According to the TSA website, you can bring cigarettes in your carry-on or checked bag. There is no limit to the number of cigarettes you can take on a plane, as long as you are within your airline’s baggage limits.
However, there are limits to the number of cigarettes you can carry internationally, depending on the country you are entering.
This article explains what happens when you bring more than 200 cigarettes on a plane, how to pack cigarettes, and what restrictions you may face when traveling internationally with cigarettes.
What Happens if I Bring More Than 200 Cigarettes?
If you are flying domestically, you will have no issue flying with more than 200 cigarettes. Just make sure you don’t have a bag heavier than the airline allows. And, you might have to have your bag searched as a precautionary measure, so give yourself extra time to go through security.
However, if you are traveling internationally, you need to follow the customs rules for the country you are flying into.
US Customs limits the number of cigarettes that you can carry into the country:
You are permitted to bring 100 cigars or 200 cigarettes (one carton) into the US duty free, or one roll (“stock”) of snuff into the US duty free.
If you are bringing more than 200 cigarettes into the US, you need to report them to customs and likely have your bag inspected.
You will also have to pay taxes on them. You can find the current tax rate on the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau’s website.
How to Pack Cigarettes for Travel
In your carry-on bag, you can put your cigarettes wherever you want. Since you will be handling your bag except at the security checkpoint, you can make sure you are careful enough not to damage your cigarettes.
But, you may want to keep them somewhere easily accessible in case the security officers need to check your bags.
You can also just keep a pack of cigarettes on your person or in a purse or other small bag; you just can’t smoke them in the airport or on the plane.
As for your checked bag, multiple people will be handling it during the journey, so make sure your cigarettes are securely packed in your bag, so they aren’t shifting around. You also want to wrap them in something soft or have them in the center of your bag, so they don’t break if your bag is thrown around or other bags are stacked on top of yours.
When you pack your cigarettes in your checked bag, make sure you take any lighters with you onto the plane because TSA doesn’t allow lighters with fuel in checked bags. If you have to pack a lighter in your checked bag, make sure there is no fuel in it. Otherwise, security will confiscate it at the security checkpoint.
Another common item that is not allowed in checked bags is batteries, which are common in laptops, phones, and portable chargers. Learn more about batteries and whether or not they are allowed on planes.
Are Cigarettes Allowed on International Flights?
Yes, you can take cigarettes on international flights with the same restrictions as on other flights. But, you need to make sure that you are not exceeding the cigarette limit of the country you are flying into.
As mentioned above, the US will require you to pay taxes on any cigarettes over the 200 that everyone is allowed duty-free.
You can find the cigarette limits for every country on their government website. Some countries, like Canada, allow 200 like the US. But countries in the European Union have different limits if you fly into them from outside the EU.
You should also check the smoking laws for the country that you are going to, as the laws differ worldwide, and many countries ban smoking in public places.
Are E-Cigarettes and Vapes allowed on planes?
If you have electronic cigarettes or a vape you want to bring on a plane, some restrictions differ from regular cigarettes.
Unlike cigarettes, e-cigarettes and vapes are not allowed in checked baggage per the TSA website. They are not allowed because they have batteries in them, which are never allowed in the cargo area of an airplane.
Here is what United Airlines says about e-cigarettes and vapes:
We don’t accept e-cigarettes and personal vaporizers in checked or gate-checked bags. When traveling, pack these items in your carry-on bag or personal item. Keep in mind you can’t charge or use e-cigarettes and personal vaporizers on board or at any United Club℠ locations.
If you don’t want to worry about items like vapes, lighters, e-cigs, and cigarettes being confiscated while you are traveling, make sure they are in your carry-on baggage.