Traveling on a plane involves going through security checkpoints and adhering to strict rules about what you can bring on board.

If you want to light up a cigarette or candle during your flight, you may be wondering if your electric lighter will make it past the TSA.

Here’s a quick answer: most electric lighters are not allowed on planes, but there are some regulations you need to follow in case you still want to bring one with you.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explain the TSA rules on electric lighters, which types are prohibited, how to pack them correctly, and tips for using electric lighters safely on your next flight.

TSA Rules for Electric Lighters on Airplanes

When it comes to traveling with electric lighters, it’s important to be aware of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) rules and regulations.

The TSA has specific guidelines in place to ensure the safety of all passengers on board. Here’s what you need to know:

Electric lighters don’t contain fuel or flammable liquid

Unlike traditional lighters that use fuel or flammable liquid, electric lighters operate by creating an electric arc that ignites the material you’re trying to light.

This means that they do not pose the same fire hazard as traditional lighters. As a result, the TSA allows electric lighters to be transported on airplanes.

Non-torch style lighters are permitted

While electric lighters are generally allowed on airplanes, it’s important to note that only non-torch style lighters are permitted.

Torch-style lighters, which produce a high-intensity flame, are not allowed in carry-on bags or checked luggage due to their increased fire risk.

Non-torch style lighters, on the other hand, produce a lower intensity flame and are considered safer for air travel.

Lighters must be on your person or in carry-on bags

According to the TSA regulations, electric lighters must be kept on your person or in your carry-on bags. They are not allowed in checked luggage.

This is because the TSA can easily inspect carry-on bags, whereas checked luggage goes through a different screening process.

By keeping your electric lighter with you, you ensure that it is readily accessible for inspection if needed.

It’s important to note that regulations may vary depending on the country and airline you are traveling with.

For the most accurate and up-to-date information, it’s always a good idea to check the TSA website or contact your airline directly before traveling.

Types of Electric Lighters Banned on Planes

When it comes to traveling by plane, it’s important to be aware of what items are allowed and what are prohibited.

This includes electric lighters, which can be a convenient alternative to traditional flame lighters. However, there are certain types of electric lighters that are banned on planes due to safety concerns.

Torch-style plasma lighters

Torch-style plasma lighters, also known as arc lighters, are not allowed on planes.

These lighters use a high-voltage electric arc to create a flameless heat source, making them popular among smokers and outdoor enthusiasts.

However, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) considers these lighters hazardous because they contain lithium-ion batteries, which have the potential to overheat or catch fire.

According to the FAA:

“Passengers and crew members are prohibited from carrying on their person, in carry-on baggage, or in checked baggage any lithium-ion battery-powered portable electronic smoking devices (e.g., e-cigarettes, e-cigs, e-cigars, e-pipes, personal vaporizers, electronic nicotine delivery systems).”

Therefore, it’s important to leave your torch-style plasma lighter at home when you’re planning to fly.

Lighters that look like weapons

Another type of electric lighter that is banned on planes is any lighter that resembles a weapon. This includes lighters shaped like guns, knives, or other dangerous objects.

These lighters can create confusion and potentially lead to security concerns, so it’s best to avoid bringing them on board.

Lighters with exposed heating elements

Lighters with exposed heating elements are also prohibited on planes. These lighters typically have a coil or other heating element that is visible and can cause burns if touched.

The concern is that these lighters could accidentally ignite other items in the aircraft cabin, posing a fire hazard.

It’s important to note that not all electric lighters are banned on planes.

There are certain types, such as flameless lighters that do not use lithium-ion batteries or have any exposed heating elements, which are allowed.

However, it’s always a good idea to check with the airline or the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) before traveling to ensure that your specific electric lighter is permitted.

How to Pack an Electric Lighter in Your Carry-On

Place in a clear plastic bag at security

When traveling with an electric lighter, it is important to follow the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) guidelines to ensure a smooth and hassle-free journey.

To pack your electric lighter in your carry-on bag, make sure to place it in a clear plastic bag at security.

This is necessary to comply with the TSA’s regulations regarding the transportation of lighters.

By placing your electric lighter in a clear plastic bag, it allows the security officers to easily inspect it without any confusion or delays.

Store battery upright to prevent fluid leaks

One important aspect to consider when packing an electric lighter is how to store the battery.

To prevent any potential fluid leaks, it is recommended to store the battery upright.

This will help to minimize the likelihood of any leakage during the flight.

Additionally, storing the battery upright will also make it easier for security officers to inspect the lighter, as they can clearly see that it is properly stored and poses no safety risks.

Keep lighter switches in the ‘off’ position

Another important tip when packing an electric lighter in your carry-on bag is to ensure that the lighter switches are in the ‘off’ position.

This is essential for safety reasons and to avoid accidentally activating the lighter during the flight.

By keeping the switches off, you eliminate the risk of any sparks or flames being ignited.

It is always better to be safe than sorry, so take a few seconds to double-check that the switches are turned off before packing your electric lighter in your carry-on bag.


We hope this guide has provided useful information on bringing your electric lighter on a commercial flight.

The key takeaways are that most electric lighters are TSA-approved, but certain torch-style and weaponized lighters are banned.

When going through security, keep your lighter packed properly to avoid confiscated. Finally, use caution and courtesy when lighting up on the plane.

Safe travels on your next trip, and may your electric lighter flick on flawlessly when you need it!

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