Whether you have sworn off tobacco for good or are simply looking for an alternative when traveling or perhaps in public places, you may be looking at e-cigs or vaping devices as a suitable alternative. In either case, most modes of transportation do have quite specific rules for the use of both tobacco products as well as electronic cigarettes. Because of this, it is vital that you do a little investigating before boarding public transportation of any kind. If you are planning a trip, here is some information that may prove useful.
Flying with Electronic Cigarettes and Vaping Devices
At this time electronic cigarettes are considered in the same class as tobacco cigarettes by the TSA (and the Federal Government on the whole!) so you will not be allowed to puff away at your electronic smoking device while on a plane. However, you ‘can’ carry your e-cigs aboard with you or check them with your baggage, but there are some rules you need to be aware of.
If you are carrying disposable e-cigs, by all means pack them at the top of our bag so the TSA agents won’t be pawing through your carry-on looking for that suspect that pops up on the x-ray. If you are bringing a vaping device, you need to treat your e-liquid in the same way you would your other liquids such as your toiletries. Keep them in a plastic bag together and clearly labeled. You might find it easier just to get yourself something like Fling disposable e-cigs that can be clearly identified by the searching agent!
Taking a Long-Journey Train Ride?
Perhaps it would be best to look at the biggest and most widely recognized railway company, Amtrak, for advice here. According to their policy, you can carry your e-cigs on board with you but you will not be allowed to use them aboard the train and at most stations unless there should happen to be a ‘smoking’ section provided. Here again, e-cigs are currently classified in the same category as tobacco cigarettes, so if you must take a puff now and again, you’ll need to wait for what they call a ‘smoke break’ or ‘smoke stop.’ Amtrak has clearly defined what they will and will not allow.
Riding the Bus Seems to Be the Least Restrictive
At this time, Greyhound seems to have the least restrictive rules about the use of e-cigs but a bit of caution is still advised. A recent white paper on the use of e-cigarettes in public places notes that Greyhound does not have any particular rules at this time. Even so, you should be aware of the fact that when trying to use an e-cig while the bus is moving may be an annoyance to other passengers. If you must puff away, please be considerate and make sure it is either okay with the folks around you or sit somewhere removed from other passengers.
Most Greyhound stations do still have smoking sections in their stations and these are set up according to state and local laws. Most states have the requirement that smoking is allowed a minimum number of feet from entryways, and some people still consider e-cigs as ‘smoking’ devices, so to be safe, you may want to use your electronic cigarette or vaping device within the predefined smoking area.
Hotels, Motels, Lodges and Guest Houses
When you arrive at your destination, there may also be restrictions where you will be staying. Some hotels treat electronic cigarettes just like tobacco cigs and some are a bit more lenient. In fact, some places have no policies whatsoever about the use of e-cigs on their grounds. Here, you would need to probably refer to state and local laws which determine where and when you can vape. Some states allow vaping within common areas of a hotel while others forbid their use in public altogether. It’s simply a matter of playing it smart. When in doubt, ask!
Even though it has been proven that electronic cigarettes and vaping devices are infinitely safer than tobacco cigarettes, many people are still in the dark ages. There is no second hand smoke to contend with, no obnoxious odors and there has been no evidence to show that the vapor is harmful to anyone in the vicinity of a vaper. The prudent thing to do is be careful where and when you puff away so that you will not call undue attention to yourself in any public place. And finally, if you are traveling by car with non-smokers, you may want to discuss with them their feelings on the matter. If they are adamant about refusing to let you vape, you have two choices it seems – travel alone or grin and bear it.