Many people are reluctant to bring their inexpensive disposable vapes into places like schools and public transportation for fear of setting off metal detectors.
So, can you bring a vape through a metal detector?
Since metal detectors can easily find the metal in most vapes and e-cigarettes, they are increasingly being used for this purpose in addition to finding weapons and other metal objects.
But it’s hard to get through a metal detector at an airport or other security checkpoint with these.
So, let me explain how I can help!
In this article, I want to use my knowledge as a self-described metal detector enthusiast to talk about this hotly debated topic and answer some of the most common questions that come up when disposable vaping products and metal detectors come together.
Read on to find out everything you need to know!
Can You Bring Your Vape Through A Metal Detector?
Since I don’t use a vaporizer myself, I relied on the opinions of other detectorists and my research to answer this question, which keeps coming up.
Are e-cigarettes a security risk when using metal detectors?
Unfortunately, the solution is not as simple as you might expect. For their intended purpose, metal detectors actively seek out metallic items. Disposable vapes often have sturdy plastic casings and no metallic parts.
However, a metal detector may go off if the coil in a disposable vape is constructed of metal.
There’s also the battery to consider as a potential problem. A lithium-ion battery, another type of metal, is commonly seen in disposable vaporizers. However, because of their diminutive size, a metal detector may miss these batteries.
So, to sum up, disposable vapes may or may not trigger metal detectors.
Some people who use disposable e-cigarettes say that walk-through metal detectors and hand-held scanning wands don’t pick them up, while others say the opposite.
But the same is true if you get questioned because of the metal zipper on the hoodie. Or the tattoo you’d rather not have anyone see.
In all honesty, I wouldn’t say that it’s 100%!
How Does a Metal Detector Work?
When a button is pressed, an electromagnetic field in both the vertical and horizontal planes of a walk-through metal detector’s archway is activated. When a person passes over the arch, they are subjected to these fields. Internal sensors sound an alarm when they detect metal on a person.
Though some vape pens are made of plastic or ceramic, the vast majority are crafted from metal.
To deal with the growing problem of illegal drugs, the government has started using metal detectors to do random checks and seize anything that looks suspicious. When this method is used, searches are thorough, quick, and easy for both the person being searched and the person doing the searching.
Also, unlike other search methods like the frisk-down, employing portable metal detectors is much less invasive and harsh.
How Do Disposable Vapes Work?
Understanding what disposable vapes are will help you appreciate the function a metal detector plays in the detection process.
Use a disposable vape to inhale an aerosol vapor made by heating a nicotine-containing liquid, which is powered by a battery. They mimic the look and feel of tobacco cigarettes while having no tobacco in them.
One of the reasons disposable e-cigarettes are so widespread is that the nicotine liquid used in them can be found in a little cartridge, or “cart,” and comes in several flavors.
They are called disposable because they can’t be charged and have to be thrown away when the nicotine liquid runs out.
These vapes’ batteries only last for around 400 hits until they die completely, and then the whole thing has to be thrown away. On the other hand, reusable vapes can be used over and over again by just adding more nicotine liquid.
Pass That Metal Detector With Your Vape!
I want to start by saying that I don’t support or encourage sneaking a vape past a metal detector.
I wouldn’t take the chance if you’re under 18 and trying to bring a disposable vape to class. Although the metal parts (if any) are too small to be detected, this is not a certainty.
So, here are some ways you might be able to get a disposable vaporizer past a metal detector:
In most cases, a disposable vaporizer won’t trigger a metal detector if its cartridge is made of plastic.
The disposable vape might also pass through the metal detector if its cartridge is made of zirconia ceramic.
If the disposable vaporizer uses a cartridge made of metal, you could attempt to conceal the cartridge in your pocket and pass it off as a belt buckle if you get caught. The metal detector might still detect the battery, so try it at your own risk
If you’re trying to sneak a disposable vape past airport security, another option is to declare it e-liquid doesn’t have any illicit substances like weed in it.
The TSA website says that vaping devices can be in both checked luggage and carry-on luggage. To pass through security, they must be disclosed.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has confirmed that electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) like e-cigarettes, vaporizers, vape pens, atomizers, and ENDS are allowed in checked baggage as long as they don’t break the rules about dangerous chemicals.
Is it possible to stow a vaporizer on a plane?
Although many electronic cigarettes (e-cigs) are designed to look like conventional cigarettes, there are also many alternatives. Some look like normal pens, while others are USB drives.
So, you could say that vaping devices are easier to hide than regular cigarettes, but only when they are not being used.
However, vaping devices require charging, which is a major inconvenience. Most vape pen users will need to charge their devices before boarding a plane because very few aircraft have power outlets. The most common method of charging electronic gadgets is through a USB connection to a computer or other device.
This is when the difficulty level increases. You can have the most discreet vape pen on the planet, but sooner or later you’ll need to pull out your laptop to plug it in for a charge.
People using computers and other electronic devices will be under close surveillance, and security guards will likely ask what an unmarked gadget plugged into a laptop is.
Believe it or not, the TSA does not restrict disposable vapes from being packed in checked baggage. Cigarettes and regular BIC lighters are no different.
When you go through security, will they ask to see your vape?
It’s possible, but not likely, that TSA will confiscate your e-cigarette.
The TSA can’t take the disposable vaporizer away from you unless it sets off the metal detector or is found during a pat-down. Where’s my e-cigarette?
If you want to bring a disposable vape onto an aircraft, you should pack it away in the X-ray bin along with all of your other devices.
There shouldn’t be any trouble getting your vaporizer back to you after you’ve passed through security.
What Happens to a Disposable Vape If It Is Inside Checked Luggage?
When it comes to disposable vapes and other e-cigarettes, the TSA takes a tough stand.
Unlike liquids, which can be checked in with your luggage, electronic devices like disposable vaporizers cannot be checked in with your luggage.
The main reason for this ban is that lithium-ion batteries, which are often found in disposable vapes, can cause fires if they are used in the wrong way.
No matter how old you are, the TSA has the right to seize and perhaps prosecute you for having a disposable vape in your checked baggage.
If it’s not located and kept in the plane’s cargo hold, everyone on board is at risk if a fire breaks out.