Updated: April 2021
Have you ever been confused about vaping etiquette? Or where you can vape?
There’s plenty of advice out there. But you’ll find some of it is written by journalists who don’t vape but feel it is their right to lecture us on how we should behave.
Ideally, etiquette should be decided by vapers. But, as we found out when we put the question on social media, even vapers disagree on correct behaviour.
So the title of this post isn’t 100% accurate. Consider the below to be suggestions rather than rules for vape etiquette, but we also ran a survey to find out what actual vapers think.
(You can see the survey results here: Vaping Etiquette: What 1100 vapers think).
1. Vaping in public? Use common sense.
Don’t vape where you wouldn’t smoke, we’re often told. But what about, for example, my three local pubs, which are happy to let people vape?
Almost all of the smokers in my local pub have switched to e-cigarettes. (Perhaps because of that sensible attitude to vaping.) Instead of huddling outside in the freezing cold, they can be seen enjoying a vape in the corner. After years of pub discussion (which, ahem, I may have been involved in…), the non-smokers are very tolerant of vaping.
At the same time, while several studies have shown there is no risk of passive vaping, it’s only going to antagonise people if you vape in places where it is not allowed. A simple query can help with that. Then stop going there if they say no 😉
Here’s what one vaper on our Google + page had to say:
Always ask permission before you vape. Never walk into a restaurant or business, office, anything and randomly start vaping. There’s a fear with people who don’t understand it and they see vapers as being “entitled @#!%@’s” for “forcing” it on other people. Be chill if they say they don’t allow vaping. It’s not your house so it’s not your rules. And by being a responsible and respectful person you change the way people see us. To me that’s the most important thing.
(A list of pubs which allow vaping can be found here. They deserve your support!)
2. Stealth vaping
Obviously, I have never stealth vaped. And if I had, I wouldn’t admit it here 😉
But really, you should never stealth vape somewhere you’re not allowed to, as if people do notice they could become very irate. Plus it’s hardly going to give us vapers a good name!
3. Blowing clouds of vapour in people’s faces
Even vapers get annoyed when other vapers do this!
It may not be as irritating as smoke, but it’s still irritating. It’s usually not hard to blow vapour towards an area where there are no people around.
Still, should this be an absolute rule? What if you’re with your mates in a vape shop and they don’t mind?
4. Vape snobbery
Some vapers do look down on other vapers because of the size or specifications of their device. If you are using a custom-made, one-off steam-punk mechanical mod, you may find it hard to understand why someone else prefers to use a cigalike.
Image above via ECigAdvanced.
But I believe the device that people need depends on them, their preferences, their experiences and their technical ability.
And while discussion and advice are brilliant, vape snobbery is just bad vape etiquette!
5. Attacking Smokers
Converts make the worst fanatics, they say.
This applies to some vapers too.
Having switched to electronic cigarettes, this sub-group of vapers feel they have the right to look down on and criticise smokers in the same way non-smokers once did to them.
But don’t smokers have the right to make their own choices?
6. Avoid aggression, contain frustration
When you lose your temper, you lose the argument.
Not only did anti-vapers like John Ashton lose the argument, they lost all respect.
It’s not always easy to keep your temper when you are a vaper.
Newspapers seem schizophrenic on the matter. There is a deliberate, well-funded campaign to spread lies and many people are completely ignorant about vaping (which doesn’t stop them from loudly sharing their opinions!)
But staying calm and explaining the facts is key to winning the vape debate. Which also leads on to:
7. Inform and educate
This is perhaps a bit of a stretch for basic vape etiquette, although I am not the only vaper to think it is important:
— Dr. Johnny Twovapes, VBOSB (@mihotep) January 21, 2015
But to me the ideal vaper is well informed on at least the nuts and bolts of the issue. They understand the basic science, they understand that, contrary to popular opinion, there has been tonnes of research, and they are willing to calmly and politely correct the uninformed.
Of course, there is a final line between informing and lecturing, as Mike pointed out on Facebook:
don’t sermonize smokers about the benefits of vaping – if they want to find out about it, they will ask (of course, if they ask, please share with them your success story).
8. Food and Vaping
Some of my colleagues in the office believe you shouldn’t vape at meals, believing the smell puts other diners off.
I am not so sure, but then I love the smell – and a post-meal vape. Of course, as Jan pointed out on our Facebook page, it does depend what you are vaping:
AppleBees is ok to Vape [at the table] and I had one lady tell me that the chocolate made her order dessert because it smelled so good.
What do you think?
9. Don’t use other people’s vapes without asking first
This seems so obvious I nearly didn’t put it in – until a colleague told me it had happened to her!
Surely it’s only polite to ask if you can use someone’s e-cigarette, before picking it up and taking a puff.
(In these times of Covid this is, of course, even more important now than when this post was first written.)
10. Cloud Chasing
Here’s another tricky one. Blowing huge clouds of vaper can be intimidating for non-vapers. In fact, some cloud chasers avoid doing it in public. On the other hand, don’t we have the right to do what we want when it doesn’t hurt other people?
Like some of the other issues, this is a tricky one. Perhaps calling for more subtle distinctions (blow a vapour cloud in a park, maybe not on a busy sidewalk?) would be more appropriate?
The polite vaper may choose to have a second, more discreet device for use in situations where it’s okay to vape, but not acceptable to blow huge clouds.
One discreet device I am really enjoying at the moment is the Smok Novo X. Although solidly built, this device fits neatly into the hand or pocket, which means it doesn’t draw undue attention to you. Coming with a 0.8Ω coil, this device gives a satisfying MTL vape, but won’t fill up a room with vapour.
Another option here is to use a pod mod. These can often be used for different styles of vaping. For example, the Voopoo Drag S/X works with coils varying from 0.15Ω to 1.2Ω, meaning it can be used for both MTL and DL vaping.
VooPoo Drag S
- Choose between clouds or MTL vape
- Compact but powerful with up to 60 watts of power
- Automatic coil detection and wattage selection
- USB-C quick charging
At the end of the day vape etiquette is not rocket science. Be polite and respectful, remembering that some people have views coloured by misinformation, and you should be fine!