want to ‘buy local’ when you get to your holiday destination, the nicotine strengths in vape shops can be much higher than you might be used to. Some countries have issued outright bans on e-cigarettes, so if you don’t plan ahead you can run the risk of running out of vape juice completely.

That’s why we’ve put this guide together. Using a list of the top 15 most popular global destinations visited by UK holidaymakers footnote 3, we checked out the rules and customs for every single country. Here’s what we found: 

 

EU Vaping Rules

10 out of the top 15 most popular countries are in the EU. The 3 most popular destinations for UK holidaymakers are Spain, France and Italy, all EU member states governed by the TRPR laws (TRPR is the EU law that the UK’s TPD law was based on). This is ideal for UK holidaymakers — if we have to buy juice locally, we can rely on the same nicotine strengths, safety standards and quality of product. Learn more about UK & EU vape laws here.

While there may be no problem at a national level, some restaurants, bars and beaches will have their own vaping bans, depending on where you go. If in doubt, ask someone locally before firing up your vape. 

 

USA Vaping Rules

Vaping laws in the USA, at a federal level, are looser than they are here in the UK. You should still check before you fly, because most US states and major cities are free to set their own laws on vaping. There could be local restrictions in place, depending on where you’re going. 

Vaping indoors is banned in a lot of coastal states (California, New York, Vermont and Maine, for example). Many cities have their own local laws, too. For instance, in the city of Chicago, the only ‘enclosed workspace’ in which you can vape is a vape shop.  

The USA doesn’t have the same limits on tank capacity that we have here in the UK, so you may come across some whopping squonk mods on your travels. The biggest surprise to watch out for, if you’re a UK tourist in the States, is nicotine strength. The e-liquid you buy in American vape shop may contain a much higher nicotine concentration than it does in the UK, so choose your juice carefully and check your dose before you vape. If in doubt, you can always pack enough e-liquid to last your whole journey ahead of time.  

 

Turkey Vaping Rules

It is illegal to buy e-liquid or e-cigarettes anywhere in Turkey. E-liquid can’t be manufactured in the country. There is no law against actually using an e-cigarette in Turkey, so technically, as a tourist you could bring your vape kit with you, but our advice is to leave it at home if at all possible. If you really need your vape by your side, try to be respectful and discreet. 

Sadly, a holiday to Turkey in 2021 might not be on the cards for any of us just yet. Direct flights from the UK were suspended by the UK Government at the start of the year, and there has been no word of when these flights will resume. Turkey is not on the Government’s COVID-19 Red List, so hopefully this will change in the coming months. You can find up-to-date travel advice for Turkey at https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/turkey

 

 

India: Vaping is Banned 

Bad news if you were hoping to pack your mod & head to India: vaping is banned across the whole country.

You can’t buy e-liquid or vape devices anywhere in India, and you can’t bring your own vape device into the country (see the UK government’s advice on Indian laws & customs here).

If you’re trying to quit smoking then you can, of course, pack nicotine patches or gum. Just try to pack a little more than you need. NRT products are not as prevalent in India as they are here in the UK footnote 4, so you might struggle to get what you want in a local pharmacy when you’re out there.

 

Switzerland Vaping Rules

At the moment, thanks to equivalency agreements that Switzerland has with the EU, you can vape in Switzerland. This may change in future, however — vaping was banned in Switzerland until very recently, when a legal challenge forced the Swiss government to allow vape juice and kit to go back on sale.

Switzerland is arranged into 26 cantons, and every canton sets its own local laws. As a result, when you’re travelling through the country, you’ll find that some bars and restaurants ban vaping altogether, while others are happy for you to use designated smoking areas. Just check with the hotel concierge, restaurant manager or bartender before taking out your vape and you won’t fall foul of any local laws footnote 5.

 

UAE Vaping Rules

You can vape in the United Arab Emirates, but you have to be careful where you do it. If you use an e-cigarette in a public place, hospital or in a vehicle, the fines can be hefty. For instance, vaping in the wrong place in Dubai could land you a fine of 2,000 Dirham (around £400).

Vaping laws and rules on vaping taxes in the United Arab Emirates are evolving — out of all of the countries on our list, the UAE is the one most likely to change vaping laws while you’re on holidays — so make sure you check with your travel agent or hotel to get the latest advice before you travel. The Dubai Tourism website is a really helpful resource, too.

 


Flying with a vape device: what the airlines say

We took a quick look at the guidance for the top 20 airlines serving all of the destinations on our list, and we found the rules on transporting vape kits to be pretty similar across all operators. 

Whether you fly Ryanair or Emirates, you can never put your vape in hold luggage. Vapes should always be in your personal carry-on luggage. Most airlines require you to store your vape in a separate carry case within your bag, just so that there’s no risk of it being activated during your flight. 

A few airlines go further than this. KLM asks you to remove every battery from your vape and keep them in a separate carry-case. If you haven’t got a case, you’re expected to seal the ends of each battery with non-conductive tape, then carry the batteries separately in a clear plastic bag (see KLM’s e-cig rules here). 

We sell a range of flight-ready cases on our site — just take a look at our vape cases page to see what’s in stock!

 

Staycation? Gourmet E-Liquid Deliver!

If you’re staycationing this year, just remember that Gourmet E-Liquid offer super-fast UK delivery (free on orders over £20)! If you run out, anywhere in the UK, get on our site ASAP. Our dedicated team pack and ship the very best vaping supplies all day long, and we pride ourselves on our speedy service. You don’t have to take our word for it — have a look at our Trustpilot reviews here.


We can’t wait to be able to travel again! We’re keeping a close eye on Government announcements and eyeing up a few short breaks ourselves. We hope you have a fantastic break, wherever and whenever you choose to travel. Now go dust off that passport!


Stay safe and happy vaping!

John Boughey



Links & Citations

Footnote 1:

Travel for holidays is illegal at time of publication. For the most up-to-date foreign travel advice, please check the Gov.uk website at https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

Footnote 2:

The Department for Transport has issued a report that says “We will confirm in advance if non-essential international travel can resume on 17 May. The measures introduced will be reviewed regularly and modifications made if and when necessary.” The full report titled “The Safe Return of International Travel”, can be found at the link below:
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/977298/Report-of-the-Global-Travel-Taskforce-web.pdf 

Footnote 3:

A full list of the most popular tourist destinations for UK residents can be found on the Statistica website at
https://www.statista.com/statistics/578815/most-visited-countries-united-kingdom-uk-residents/

Footnote 4:

A study on the availability and affordability of NRT products in the south Indian state of Kerala makes for interesting reading. You can see the whole report at the link below:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5726807/ 


Footnote 5:

Full rules on e-cigarette use and sale in Switzerland can be found at the link below (the page will need to be translated):
https://www.blv.admin.ch/blv/de/home/gebrauchsgegenstaende/e-zigaretten.html

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