Will a JUUL Set Off a Metal Detector? Answers Before Your Flight

  • By: Chris
  • Last updated on December 20, 2022
  • Time to read: 12 min.
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Vaping has become a popular option to conventional smoking methods, and JUUL vapes were the leaders in the industry for a time.

Not only is it surprisingly healthier than smoking cigarettes, but this form of e-cigarette allows nicotine users to experience different flavors, adding to its popularity.

However, there’s one disadvantage that cigarettes don’t include. 

A pack of Marlboro won’t get you searched by every metal detector operator you encounter.

That’s why I’m here to help.

As a metal detector fanatic, I’ll introduce you to the world where JUULs and metal detectors clash.

So, keep reading, and you’ll get all the answers you want.

Will a JUUL Set Off a Metal Detector?

will a juul set off metal detector
A metal detector picking up a JUUL doesn’t generally happen, but it’s not impossible.

In a hurry?

I get it. Sometimes you want an answer without having to dig for it. 

But if you want to truly understand how JUULs react around metal detectors and what you can do about it, continue!

The answer to your question is not a one-size fits all solution.

A JUUL could set off a metal detector, but it’s no sure thing.

Going undetected through a metal detector with a JUUL will rely on the type and size of metal in your JUUL and the level of sensitivity on the walk-through metal detector.

What is a JUUL?

what is a juul
A JUUL is not a disposable vape like Elf Bars, but they work the same way.

To better understand why detectors pick up JUULs (or don’t), you have to know what they are, inside and out.

So let’s start with some all-around facts important to a metal detector.

A JUUL device is a closed-system vaporizer that heats a nicotine-containing liquid to produce a minimal amount of aerosol vapor.

They are designed to give you a flavorful nicotine taste that’s easier for smokers on the go.

The e-liquid in JUULS, offered in only two flavors after an FDA ban, is stored in a small cartridge or cart known as a JUULpod.

FDA ban on juuls
The FDA banned many of the JUUL flavors for appealing to minors.

The amount of nicotine in each vape can vary. 

But according to a 2021 Standford and University of California study on JUULpods, the nicotine found in a single pod ranged between 39.3 mg to 48.3 mg.

In comparison, a traditional cigarette contains about 10 milligrams of nicotine.

In simpler terms, each JUULpod comes with enough liquid for about 200 puffs (give or take), after which the pod should be thrown away and replaced with a new one.

The JUUL vape is not disposable and allows for pod replacement and battery charging.

Why does this matter to you?

Well, most disposable vapes are made with a plastic casing, which won’t set off a metal detector.

But JUUL doesn’t use plastic in their covers.

What Are JUULs Made Of?

what are juuls made of
JUULs are made of several materials, including plastic and aluminum.

Each vape is different, and individual manufacturers use carefully chosen materials like plastic or a zinc alloy during the assembly process. 

JUULs are made of aluminum covers that conceal other metal components like the lithium-ion battery, circuit board, and pressure sensor.

And while the pods are plastic, a nichrome metal coil heater is used to heat the liquid and send the vapor through a stainless steel path.

Even the EC connectors have gold present in them.

Does JUUL Have Lithium Battery?

does juul have lithium battery
JUULs do use lithium-ion batteries to power the coil.

JUULs have a battery made of a little more than a tenth of a gram of lithium, known as lithium-ion.

This is the metal used to manufacture cell phones and other popular electronics. 

And if you had any doubt, your Macbook will indeed set off a metal detector.

How Does JUUL Work?

A JUUL functions similarly to a disposable vape as it’s draw-activated.

Once your JUUL is charged, and you insert a fresh JUULpod, inhale from the mouthpiece to activate the internal coil.

The coil heats the e-liquid and creates the vapor sent through the metal path.

how does juul work
A JUUL works like a disposable vape, except you can replace the cart and charge the battery.

When all liquid has turned to vapor, you can dispose of the pod and replace it with a new one.

Don’t forget that your used JUULpods contain unused nicotine chemicals, so you shouldn’t just toss them in the trash.

The FDA recommends alternate ways to dispose of any e-cigarette products safely.

Can JUULs Go Through Metal Detectors?

Ok, now you have a healthy understanding of how JUULs work and what metals they consist of.

Now let’s apply all that info to metal detectors and their operation.

So, can JUULs go through metal detectors?

can juuls go through metal detectors
Most of the time, a JUUL can go through a metal detector without a problem.

Yes and no.

Metal detectors function by identifying the corresponding magnetic field of any metal classified as an adequate conductor of electricity. 

If magnetic fields are new to you, read up on the different kinds of metals a detector can detect.

The indecisiveness around JUULs getting through a metal detector hidden is due to the scope of their metals and existing conductive properties.

A vape is relatively tiny, and its components underneath the casing are even more undersized.

When was the last time you went to a concert or festival and set off a metal detector just by the zipper on your coat?

setting off alarm because of zipper at concert
If your zipper is setting off a metal detector alarm, security over-calibrates their detector.

Can’t remember?

What about going through airport security when a TSA agent asks you to step aside? Is that piercing you didn’t tell mom about making you nervous?

Honestly, this usually doesn’t happen. 

That’s because the acuity of a metal detector is typically calibrated to a level where trace amounts of metal aren’t detected.

Otherwise, you’d be waiting for your turn through the machine all day.

Additional pieces of metal would be needed to reach the threshold setting of a metal detector’s alarm.

For instance, your JUUL, silver watch, and disposable lighter could be enough conductive property to set it off.

In short, JUULs can and most likely will go through metal detectors hidden from detection, but it depends on more than one variable outside your control.

Will a JUUL Set Off a Metal Detector at the Airport?

will a juul set off a metal detector at the airport
Airport metal detectors work the same as in other places. But TSA does have access to more advanced technology.

The aluminum casing of the JUUL and the internal metallic parts will set off an airport metal detector if the sensitivity feature is heightened enough.

TSA agents also use advanced imaging technology (AIT) to scan passengers as an alternative to the traditional walk-through metal detector.

I cover these AIT machines in more detail if you’re interested.

But basically, they scan your entire body using millimeter waves, and if an area is targeted on the display screen for further screening, TSA agents will investigate.

However, these areas aren’t targeted through means of electromagnetic fields. They’re targeted because the machine identifies something out of place, like an unusual bump in your clothing.

But look on the bright side!

do juuls set off metal detectors
Believe it or not, JUULS can be taken on a plane with you.

You can take your JUUL with you on a plane if you keep them in your carry-on bag and abide by the defined instructions of TSA and FAA.

So, if you’re worried about getting caught, don’t be.

You can check out the FAA policies here. 

But the major focus behind the precautionary steps is to limit the chance of randomly powering on your JUUL.

This includes placing your JUUL in a clear plastic bag or extracting the battery.

If you’re bringing numerous JUULs, the FAA asks you to stow each in its independent case.

Can You Put a JUUL in Checked Baggage?

can you put a juul in checked baggage
JUULs can’t go into check luggage because of the fire hazard they pose.

Unfortunately, you can’t put a JUUL vape inside your checked baggage for the safety of passengers and crew.

And I wouldn’t test that rule, either.

When you check into your flight, your checked bags are taken, dropped on a conveyer belt, and sent for electronic screening. However, airline workers and TSA agents can personally inspect your baggage if they choose to.

If your checked bag is inspected, you’ll find a notice inside from the Transportation Security Administration.

And after your JUUL is found in your checked baggage, it’ll be confiscated by TSA, and you’d be subject to a fine.

TSA will confiscate your JUUL
TSA will confiscate your JUUL if they find it in your checked bag.

Would you be fined? Maybe, maybe not.

But breaking TSA rules is punishable by a penalty of up to $13,669 per violation.

However, most of the time, your vape will just be confiscated.

You might be asking, why the steep fine when your JUUL is permitted with you on the plane?

The TSA has a tough perspective on this because vapes use lithium-ion batteries. These batteries come at a risk of fire with the right conditions.

And I don’t have to tell you that fire is the last thing you want to happen under the belly of an aircraft.

Does TSA Check JUUL Pods?

does TSA check juul pods
TSA has the right to check JUULpods, but they usually don’t.

How about some more good news?

TSA could care less about your JUULpods. 

As long as you follow their guidelines for e-liquids, TSA has no reason to check your JUULpods, and you can take them with you on a plane.

So, relax and travel carefree, knowing you won’t have to find a vape shop where you’re going.

JUUL Pods in Carry-on or Checked Bag?

This brings up an interesting thought. Your carry-on is the only method to travel with your JUUL.

But what about JUULpods? Do they have the same restrictions?

TSA does have rigid policies when it comes to taking liquids on planes. So, let’s talk about them.

juul pods in carry-on or checked bag
JUULpods can go in either a carry-on or checked bag. It’s up to you.

As for taking JUULpods in a carry-on, you can travel with at most 100 ml, or it must be packed in your checked baggage.

As it turns out, 100 ml of e-liquid is a lot!

According to JUUL, one pod holds about 0.7 ml of liquid, and a pack of 4 JUULpods contains 2.8 ml combined.

With a 100 ml limit, you could carry roughly 35 packs of JUULpods or 142 single pods on a plane.

What about limitations for packing JUULpods in your checked baggage?

Well, I’m happy to tell you that pods are allowed to be stored in your suitcase, unlike the JUUL device.

And according to the TSA, there’s no limit to how many JUULpods you can pack.

How to Sneak a JUUL on a Plane

how to sneak a juul on a plane
Check with TSA before you fly because JUULs are allowed on a plane if you take the required precautions.

First, let me start by saying clearly that in no way do I condone or even recommend sneaking a JUUL through a metal detector.

Whether it’s a school or just a random building with a bit more security, you should trust there’s a good reason your JUUL isn’t allowed.

Not to mention, it can be challenging to trick a metal detector built by brands known for their performance and technological advancement.

Regardless, there’s no point sneaking your JUUL on a plane since it’s not a prohibited device as long as you extract the battery and/or package it appropriately.

Check out my post on disposable vapes if you want to sneak your JUUL through a metal detector other than at an airport.

I lay out some simple strategies that might help you.

Will Sealed JUUL Pods Leak on a Plane?

will sealed juul pods leak on plane
Sealed JUULpods can leak on a plane, but it’s much more likely for JUULs with a punctured seal to leak.

Your sealed JUULpods will leak on a plane if the pressure in the cabin expands the air in the pod enough.

This occurs because the change in altitude of a plane causes the air pressure to rise and fall.

When the pressure rises, the air inside the pod will expand

If the ratio of air to e-liquid isn’t balanced, the expanding air will provide enough force to yield a leak to relieve the pressure.

However, it’s more common in already-opened JUULpods.

What Happens if You Hit a JUUL on a Plane?

what happens if you hit a juul on a plane
If you hit a JUUL on a plane, then be prepared for severe legal trouble.

strongly urge you not to use a JUUL on a plane. You’d really be asking for trouble.

But what happens if you disregard my sage advice?

If you hit a JUUL on a plane and are caught, you’ll face legal action and hefty fines under the FAA’s unruly passenger policy.

In 2021, airlines saw an exponential rise in unruly passenger issues, leading to a no-warning, zero-tolerance action plan.

To give you an example, an Allegiant Air passenger was fined $16,700 in January 2021 for smoking in the airplane bathroom.

Will a JUUL Set Off Airplane Smoke Detector?

will a juul set off airplane smoke detector
Airplanes use smoke detectors designed to detect vape particles in the air.

Yes, a JUUL will set off airplane smoke detectors.

Three types of detectors are certified for airplane use; ionized-area, photoelectric-area, and photoelectric-ducted.

Each of these smoke detectors used on airplanes can detect the vapor of your JUUL using different methods.

Once the smoke detector alerts the flight crew, you could receive a fine, be banned from the airline, and face legal action.

So please don’t do it. Trust me on this one.

FAQs About JUULs and Metal Detectors

FAQs about Juuls and metal detectors
Get all your JUUL questions answered.

Didn’t get all the answers you needed? Then keep reading!

How Many JUUL Pods Can You Bring on a Plane?

I mentioned this earlier, but if you were to carry JUULpods utilizing your personal bag, you could theoretically bring 142 JUULpods on the plane.

This is based on the 100 ml e-liquid limit TSA imposes.

If you decide to pack them in your checked bag instead, there’s no limit to the number of pods you can bring.

Can I Bring a JUUL Into Disney?

You can bring a JUUL into Disney property but may only use it in designated outdoor areas.

Whether in Disney World or Disneyland, you can bring your JUUL to the hotels, the parks, and the shopping districts.

However, using them outside the prohibited areas will land you in hot water.

If you’re caught using your JUUL in the Disney hotel room, patio, or balcony, you’ll have to pay a $250 to $500 room-recovery fee.

can you bring a juul into Disney
Disney allows the use of JUULs as long as you only vape in permissible areas.

Can You Bring a JUUL on a Plane as a Minor?

TSA will not take your vape just because you are a minor. 

The Transportation Security Administration is in charge of securing passenger safety, not upholding state and federal legislation that mandate the legal smoking age.

However, if you leave your JUUL inside your checked baggage, TSA could confiscate it for flight safety precautions.

How Long Does a JUUL Pod Last?

A JUULpod has no expiration date, but it will diminish in flavor and nicotine content over time.

As for how much use you can get out of them?

A single JUULpod should last a day for heavier smokers, but this will vary based on the strength of each puff.

JUULpods have an average of 200 puffs in each pod, equivalent to a pack of cigarettes, so each vaper will have a different experience.

Final Thoughts

Vapes are a rising trend but JUUL has fallen
As vaping popularity goes up, JUUL struggles to keep up.

Vapes are a rising trend in the smoking world, and JUUL was once at the top of the food chain. 

But even now, they still have the same drawbacks as any other vape, being detectable by metal detectors.

While it’s never going to be a guarantee that it’s detected, it’s a thought you have to consider.

You can improve your odds of not getting caught by removing any jewelry or metals on your body before walking through a metal detector.

But even still, you can’t control the metal detector’s sensitivity.

As for bringing one on a plane, there’s no need to be sneaky about it. Just follow TSA rules, and your JUUL won’t be left behind.

I hope you’ve gotten the answers you needed. If not, search my site. I detail other vaping brands directly and talk about their connection to metal detectors.

Until next time!

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