Can You Bring Cigarettes On a Plane? Latest TSA Guide

Smoking on a plane was once a common practice until the late 1980s. Back then, passengers and even pilots could light up their cigarettes without any restrictions. But, these days, smoking on an aircraft is completely forbidden and can lead to significant fines or even imprisonment.

If you’re a smoker planning to travel with your cigarettes, the thought of potential challenges may be on your mind. To ease your concerns, we’ve prepared a user-friendly guide to explore the rules and regulations and provide you with the necessary information for a smoother journey.

Can You Bring Cigarettes On a Plane?

YES! You are permitted by law to carry cigarettes when traveling by air, as stated by TSA. In fact, you can transport various types of cigarettes on a plane. Although this guideline is valid for most nations’ regulations, it does not hold true for all of them. It is essential to verify the rules of your destination country to ensure that carrying cigarettes is permitted.

Blank Cigarette Packet
Blank Cigarette Packet

Differing from alcohol, tobacco is recognized as a lawful commodity. Therefore, it can be conveyed to all U.S.-based air carriers without the possibility of seizure or penalties, as stated by the TSA.

You have the freedom to carry conventional cigarettes and unprocessed tobacco in your pockets, personal bag, or even your registered baggage. You are allowed to transport accessible cigarettes, previously used cigarettes, and all other varieties of tobacco. This encompasses chewing tobacco, non-combustible tobacco, or pipe tobacco.

What about E-cigarettes and Vapes? 

It might come as a shock to discover that you have the option to carry electronic cigarettes and vaping devices in your pockets or carry-on bags when you embark on a flight within the United States. However, it is not permissible to stow them in your checked baggage, unlike the case with scissors.

The explanation lies in the fact that vapes and e-cigarettes are equipped with batteries that can potentially detonate in the cargo hold due to the lack of pressurization. Therefore, while you might believe that storing your vape in your checked baggage would prevent any issues, it has precisely the opposite effect!

As per both TSA and CATSA (Canadian TSA), vapes and e-cigarettes can be carried in your hand luggage, and the allowance for checked luggage may vary depending on the airline you choose. However, it’s essential to note that liquid refills must adhere to the standard limit of less than 100ml or 3.4oz (rule for all liquid containers).

Black Vape in hands of a women
Black Vape in hands of a women

A point of consideration is that due to the presence of marijuana in many vaping devices, TSA personnel may inspect the vaporizer to confirm that it contains solely tobacco. Therefore, it is advisable not to transport a vaping device containing marijuana.

Bringing Cigarettes on International Flights

If you’re traveling overseas from the United States, you’ll be pleased to know that you can bring your tobacco products along. Certain global carriers, like Air India, prohibit cigarettes from being included in your cabin baggage but permit them in your checked luggage. 

Furthermore, particular locations impose restrictions on the quantity of cigarette packages, cartons, vaporizers, or electronic cigarettes allowed to cross their borders according to their customs regulations. These items might also be forbidden in specific nations. So, conduct thorough research in advance to prevent the confiscation of your tobacco products upon arrival!

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What’s the Limit for Cigarettes On a Plane?

For domestic flights within the United States, there are no specific restrictions on the quantity of cigarettes in either your checked or carry-on luggage. However, if you are traveling internationally, limitations on cigarette quantities apply.

British Airways Plane Landing Gear Opened

If you surpass these limitations, there might be an option to pay duties and taxes for the surplus quantity. Different airlines may have varying regulations, so familiarize yourself with their specific guidelines below:


As per CBSA regulations, if you’re flying to Canada, you’re permitted to bring up to 50 cigars, 200 cigarettes, 200 tobacco sticks, and 200 grams of tobacco under personal exemption. There won’t be any duty charged on it and they will be marked as “duty paid Canada droit acquitté”. These quantities align with Canadian customs rules for tobacco products.

Apart from the personal exemption allowances, there are restrictions on the quantity of tobacco products that can be brought into the country if they are not packaged and do not bear the “duty paid Canada droit acquitté” stamp. The current limit is set at five units of tobacco products, with each unit defined as follows:

  • Cigarettes: 200 cigarettes
  • Cigars: 50 cigars
  • Manufactured tobacco: 200 grams (equivalent to 7 ounces)
  • Tobacco sticks: 200 tobacco sticks

United States of America

Customs and Border Protection states that if you are coming back to the United States, you can carry a maximum of 100 cigars and 200 cigarettes. Nevertheless, if you are journeying from American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), Guam, or the Virgin Islands of the United States, you can bring up to 1,000 cigarettes (equivalent to 5 cartons), with no more than 200 from elsewhere.

However, additional information is important too, especially for the US. If a resident declares 400 cigarettes that were previously exported and provides evidence of American Goods Returning (AGR), they will be allowed to bring back their AGR items without paying Customs duty.

If a resident declares 400 cigarettes, with 200 being proven AGR (previously exported) and 200 not AGR (not previously exported), they will be allowed to bring back the 200 previously exported cigarettes without being subject to taxes or Internal Revenue Tax (IRT) under their exemption.

It’s important to note that the tobacco exemption applies to each adult who is 21 years of age or older.

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According to the Government of Mexico, if the individual is above 18 years old, they can carry a maximum of 10 packs of cigarettes, 25 cigars, or 200 grams of tobacco.

European Union

European Union (EU) guidelines specify that when arriving from an EU member state, you can transport up to 200 large cigars, 400 small cigars, 800 cigarettes, and 1 kilogram of pipe or cigarette tobacco.

If you are entering an EU member state from a non-EU country, such as the United States, you can carry up to 100 small cigars (with a maximum weight of 3 grams each), 200 cigarettes, 250 grams of smoking tobacco, 50 large cigars, or a combination that totals these quantities.

United Kingdom

As per information from the UK Government, when traveling to the United Kingdom, you are allowed to bring up to 250 grams of tobacco, 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars, 100 cigarillos, or any combination that equals these quantities.

Tips for Traveling with Cigarettes on a Plane

While preparing cigarettes for air travel, it’s crucial to adhere to the guidelines set by the airline and airport to guarantee a seamless journey. Below are some procedures for preparing cigarettes for air travel:

  • Various airlines may have diverse regulations pertaining to the conveyance of cigarettes. Refer to the airline’s website or reach out to their customer service to acquaint yourself with their particular guidelines.
  • You must be over the legal age of 18 or 21 depending on the country you are traveling to. Bringing in cigarettes in the luggage of a minor is strictly not allowed.
  • It’s typically advisable to retain cigarettes in their original, sealed packaging to avert any potential issues. If you’ve unsealed a pack, endeavor to reseal it securely.
  • Position your cigarettes in your carry-on bag rather than your checked baggage. This approach allows for easy access and helps prevent potential damage. 
  • If you’re embarking on international travel or journeying to a location with stringent tobacco regulations, be ready to declare your cigarettes at customs if mandated.

Handy Tip: Always make it a practice to verify the most current rules and regulations with your airline and destination to ensure a trouble-free experience when preparing cigarettes for air travel. 

Plus, it’s always great to measure your luggage before heading to the airport. In case the cigarettes are a hurdle, you can always shift them to other bags.

Slim Cigarette
Slim Cigarette


Travelers are generally allowed to bring cigarettes on a plane, but the regulations and limits can vary by country and airline. While the United States permits a reasonable quantity for personal use, other nations may have stricter restrictions. It’s important to research and comply with the rules of your destination, especially when carrying large quantities or specialty tobacco products. Additionally, e-cigarettes and vapes are allowed in carry-on bags within the U.S. but not in checked baggage due to safety concerns. 

Can you bring cigarettes on a plane? - FAQs

Can I bring cigarettes on a plane when traveling internationally?

Yes, you can typically bring cigarettes when traveling internationally, but the quantity you can carry may vary depending on your destination’s customs regulations.

Can I bring my own lighter or matches when carrying cigarettes on a plane?

Yes, you can typically bring your own lighter or matches when carrying cigarettes on a plane

Are there restrictions on bringing e-cigarettes and vaping devices on a plane?

Yes, you can carry electronic cigarettes and vaping devices in your carry-on bags for domestic flights within the United States, but they are not allowed in checked baggage due to safety concerns.

What should I do if I’m traveling with cigarettes internationally and want to avoid customs issues?

To avoid customs issues when traveling internationally with cigarettes, make sure to declare them at customs if required by the destination country. Additionally, keep your cigarettes in their original, sealed packaging, and be aware of the specific limits and duties for tobacco products in the country you are visiting.

Umar Ali
As editor in chief, I am always on the road, searching for hidden gems, undiscovered waterfalls, enticing hikes to explore, underrated delis, and more. Crafting compelling content that captures the true essence of each place is my passion. With years of experience in travel journalism, I strive to provide unbiased and factual content based on my real-life experiences. When I'm not out exploring, you can find me delving into local markets and devouring new foods, immersing myself in the cultures and communities that make each destination unique. It might sound like a tough job, but I love it!