If you've ever been stuck in an airplane near a passenger who snores, chews with an open mouth, flosses teeth or coughs constantly while sitting right next to you, you already know the pain of being up close and personal with a stranger's otherwise innocuous personal habits, with no possibility of escape. So even if you're an avid chewer of smokeless tobacco, perhaps you'll consider skipping your habit until the flight is over – or at least checking with your airline before dipping, because most don't allow the use of smokeless tobacco during a flight.

TSA and Airline Rules for Chewing Tobacco

You don't have to worry about getting your chewing tobacco through the airport security checkpoint – the Transportation Security Administration explicitly states that you can pack it in your checked bags or carry-on luggage. However, if you're thinking of chewing while in flight, make sure you check with the airline first. Most of them completely prohibit the use of chewing tobacco in flight, and the Internet is already rife with reports from your fellow travelers complaining that being subjected to the smell, sound and sight of another traveler's chewed tobacco is one of the most unpleasant experiences they've endured on a plane.


If you struggle not to chew, keeping the tin out of sight or easy reach can help. Consider packing it in your checked bags instead of your carry-on, or tucking it into the bottom of your carry-on where it'll be less of a temptation.

Chewing Tobacco for International Travelers

While the TSA handles security screenings within the United States, U.S. Customs and Border Protection is in charge of deciding what you can and can't bring with you when you return to the United States from another country.

Although the U.S. CBP specifies strict limits on importing cigarettes and cigars – you're allowed up to 200 cigarettes and 100 cigars in most cases, if you are at least 21 years old – the rules for bringing loose tobacco and chewing tobacco depend on your port of entry back into the United States. So even if you weren't planning on chewing the tobacco you're bringing back into the U.S. in your luggage, you should first look up your port of entry's contact information on the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website, and then contact the port directly to inquiry what quantity of chewing tobacco you're allowed to transport across the border.