Will the TSA take my vape if I’m under 21? This is one of the most popular questions asked by vaping lovers especially when planning to travel.
Vaping is fast becoming a popular activity among young adults in recent years especially in the USA.
In 2020, more than 19% of young adults in the United States between the ages of 19 and 28 reported using a vaping device in the previous month, according to a National Institutes of Health survey.
This marked a significant increase from 2017 when only 5% of young adults were reported vaping.
But what are the TSA policies regarding vaping and related devices?
If you happen to carry a vape, will TSA officials take the vape if you’re under 21?
In this post, I will answer the question “will TSA take my vape if I’m under 21?”
We will also go over the TSA regulations regarding vaping for individuals under 21.
Understanding the laws that apply when traveling, especially by air, is crucial as vaping grows more and more popular among young adults.
Will TSA Take My Vape if I’m Under 21?
Will TSA Take My Vape if I’m Under 21? The answer is NO, you can bring a vape on a plane and it won’t be confiscated by TSA officials.
According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), electronic smoking devices, including vapes, are allowed only in carry-on baggage.
However, the TSA does not specifically mention if minors can bring vape pens onto planes.
They recommend that travelers follow the local laws at both their departure and arrival airports.
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 onto 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.
The TSA simply wants to make sure that all vape pens are packed in hand luggage and NEVER packed in checked luggage.
So, while the TSA won’t confiscate a vaping device from a carry-on bag, it’s important to remember that federal and local state laws still apply at the airport.
Therefore, you should check state laws regarding age restrictions before traveling with a vape.
Overview of TSA’s Role in Airport Security
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is a U.S. government agency that was created in response to the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Its primary responsibility is to ensure the security of travelers within the United States, particularly in airports.
The TSA screens all passengers and their luggage before they board aircrafts to prevent any dangerous items, weapons, or explosives from being brought onto planes.
TSA’s Stance on Vaping Devices
The TSA allows electronic smoking devices, including vapes, in carry-on baggage.
They do not specifically mention if minors can bring vape pens onto planes.
The TSA recommends that travelers follow the local laws at both their departure and arrival airports.
Federal and State Laws Regarding the Legal Age for Vaping
In the United States, the federal minimum age for sale of tobacco products is 21 years.
However, laws regarding the possession and use of vaping devices can vary by state.
For example, in some states, it may be legal for individuals under 21 to possess vaping devices, but illegal to purchase them.
How TSA Enforces Age Restrictions
The TSA’s primary role is to ensure aviation safety, not to enforce laws related to the legal age for vaping.
When screening luggage at the airport, TSA staff are not trying to do normal police work like catching possession of illegal herbs or vape pens.
However, federal and local state laws still apply at the airport.
Therefore, travelers should check state laws regarding age restrictions before traveling with a vape.
Will TSA Take My Vape if I’m Under 21? Vaping and Air Travel
Can You Bring a Vape on a Plane?
YES, you can bring a vape on a plane, but there are some rules you need to follow according to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
Here are the key points:
- Carry-On Bags: Electronic smoking devices, including vapes, are allowed in carry-on bags.
- Checked Bags: Vapes are not allowed in checked bags.
- Usage: You cannot use these devices onboard the aircraft.
Remember, these rules apply to the transportation of vapes.
The legal age for vaping and the use of vapes can vary depending on local laws.
Always check the regulations of your departure and arrival locations.
Importance of Knowing Your Airline Policies
Knowing your airline’s policies on carrying vapes is crucial for several reasons:
- Avoiding Confiscation: If you don’t follow the airline’s policies, your vape could be confiscated at the security checkpoint.
- Preventing Accidents: Vapes contain lithium batteries, which can cause fires if they are damaged. That’s why many airlines require you to carry them in your hand luggage where any potential issue can be dealt with quickly.
- Legal Compliance: The rules for carrying vapes can vary between different countries and airlines. What’s legal in one country might not be in another.
- Avoiding Delays: Being aware of the rules can help you pack correctly and avoid delays at airport security.
- Respecting Others: Using a vape on a plane could be against airline policy and in some cases, against the law. It can also disturb other passengers.
So, always check and follow your airline’s specific policies regarding traveling with vapes to ensure a smooth journey.
TSA’s Approach to Handling Vapes During Security Screening
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has a specific approach to handling vapes during security screening:
- Screening: All carry-on bags, including purses, backpacks, and roller bags, go through the X-ray machine at the security checkpoint. If a vape is inside the bag, the TSA officer will see it on the monitor.
- Carry-On Only: Vapes, e-cigarettes, and other electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) are only allowed in carry-on bags or on your person. They are not allowed in checked bags due to the risk of fire from their lithium batteries.
- Additional Screening: If necessary, a TSA officer may need to remove the vape from the carry-on bag and screen it separately. This could involve a visual inspection and/or additional X-ray screening.
- No Usage in Airplane: While you can bring a vape on an airplane in your carry-on bag, using it on the plane is prohibited.
Remember, these rules apply to the transportation of vapes.
The legal age for vaping and the use of vapes can vary depending on local laws.
Will TSA Take My Vape if I’m Under 21? Age Restrictions and Identification
Age verification is crucial when it comes to vaping for several reasons:
Vaping, especially at a young age, can have significant health risks.
Nicotine is highly addictive and can cause harm to brain development especially in adolescents.
In many countries, it’s illegal to sell vaping products to anyone under a certain age (often 18 or 21).
Age verification ensures that these laws are upheld.
By restricting access to vaping products for young people, age verification can help prevent them from starting a potentially lifelong nicotine addiction.
Retailers and manufacturers have a responsibility to ensure their products are not being sold to underage individuals.
Age verification is a key part of fulfilling this responsibility.
Companies that take age verification seriously are likely to be viewed more favorably by the public and by regulatory bodies.
What Forms of Identification are Accepted by TSA?
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) accepts several forms of identification at airport security checkpoints. Here are some of the accepted forms of ID:
- Driver’s licenses or other state photo identity cards issued by Department of Motor Vehicles (or equivalent)
- U.S. passport
- U.S. passport card
- DHS trusted traveler cards (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST)
- U.S. Department of Defense ID, including IDs issued to dependents
- Permanent resident card
- Border crossing card
- State-issued Enhanced Driver’s License
- An acceptable photo ID issued by a federally recognized, Tribal Nation/Indian Tribe
- HSPD-12 PIV card
- Foreign government-issued passport
- Canadian provincial driver’s license or Indian and Northern Affairs Canada card
- Transportation worker identification credential
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Employment Authorization Card (I-766)
- U.S. Merchant Mariner Credential
- Veteran Health Identification Card (VHIC)
Please note that beginning May 7, 2025, if you plan to use your state-issued ID or license to fly within the U.S., make sure it is REAL ID compliant.
TSA does not require children under 18 to provide identification when traveling within the United States.
TSA’s Role in Compliance
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) plays a vital role in ensuring compliance with vaping rules at airports. Here’s how:
Screening: TSA officers screen all carry-on bags at security checkpoints.
If a vape is found during the screening, the officer will check if it’s packed in accordance with TSA rules.
Enforcing Carry-On Rules: Vapes are only allowed in carry-on bags or on your person.
They are not allowed in checked bags due to the risk of fire from their lithium batteries.
TSA officers enforce this rule during the screening process.
Educating Travelers: The TSA provides information on its website and at airports about the rules for traveling with vapes.
This helps travelers understand what they can and cannot do.
Cooperating with Local Law Enforcement: If a traveler is found to be violating federal or state laws regarding vaping (for example, if a minor is found in possession of a vape), the TSA can refer the matter to local law enforcement.
Remember, while the TSA enforces rules about how vapes can be transported on planes, it does not enforce age restrictions for vaping.
Those fall under the jurisdiction of local and state laws.
Will TSA Take My Vape if I’m Under 21? Frequently Asked Questions
What Happens if I Carry a Vape as a Minor in the Airport?
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is primarily concerned with the safety and security of flights, not enforcing age restrictions on vaping.
Their main concern with vapes is that they are packed correctly to prevent fire hazards from their lithium batteries.
Therefore, they allow vapes in carry-on bags but not in checked luggage.
However, it’s important to note that while TSA might not confiscate the vape, local laws still apply at the airport.
If you’re under the legal age to possess a vape in the state where the airport is located, you could potentially face penalties from local law enforcement.
Moreover, individual airlines may have their own policies regarding traveling with vapes.
It’s always a good idea to check these before you travel.
Remember, laws and regulations can vary greatly by location and change over time.
Can Airport Bathrooms Detect Vape?
Airport bathrooms are equipped with smoke detectors, but these are typically designed to detect smoke particles from traditional cigarettes, not vapor from e-cigarettes or vapes.
However, some users on online forums have reported that vaping in an airplane bathroom can potentially trigger the alarm.
It’s important to note that vaping on an airplane, including in the bathroom, is generally prohibited.
Airlines and airports have strict rules against vaping in enclosed spaces due to potential health risks and discomfort to other passengers.
How Do You Get a Disposable Vape through the Airport?
Getting a disposable vape through airport security involves the same process as any other vape or e-cigarette.
Here are the steps you should follow:
Pack in Carry-On: According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), vapes must be transported in your carry-on bag or kept on your person.
They are not allowed in checked luggage due to the risk of fire from their lithium batteries.
Follow Liquid Rules: If your disposable vape has a refillable liquid chamber, make sure it complies with TSA’s liquid rules.
The liquid must be in a container that is 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or smaller and all containers must fit in a single, one-quart-sized, zip-top bag.
Declare to Security: While not always necessary, it can be helpful to declare your vape to security officers so they know what it is when it goes through the X-ray scanner.
Check Local Laws: Remember to check the vaping laws in your departure and arrival locations, as well as any locations you may be connecting through.
Can I Bring a Vape on a Plane without My Parents Knowing?
YES, while it’s technically possible to bring a vape on a plane without your parents knowing, it’s important to consider the potential consequences.
Vaping devices are allowed in carry-on bags or on your person, but not in checked luggage due to the risk of fire from their lithium batteries.
However, using these devices onboard the aircraft is prohibited.
If you’re underage, possessing a vape could be illegal depending on local laws.
Therefore, if you’re caught with a vape and you’re not of legal age, you could face penalties from local law enforcement.
If you’re considering vaping and you’re underage, it would be a good idea to have a conversation with your parents or another trusted adult about it.
Will Airport Security Take My Vape if I’m Under 18?
While purchasing disposable vapes is prohibited for people under 18, possession of them is not.
If the TSA believes you obtained the gadget illegally, they may seize it.
It’s important to avoid giving the TSA a cause to explore what restrictions they can impose, even though they won’t card you to verify your legal age.
Do Disposable Vapes Set Off Metal Detectors at Airports?
YES, disposable vapes can set off metal detectors at airports in most situations.
The metal detectors can detect the small portions of metal in the vapes, such as titanium, nickel, chromium, lead, or manganese.
The vape battery, which almost certainly contains lithium, a valuable metal now found in laptops, smartphones, electric cars, and many other devices, can also be detected.
However, these metal parts are often tiny, with thick plastic casings around them, making them sometimes undetectable to metal detectors.
It’s also worth noting that the success of a metal detector in detecting a vape can depend on the amount of metal in a vape and the sensitivity level set on the metal detector.