Travel Tips

5 min read

Can You Bring Cigarettes on a Plane? (TSA Rules & Regulations!)

Learn if you can bring cigarettes on a plane, the TSA rules on tobacco, lighters, and how to pack them. Perfect guide for stress-free travel with tobacco.

Tobi Miles
July 1, 2022
Can You Bring Cigarettes on a Plane? (TSA Rules & Regulations!)

It may be hard to believe, but back in the 1970s, people would smoke on airplanes. You could bring cigarettes on a plane and smoke them until 1990. Today, the rules are different for many things, so can you bring cigarettes on a plane?

It's legal to bring cigarettes on a plane in a carry-on bag or your checked luggage. The TSA has specific rules, but you can carry various tobacco products onboard an airplane. You can also bring on DOT-cleared lighters, but you can’t smoke on board. Smoking on an airplane is against the law, but contact the TSA if you have any questions.

Understanding that cigarettes are allowed on a plane does not mean there are no rules and restrictions. You should remember that you cannot do certain things or carry them on without knowing the ropes. Cigarettes and other tobacco products are permissible as long as the TSA is aware of them and you restrict use.

Will the TSA Confiscate Cigarettes?

With many trips, you will start with a security check with TSA agents along the way. You will go through extensive security measures to ensure your trip is a safe one. The TSA has strict rules regarding what you can carry on a plane, such as shaving creams and liquids.

The TSA website explicitly states that you can have cigarettes on your person and in your carry-on. However, it is customary to pull them out along with any lighters you may have. You should know that Vape, e-cigarettes, and lighters with fuel are prohibited, and the TSA will take them.

Additionally, you can carry cigarettes and various tobacco products, such as cigars and pipes, with you on the plane. You will need to keep an arc or electric lighter visible so agents can confirm you’ve removed the battery during check-in. In addition to inside your carry-on, you can carry tobacco products in checked baggage for convenience.

Related Read: How Strict Is Frontier With Personal Item Size Limit?

A Quick Look at the TSA’s Rules for Cigarettes and Tobacco Products

Though they do not specify how much or many different tobacco products are allowed, limiting yourself is wise. If you wish to get through the TSA without hesitation or questioning, here are a few rules and guidelines you should follow.

  • Only bring what you need. You should only carry on what you need. Carrying on too many or too much of a product will send out red flags. Therefore, you’ll likely be subject to a search.
  • Pack your valuables separately. You should place all cigarettes, tobacco products, and electric lighters in a baggy. This will make them easy to find and pull out before security. You can then show your belongings as they are without causing a delay and unnecessary search or additional scanning.
  • Do not bring prohibited items. Make sure to leave all prohibited items, such as fuel or disposable lighters, e-cigarettes, Vapes, and other electronic devices. These things are forbidden and may require the TSA to confiscate your goods or make you leave them in the trash.

Traveling is stressful, so make sure to follow all TSA guidelines and suggestions for a stress-free travel experience.

Can I Bring Cigarettes on a Plane in My Purse?

The simple answer to this is yes; you can bring your cigarettes with you in your purse. It's no different than carrying them in your carry-on bag. You can carry up to 1,000 or five whole cartons of cigarettes in your carry-on.

You should follow the previous rule of placing tobacco products in an individual bag for easy access. Placing and packing cigarettes, nail clippers, and electronics together will allow security to check all your valuables at once.

Your carry-on bag can be as simple as a purse or wallet and as big as a backpack. This does allow you to carry more product on but be sure not to make a scene. As stated before, you can bring numerous cigarettes and other tobacco products, but it doesn't mean you should.

Carry on what you need; your purse is a perfect place to keep a simple pack of cigarettes. But ensure your purse is the right size. If your purse is too big or doesn’t fit in the overhead compartments, agents will check it and move it.

Related Read: What Does 100 ml Look Like?

Does the TSA Allow Other Tobacco Products on a Plane?

As stated above, certain products are allowed with various restrictions on what and how you can carry products on. You can carry multiple cigarettes of any type and brand without a problem. You can carry on as many cigarettes as you would like, up to 1,000.

Along with cigarettes, other allowed products are cigars and tobacco pipes. However, to bring a pipe, you must have separate the pipe and tobacco in a bag to display. This just assures the TSA agents that this is a pure tobacco product.

The TSA will confiscate anything electronic or illegal. You may need to go through a thorough search or not even be permitted to board.

Can I Pack Cigarettes In My Checked Luggage?

Your checked luggage, for the most part, is your business. Very rarely are bags confiscated for any type of tobacco products. If you wish to put your cigarettes in your checked luggage, you can do so without any repercussions.

Make sure to pack any cigarettes or tobacco products where they are visible and easily accessed. This is just in case the TSA wishes to search for contraband or sees something on their scan. Having your cigarettes or tobacco products accessible and visible makes everyone’s lives easier.

Related Read: How to Choose an 18x 14x8 Bag

Does the TSA Allow Lighters On a Plane?

Lighters can be tricky when boarding a plane, but there are various types they allow. The TSA will not allow any lighter with fuel inside in checked baggage. However, you can carry on one disposable lighter or an electric one.

You must have these visible so TSA can inspect them at the gate. Also, you can carry on electric lighters if there are no batteries. You may also have one small pack of standard-sized matches instead.

Lighters are prohibited in checked baggage unless secured within a DOT-certified and approved container. Torch-style lighters are strictly prohibited in carry-on and checked luggage.

What Would Happen If I Tried to Smoke a Cigarette on a Plane?

If you get on your flight after all the security checks and think you will smoke on the plane, think again. Smoking on a plane is strictly prohibited and can cause you to be in a heap of trouble. The Department of Transportation bans and prohibits the use of tobacco products on planes.

If caught smoking or vaping on a plane, you could face something as simple as a fine or worse. This fine could cost you anywhere from $2 to $4,000, or you could serve jail time. Yes, smoking on a plane is a jailable offense, and agents will detain you immediately.

Also, smoking on a flight may cause your flight to be diverted, causing you to pay FAA fees. With all the penalties and fees, you will owe tens of thousands of dollars and may serve jail time. Along with getting in trouble with the FAA, you will also have hundreds of unruly, angry passengers looking at you.

Related Read: How Strict Is JetBlue with Personal Item Size?

Can You Smoke In The Bathroom on an Airplane?

As stated before, smoking on an airplane is strictly prohibited. Furthermore, trying to sneak and smoke in the bathroom may cause more of a problem. Using cigarettes in the bathroom risks fire and billowing smoke filling the plane cavity.

There is nowhere to smoke while on a flight. This rule is put into place to protect all those in-flight with you and enforces safety protocols. You will have to pay hefty fees and serve jail time if ever found smoking in an airplane bathroom.

Still Not Sure About Bringing Cigarettes on a Plane? Ask the TSA

If you are still not sure what type of cigarettes you can carry on or what lighters are allowed, contact the TSA. Reaching out to the helpline, 855-787-2227, about 72 hours before travel will help solve any problems. A TSA representative will be happy to help and answer any questions or concerns you may have.

You can also check the TSA website for various tips and tricks to make travel easy. By using the search bar and reference tabs, you can find the answer to any questions you may have. Along with searching the website, you can find out what is prohibited and how to pack accordingly.

Along with using the helpline and website, you can also ask for assistance or help at the TSA security checkpoint. A TSA agent will be happy to help in any way possible and try to answer any questions you may have. Though TSA can be intimidating, they are only there to make traveling safe, secure, and straightforward.

Check out the website to contact the TSA to get information and all the answers you may need.

Summarizing When You Can Bring Cigarettes on a Plane

When it comes to traveling, you may find it to be a stressful situation. Packing a carry-on, especially when packing your cigarettes, can be a bit intimidating. But knowing that most tobacco products are allowed through TSA and on planes may be a relief.

To make it easier, pack your cigarettes and lighters in a separate baggy so you can access them easily at security. No vapes or E-cigarettes are allowed, and certain lighters, such as torch-style, are strictly prohibited. You can carry on products from cigars, cigarettes, and tobacco pipes.

However, once you get through security, you must follow all rules when trying to smoke. The airport will have designated smoking areas accessible to you. Smoking on a plane or in an airplane bathroom is prohibited, subjecting you to penalties and jail time.

If you are unsure of what to take or how to pack it all correctly through security or in checked bags, ask the TSA. You can access the TSA through helplines, their website, and even requesting an agent while in security. Be sure to get all the answers you need to make your trip as smooth as possible.

Tobi Miles
Article updated:
March 28, 2024
A nomadic wordsmith savoring the world's flavors and penning stories that turn every journey into an epic.
Find me on Twitter

Win a $500 Flight!

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
*Terms apply. To participate, enter your email to sign up for the newsletter . You must be 18+ and be a resident of the US. No purchase necessary. Begins January 1st  and ends February 28th, 2024. Winner announced on March 31st. For full rules and regulations, visit our Terms & Conditions page. Data  processed according to our Privacy Policy.
Enter Sweepstakes

You may also like...


Win a $500 Flight!

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
*Terms apply. To participate, enter your email to sign up for the newsletter . You must be 18+ and be a resident of the US. No purchase necessary. Begins January 1st  and ends February 28th, 2024. Winner announced on March 31st. For full rules and regulations, visit our Terms & Conditions page. Data  processed according to our Privacy Policy.
Enter Sweepstakes