British tourists could face £2K fines for ignoring vaping rules on holiday

Vaping is an increasingly popular alternative to traditional smoking and can even be done indoors in some public places. But for travellers planning to enjoy their vapes abroad, they should first check the rules of their destination. 

Australia was one of the first places to announce an official ban on recreational vaping in major public spaces, with Spain also operating a partial smoking ban.

The European destination prohibits smoking on 28 of its most popular beaches, including Sant Joan, Sa Platgeta, Santa Ponsa, Cala Estància, Cala Sant Vicenç, and Caló des Moro.

And it’s not just overseas destinations Britons should consider when packing their vape. In fact, rules on transporting them on holiday also apply.

According to Markus Lindblad, vape expert at retailer Northerner UK, there are a few things travellers should know to avoid being detained or even fined for vaping abroad.

Vapes should be packed in hand luggage

Markus said: “In most cases, you can take your vape or e-cigarette on a plane, however, you cannot use it on the aircraft, and can only vape in designated smoking areas in UK airports.

“But as vape devices contain lithium batteries they are considered a fire hazard, so must be within reach at all times, and cabin crew should be alerted should the device start to smoke or smoulder.”

When it comes to the number of vapes permitted on a plane, battery-powered types are limited by different airlines.

Many carriers including Emirates, Jet2, and Ryanair allow passengers to pack up to 20 batteries in their carry-on.

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British Airways only permits passengers to take 15 batteries in their hand luggage while budget airline EasyJet only allows two.

Vapes that require e-liquid are restricted by the standard 100ml bottle rule and form part of the allowance in the one-litre maximum per passenger.

Non-lithium battery vapes may be stored in checked luggage when flying with some airlines, though Qatar Airways operates a hand luggage-only policy.

This rule exists following incidents in which lithium batteries in vapes exploded in the hold and caught fire.

Some countries have banned vapes

Marks explained: “Some countries have put a complete ban on vapes, including Argentina, Brazil, North Korea, Nepal, Qatar,  Mexico, India, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Hong Kong, and ten others.

“In fact, if you are caught with a vape in Qatar you could be faced with a £2,000 fine or a maximum of three months in prison. Overall, Thailand has perhaps the strictest laws with a potential jail sentence of up to five years depending on the offence.”

Other countries allow vaping in some form but have varying rules on usage. For example, in Germany, vapes are legal apart from in the state of Hessen. In Singapore, vapes cannot be brought into the country and people who attempt to try this will be stopped at customs. In Spain, 28 Spanish beaches have introduced a smoking ban which if broken can result in fines of up to €2,000 (£1,700).

In Turkey, it is illegal to purchase an e-cigarette in the country but people are free to use vapes brought into the country with them on holiday.

However, there are still plenty of countries where vaping is legal and in the majority of these countries, vaping laws are the same as those created for smoking.

Many places prohibit vaping and smoking in public spaces and on public transport, which seems to be the case in some of the most popular holiday destinations for Britons. This includes France, Italy, Cyprus, Portugal, Ireland, Egypt, Greece, Croatia, and Germany. 

But while checking the laws prior to travelling is essential for those planning to vape, Markus noted that “laws are changing every day”. He said: “The best thing to do is to check the laws in the country you are visiting on the day you are flying as you don’t want to be caught out after laws have changed overnight!

“Some countries enforce very strict regulations and it’s important to take them very seriously including the rules both in the airport and on flights.”

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