The smoker's guide to air travel

Our guide to carrying your smoking items discreetly through airports, and surviving long flights on the way.

It wasn't that long ago that people lit up in the air regularly, but the golden age of smoking in airplanes has long past; in the 21st century, we’re left navigating the age of hyper-vigilant air travel.

Not only is it tough to go long hours in the air without a smoke, but there's also the tricky issue of getting your goodies from point A to point B. The last thing anyone wants is to have their supplies and materials confiscated, get hit with a giant fine — or even worse, jail time. That's why we're here to help you arrive unfrazzled with your supplies (and sanity) intact.


Surviving long flights without smoking

Being trapped in a flying tin-can hundreds of miles above ground frays the nerves enough without withdrawal kicking in. The urge to smoke can be quite strong, but resisting the temptation is all about the mind.

Here are three tips that have served us well on long-haul journeys by air:

Tip 1: choose a night flight so you're asleep and don't miss smoking

Tip 2: pick a flight with a layover so you can take a smoke break

Tip 3: carry your stuff with you so you can smoke as soon as you leave the airport

For that last tip, there's a caveat: you will probably need to adjust your carry to satisfy the strict requirements of local airports and security agents. The rest of this article is dedicated to advising you on this crucial (yet often confusing) matter for airports in Canada and the United States.


Not all smoking items are allowed past security...

The TSA has ruled that you can't take an electric lighter on a plane, despite new safety features that make it impossible for ignition to happen accidentally. We designed our all-in-one case and lighter The Traveller with an engineered and purpose-built safety hinge that ensures the lighter does not ignite when the lid is closed. We hope that air travel regulations will soon catch up with modern smoking technology.

There are restrictions all over the place, but they are not consistent, so don’t take any chances of having your gear confiscated at the security check.  Lighters are not allowed as carry on because of the security risk, while many battery powered items are banned from checked-in luggage. Without knowing what each airline's or country’s rules are, we advise that it’s best to save your Traveller for domestic non-flying adventures.


How to to bring other smoking items on flights

There is no way for the airport scanners to detect and identify each individual item in your bag. They’re checking for very specific contraband. Keep in mind that airport security dogs are trained to identify narcotics in checked luggage, so it’s recommended that you keep your supply in your carry-on.

Generally, you won’t be stopped if your smoking products are packed away and don’t smell. So, to avoid a close call with missing your flight, make sure your essentials are well cleaned and your supply is stored in odor-proof packaging.

If you take the proper precautions when traveling with your stash, chances are it should sail right through the security scanners as long as it complies with CATSA and TSA guidelines. As long as you abide by regulations, you can be confident that the only penalty you’ll be subject to is a long wait through customs.

The safest route to smoking anywhere

Your safest bet is to acquire product when you arrive at your destination. Contacting a local purveyor ahead of time can ensure that your purchase is ready for you upon arrival. Unfortunately, depending on where you're traveling to, your options can be pretty limited. It's a vacation, so pack enough, but pack light. You can't bring everything with you, but you do get a new opportunity to explore and try out new local varieties - which makes “roughing it” all the more of an adventure.