I remember the first time I flew to Los Angeles from New York City for my brother’s wedding. It was the first trip to the East Coast and I knew it would be about six hours. What I didn’t know is how bad my nicotine craving would get during those hours! I’m talking about reaching for my vape to take a quick puff, then realizing I’m 30,000 miles in the air and can’t possibly take a hit. Vaping is strictly prohibited on aircraft, including airplane lavatories, meaning a simple puff could get me fined or even arrested!
I’m an all-day vaper, meaning I literally use my vape ALL DAY. I’ve had to curb my vaping due to being in prohibited areas before, such as when I go to amusement parks, movie theaters, and airplane trips to Florida (all of which I’ve gone at least 2 hours before being able to vape), so this 6-hour flight was a taxing challenge for me. I remember making a beeline for the front gates (didn’t even grab my checked luggage yet) when we landed and taking my first glorious puff in L.A. I’m not even sure I was allowed to vape right in front of the exit doors like that, but I needed my nicotine fix and I needed it right then!
Months later, I’m considering taking a trip to Greece for my boss’s wedding. It’s about a 10-hour flight from New York (with no layovers) so I’m beginning to worry about dealing with my nicotine cravings. I did some research on how to stave off and deal with these nicotine withdrawals, and we’ll go over these in the following paragraphs. Hopefully this can bring relief to other travelers on long-haul flights who worry about dealing with these nicotine cravings before, during, and after the flights.
WHAT TO DO BEFORE YOUR TRIP
1. CUT BACK SLOWLY
This is more of a drastic solution, but it’s actually helped many people before flying long distances. If you know you have a long-haul flight coming up, start denying yourself the ability to vape. Keep track of how long you can go without needing to take a hit. Gradually increase that time until you’re comfortable with it. You can also train your body to be satisfied off of one hit instead of several.
2. MAKE SURE TO PREPARE BEFORE ENTERING THE AIRPORT
This was a not-so-fun experience for me. When I first took the shuttle to JFK, I didn’t realize that it lets you out directly into the airport. I had planned on taking my final vape puff right before entering the airport, allowing me to satisfy my nicotine cravings one last time. However, since the shuttle let me out into the actual airport halls, it was impossible to snag one last puff. I was frustrated that my initial plan failed, and I knew the next time I’d be able to take a hit would be in 7 hours...yay me.
Don’t be like me. Make sure you take your last hit before entering the airport. This will prepare your body as well as your mind for the inability to vape until you’ve reached your destination. Always make sure to do this in a designated smoking/vaping area. If you’re traveling in a group, also make sure to inform your traveling companions that you’ll be taking a quick vape break. This helps ensure you aren’t missing from the group when they
3. DO YOUR RESEARCH ON THE COUNTRY YOU’RE VISITING.
Make sure you’re allowed to vape or purchase vape products in the country you’re traveling to. Certain countries have explicit rules when it comes to the sale and use of vape devices. Failure to observe these laws can result in with stern warnings, hefty fines, and even imprisonment to those caught breaking the rules about vaping. Even though you’re only visiting, you’ll be expected to know the rules concerning vaping before taking your first puff.
WHEN YOU’RE IN THE AIRPORT/ON THE PLANE
There are a number of things you can do to stave off your nicotine cravings once you’re inside the airport. Once you board the aircraft, you will be prohibited from using your device in the plane. This includes the bathroom. Many airplane lavatories have very sensitive smoke and vapor detectors to thwart people looking for a smoke/vape break. If you think your vape is discreet enough to get past these detectors, check out what happened to a passenger who tried to vape on an airplane. Don’t think that you’re above the rules or that your needs are greater than the safety of your neighbors. Just be patient and try these tips to curb your nicotine cravings once you’re in the airport or the aircraft.
1. CHECK IF YOUR AIRPORT HAS A DESIGNATED SMOKING AREA
Many airports understand the need to have one last puff before boarding. There may be signs that direct you to a specific area (either outside or inside) to enjoy one last hit before you board. Not all airports have these areas, so you may be redirected completely outside of the airport to enjoy a quick vaping session. Keep in mind, you may be asked to go back through security once you exit, so keep your boarding documents with you if you choose to exit the airport.
2. USE NICOTINE CESSATION PRODUCTS
You can opt to purchase smoking cessation products for your travels if you’re worried about flying long distances. The nicotine patch, as well as oral nicotine products (gum, lozenges, and sprays), may give you some much-needed nicotine that helps to occupy your mouth (also known as oral fixation) until you can vape again. I do suggest trying these products out before you travel, just so you know and understand your body’s reaction to them. You can also try something called a nicotine inhaler if you have health issues that prevent you from using the patch or gum.
3. REFRAIN FROM CONSUMING ALCOHOL
You may be tempted to purchase alcoholic beverages to distract you from your travel-induced stress. Unfortunately, vaping and alcohol are often used together, as they pair quite well. Hard liquor especially can trigger your desire to vape, so it’s best to avoid alcohol and beer altogether until you can safely vape once more.
4. KEEP YOUR HANDS BUSY
Instead of reaching for your vape, try to find other ways to keep your hands occupied. Bring along snacks that require you to use your hands, like pistachios or oranges. You can also try regular gum, mints, hard sweets (think Werther’s caramels), and other edibles that require sucking and long-term chewing.
5. KEEP YOUR MIND BUSY
Bring a book with you. And not a thin paperback either. Try tackling an old-school classic, a Stephen King novel, or something with a few thousand pages. If you’re more of a gamer, make sure your phone is fully charged, or bring a portable game with you (Nintendo Switch is hugely popular these days). You can also try things like knitting, origami, or learning sign language. Literally anything to distract you from when you can take your next puff.
6. TAKE A SNOOZE!
If you’re one of the lucky people who can sleep on planes, this might be the most effective way to ignore your nicotine cravings. Bring a comfy pillow, put on some music and drift away! You’ll be landing before you know it and your nicotine cravings won’t ever know the difference.
WHEN YOUR FLIGHT HAS ARRIVED
You’ve finally arrived at your destination! The plane is slowing down to reach the dismount point and you may even be asked to walk across the tarmac before reaching the airport. However, there are some quick things to check before you whip out your vape.
- If you are asked to walk down the flight stairs and onto the tarmac before reaching the airport passenger area, don’t take your first puff just yet. The tarmac is still considered part of the interior airport and vaping is strictly prohibited. You’ve last without your vape for this long. A few more minutes won’t kill you.
- In the beginning of this article, I mentioned that upon arriving near the baggage claim, I immediately ran out the front doors in sheer desperation to take a vape hit. I probably annoyed some passengers (and my traveling companions) by darting immediately to the front of the building. Don’t be like me. Again, you’ve managed to make it through several hours on a plane without vaping. What’s a few more minutes compared to the last few hours?
- Make sure the area you’re in is safe to vape. The area immediately past the airport doors are not considered acceptable places to vape. Rather, you should check to see clearly marked signs that notate acceptable places to vape. These places are usually located at the end of the walkways, where the vapor is less likely to disturb your fellow passengers.
And that’s it! Hopefully this article has given you much to think about in terms of long-haul flights and has given you some ideas on how to deal with your nicotine cravings. Perhaps in the future, vaping will be allowed in airports and we can laugh at how we used to struggle with our nicotine cravings. Until then, we’ll just have to make the best out of the situation and adequately prepare ourselves for it.
Have you had any experiences about traveling while vaping? What are some tips and tricks you use while flying long distances? Let us know in the comments below! Since millions of vapers travel long distances every day, we’d love to hear some of your stories. If you have any questions about flying and vaping, be sure to contact your airline and see if there’s any specifics you should be aware of. Be sure to read our article on how to travel with a vape to make sure all of your vaping equipment is properly packed.
Check back with us tomorrow where we review another e-liquid, called Fuji Apple Strawberry Nectarine by Pachamama! Until then, we hope your tank stays of full of your favorite e-liquid, and that the resulting clouds are puffy and full of delicious flavor!