Well, although you cannot smoke cigarettes on a plane, you can still take them in your hand luggage and in your checked bags. The same is true of cigars, pipe/rolling tobacco, chewing tobacco and other types of smokeless tobacco.
You can take cigarettes on a plane and there is no restriction on the amount of cigarettes or tobacco you can carry with you as far as airport security and airline regulations are concerned. There is a difference between flying domestically and international though.
If you are flying on a domestic flight then you have nothing to worry about. However, if you are flying internationally, then you need to bear in mind that there may be restrictions on the amount of tobacco related products you can take into, or back into, the country with you. See the section below on Customs restrictions for various countries.
It goes without saying, or at least it should, that under no circumstances should you even consider taking any other substances that you may smoke of an illegal nature on a flight with you.
If you will be flying out of a UK airport you may find my article “Can you smoke in UK and Irish airports? A full list of airport smoking areas” of interest.
Customs allowances for cigarettes
If traveling internationally you must consider what the customs restrictions may be on taking cigarettes into another country. Most countries give a duty free allowance but anything over that allowance is likely to be confiscated or you will have to pay duty on them.
All of the following relate to passengers of 18 years of age or older. You should check on the local authorities website to ensure this hasn’t changed.
If flying into (or returning to) the US then Customs and Border Protection limits the number of cigarettes you can bring into the country from most foreign countries to 200 cigarettes, or 100 cigars. But you can bring up to 1,000 cigarettes (five cartons) into the country from a few islands ie. the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, Guam and the Virgin Islands.
If flying into the UK from another EU country then you can bring:
- 800 cigarettes or
- 200 cigars or
- 400 cigarillos or
- 1Kg of tobacco
If flying in to the UK from a non-EU country then you can bring:
- 200 cigarettes or
- 50 cigars or
- 100 cigarillos or
- 250g of tobacco
- 200 cigarettes or
- 50 cigars or
- 200 grams (7 ounces) of manufactured tobacco or
- 200 tobacco sticks (whatever they are?)
Australia is more restrictive than many countries as you can only take 50 cigarettes or 50 grams of cigars or tobacco into the country with you.
Giving the full cigarette allowances for every country in the world is obviously beyond the scope of this article. I suggest you do a search online to find out the limits elsewhere.
What smoking related products can you take?
Lighters and matches
You can take a lighter or safety matches in your carry on or on your person, generally, but not in your checked bags. See my full article for full details on what lighters you can and cannot take – Can you take a lighter on a plane?
These must go in your checked bags as they are classed as sharp objects. if you attempt to take them through the security checkpoint it is likely that they will be confiscated by the security agent.
Yes you can take your pipes on a plane but obviously you cannot light them, which will probably be a relief to those sitting close.
Other airport security articles
If you found this “Can you take cigarettes on a plane?” useful then you may also wish to read: