Vaping Etiquette: The Do’s and Don’ts Explained
One of the most contentious issues in the public debate about vaping is whether “second hand” or “passive” vaping is something to worry about. The risks of second-hand smoke has led to widespread bans on indoor smoking, but large parts of the U.S. and many countries around the world are currently in limbo when it comes to whether you’re allowed to vape indoors. Thanks to the huge difference in risk between vaping and smoking, many places technically permit vaping in “no smoking” areas, but it’s not as simple as following the letter of the law.
While you may be allowed to vape somewhere in theory, there is a lot more to consider in practice, and the issue largely comes down to the unwritten rules of etiquette. Should we vape indoors just because it’s technically allowed, or should we stand out with the smokers because it’s more polite to people who don’t like vapor? Will our decision affect how people see vaping and vapers on the whole?
First Things First: Is Second Hand Vapor Harmful?
Although the discussion is about etiquette, rather than risk, the issue of whether passive vaping harms people is central to the decision. If vaping is harmful to bystanders, then it would make a lot more sense to stand outside with the smokers, but if it isn’t, then the issue is more one of politeness than anything else.
The general conclusion from the studies so far is that if there is a risk from passive vaping, it’s not going to be a very big one at all. The research has focused on the chemicals emitted by e-cigs into the indoor air, and a couple of recent studies have either found no measurable increase in chemicals like formaldehyde and acetaldehyde during vaping or small increases in formaldehyde. In this example, the researchers found a rise from 0.032 mg per cubic meter of ordinary air to about 0.038 mg after vaping – a tiny difference. The picture is much the same for other harmful chemicals: most aren’t detected at all in studies of passive vaping.
Although the main ingredients in the vapor are found in these studies, propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin (PG and VG) aren’t a known health risk, especially in such small quantities. As for nicotine, it is released from vaping but at about 10 times lower levels than in cigarette smoke, and the amount isn’t even high enough to have any effect on somebody breathing it passively.
The short version is that passive vaping doesn’t have much potential to do any harm at all. If we breathed clean air all of the time, then maybe vaping would make a difference, but as things stand, studies usually fail to detect a difference in the levels of harmful chemicals always in the air (which are too low to be really dangerous) and the levels when people are vaping. Vaping may look like it pollutes the air, but the difference it makes is negligible. In other words, the etiquette debate really is about etiquette.
When is it OK to Vape in Public?
This is the big question underpinning the whole issue of e-cigarette etiquette: when is it OK to vape? The question might sound simple, but it’s deceptively complicated and opinions vary quite wildly.
Vaping in Bars, Restaurants, and Other Indoor Locations: Can You Vape Indoors?
For the most part, the question of vaping etiquette is about bars, restaurants, cafes and other indoor locations where smoking was once permitted. The public has gotten used to these areas being smoke-free, and even though vapor is not smoke, the abundance of misinformation coupled with how it looks has led many people to be worried about being exposed to the vapor. Do we need to accommodate this discomfort by willingly vaping outdoors when it isn’t technically necessary or should our right to vape should take precedence?
Steve K.’s response stressed the fact that not all indoor situations are the same when it comes to vaping indoors, and we should base our decision on the individual case:
“I think it’s a situational thing to vape indoors. It depends really on the type of establishment, how crowded a place is and so on. I’d be more comfortable vaping in a bar or an empty office for example than I would in a preschool. If it’s a place you never smoked in during the 50’s chances are good you shouldn’t vape now.” – Steve K. (Steve K’s Vaping World)
While James and Morten both stressed the importance of politeness, there is general agreement that the decision should be made based on the specific situation rather than a “one-size-fits-all” answer:
“Despite fighting hard against the Welsh ban on public vaping, I’m of the opinion we should be courteous and respect people around us. So I wouldn’t vape in a restaurant where people are eating, and I wouldn’t vape somewhere I knew it was forbidden.
In fact, part of our argument against the Welsh ban was that it is more appropriate for decisions on bans to be made at the micro level than at government level, so it could be self-defeating to flout bans!
“On the other hand, we fought for the right to vape in public places for a reason. I certainly vape in my local pubs and when I am outdoors (I would probably refrain in places like a children’s playground, though.)” – James Dunworth (E-Cigarette Direct)
“I seldom vape in indoor public locations, to be honest. And I almost never see other vapers do it either here in Norway. Some people are annoyed by the smell and I think it’s only fair that we respect that. It does, however, depend a bit on the location. In huge rooms with high ceilings, I think it might be acceptable as other would hardly notice it. In any case, try to blow the vapor away from people.” – Morten Moe (The Vaping Giraffe)
The general agreement that the answer depends on the situation means there is something of a consensus from vapers, but it doesn’t translate to a set of recommendations. However, the responses do suggest there are a few things to think about when you’re considering whether you should vape indoors:
- What type of establishment is it? Potentially the most important and definitely the simplest way to determine whether you should vape somewhere is considering the type of place it is. For example, in theory, vaping in a bar shouldn’t be an issue, but in a shopping mall or anywhere frequented by kids you should probably refrain. As Steve said, “if it’s a place you never smoked in during the 50’s chances are good you shouldn’t vape now.”
- Do people go there to eat? Related to the above (but a bit more complicated, as we discuss below) is that you should consider people who are eating. Although it won’t necessarily bother them (and it definitely wouldn’t be as bad as smoking), it’s understandable that if people are eating that gives you a reason to avoid vaping. Your e-juice might be delicious, but the diner at the next table might not want periodic wafts of strawberries and cream when they’re trying to tuck into a steak.
- How busy is it? Both Morten and Steve pointed out how busy the location is should be a consideration when you’re determining whether or not you should vape. If you’re in a more crowded location, you’re more likely to run into somebody who is bothered by vapor, and there’s less you can do to keep it away from people, so it may be better to head outside.
- Are there house rules? This is a simple one: if there are rules about vaping wherever you are, follow them. As James argues, the decision should ideally be left up to establishments, so we should at least respect their choices.
The Golden Rule for Indoor Vaping Etiquette: If In Doubt, Ask!
If all of the above doesn’t lead you in the right direction, the foolproof solution is to simply ask. This is true in public places like bars and restaurants but is also the best approach if you want to vape around at a friend’s house.
Morten and James both agree wholeheartedly:
“I always ask for permission, and I always respect the answer. I’ve never gotten a “no” from a friend as I think all my friends are now properly educated on the matter. In restaurants or pubs, it varies a bit. The most usual answer is actual “I don’t know”. Then it depends on a bit on the situation. In a restaurant, I probably wouldn’t vape unless I get a straight out “yes”, in a pub surrounded by semi-drunk Vikings I would. My advice, in any case, is to always ask before you vape inside.” – Morten Moe
“If I’m in a new place I might ask if I was unsure. I would also ask if am round at a friend’s house and wasn’t sure about their attitude to vaping. (I’ve never had a “no” yet!)” – James Dunworth
Steve agrees too, but his penchant for “stealth vaping” means he doesn’t often need to in public places:
“At a friend’s house, [I ask]. At a public place, usually, not because I generally don’t vape in a way to draw attention to myself.” – Steve K.
However, he adds this piece of excellent advice too:
“Try to use a little common sense and courtesy when deciding to vape. If you’re telling yourself “screw ‘em I don’t care what they think” you might be making the wrong choice.” – Steve K.
E-Cigarette Direct actually surveyed 1,100 vapers on etiquette-related issues, and the results were pretty unanimous across all questions. On the issue of indoor vaping, 58 percent responded that you should only vape if permission has been given. This underlines the importance of asking, but your discretion can usually lead you to the right answer. Only 7.5 percent thought we have a right to vape wherever we want.
What About Outdoors?
Deciding whether it’s alright to vape indoors is a bit of a thorny issue, but outdoors things get much simpler. The already tenuous arguments based on potential health risk fall completely flat, and even the idea that vaping would be intrusive to people around you is a lot harder to defend. In most cases, you’ll be able to vape so very few people even get a whiff of your e-juice. And given that you’ll be allowed to smoke outside in most cases anyway, it’s not too surprising that the vapers we spoke to all basically said there’s no issue with outdoor vaping.
Morten points out that since vapor is barely noticeable outdoors, there is no real issue:
“Outside I think it’s totally acceptable as it people wouldn’t be bothered by smell at all.” – Morten Moe
And like James – who said earlier that he vaped outside with the exception of some situations (like being in a children’s playground) – Steve K. argues that outdoor vaping is almost always OK:
“Outside is more open as far as I’m concerned. Maybe avoiding it while in the middle of a large crowd or a line is good sense to hold off, or at least try to be discrete.” – Steve K.
So taking some exceptions into account, you can largely vape outdoors without issues. It’s still the case that if you’re specifically asked not to vape where you are, you should avoid it, but this is much less likely when you’re outside.
To Cloud-Chase or Not to Cloud-Chase, That is the Question
But not all vaping is equal. There’s a big difference between having a discreet vape on a basic pen-style device and busting out your 150 W box mod and your dual Clapton coils: where one produces a fairly faint wisp of vapor, the other makes your vaping hard to miss, to say the least.
Often, the advice given on cloud-chasing in posts on vaping etiquette is to avoid doing it, and while this is understandable, the vapers we spoke to had a bit more of a nuanced view on the issue:
“Outside I don’t see why not. Again it’s all about respecting other people. If you’re in the middle of a crowd, don’t. If you’ve got some space, go right ahead. Now I’m not really a cloud chaser, but I do like quite a lot of vapor, but it’s all about respecting that some people might not want a huge cloud of vapor blown in their face, be it because they don’t appreciate the smell or because they are afraid it will harm them.” – Morten Moe
“Once again, I think it’s a situational thing. Nothing’s inherently wrong with cloud chasing, but that doesn’t give you the right to make an ass of yourself in the middle of the mall.” – Steve K.
“Again, I think you need to use discretion. For example, while it’s likely to be fine at your local pub where people know you, most people are not going to blow huge clouds of vapor in a bookshop or library. And there’s a whole range of situations in between where vapers will just have to use their common sense.
“Most vapers seem to agree with me – when I asked in a survey whether it was okay to blow clouds anywhere, only 3% said yes!” – James Dunworth
Overall, the advice on this is very similar to the advice on vaping in public on the whole – as long as you don’t go around blowing huge clouds in inappropriate situations you’re unlikely to really annoy anyone, but keeping the cloud-chasing outside is a nice balance. James’ survey drives this point home: 75.4 % of vapers surveyed said cloud-chasing is acceptable outside.
The next most common response in the survey was that it’s never acceptable to cloud-chase in public, which accounted for around 21 percent of responses. This is a substantial proportion of vapers, and if you count yourself among them then you should give yourself a pat on the back for being extra-considerate. However, the majority view seems completely fair: if you like clouds, just do it outside and it probably won’t bother anyone, or at very least it shouldn’t.
Is Stealth Vaping Acceptable, or Too Sneaky?
Stealth vaping is like the opposite to cloud chasing. Where cloud-chasers are looking for thick, voluminous clouds of vapor, stealth vapers try to vape without drawing any attention to themselves at all. For example, if you vape using a simple low-power device, a higher-PG e-juice and hold the vapor in for a little while before you exhale, there will barely be any visible vapor at all.
In many ways, stealth vaping seems like the perfect solution to the whole etiquette issue. We can be fairly confident that vaping isn’t going to pose a big risk to people second-hand, but the problem emerges because people who see clouds of vapor may feel as though it’s going to do them harm, or they may just not like it overall. So if you can vape without bothering people, surely that’s the best solution?
Steve and Morten both agree wholeheartedly:
“I’m an unapologetic stealth vaper. I would suggest avoiding it in situations where it could get you arrested, like on an airplane.” – Steve K.
“I think stealth vaping is quite OK, to be honest. It doesn’t harm anyone.” – Morten Moe
But there is another side to the issue: isn’t vaping when you shouldn’t rude, even if you do it sneakily? Surely it’s better to take it outside and respect the rules of wherever you are?
James acknowledged this side of things, but points out there’s still a good argument for stealth vaping:
“On the one hand, if you need to stealth vape you probably shouldn’t be vaping, but on the other hand, most of us do it at some time! I guess if you are not sure what the reception is likely to be it makes sense to be discrete.” – James Dunworth
In the survey James conducted, around two-thirds of respondents said that stealth vaping is “sometimes OK,” and this is in line with the answers we got from the vapers we spoke to. It’s true that stealth vaping strikes a nice balance between allowing us vapers to do something that isn’t going to cause harm to anybody and preventing any non-vapers from feeling uncomfortable, but that doesn’t mean that stealth vaping all the time is acceptable.
As with many aspects of this issue, using your own discretion and common sense is crucial. Should your stealth vape when you’re waiting to be called in for a job interview or when you’re on a flight? No! But in an unfamiliar bar, at a train station, maybe even at the movies because you don’t want to miss an important scene? Go for it; nobody will know and even if they did, they probably wouldn’t care anyway.
As James said, if you don’t know how it’s going to be received, stealth vaping makes sense, and as Morten and Steve said, it’ll probably be fine anyway.
Vaping Around People Eating
Although the sections above cover the key points when it comes to vaping etiquette, there are a couple more issues it’s worth thinking about before you hit the fire button.
First off, although restaurants are covered by the advice above for vaping indoors – and in general, the vapers we spoke to didn’t recommend vaping in restaurants – the issue is a bit more complicated when you think about other places people may be eating. For example, what if you’re in a vaping-friendly bar and the person at the table next to you has a meal brought over to them? Ordinarily, if you’re in a bar that allows vaping all you really have to do is avoid making things too cloudy in there, but what about when someone is eating? Should you take a break from vaping until they’re done or just keep going as usual?
The responses to this were a little mixed:
“In that situation, I think it’s OK to continue vaping. I might avoid blowing giant clouds toward the table that’s dining, but otherwise, there’s a form of implied consent in place.” – Steve K.
“The main purpose of a bar (or at least the ones I go to!) is for drinking and socializing, not eating, so I’d go for it.” – James Dunworth
“I wait until they’re done eating unless it’s outdoors and the wind blows the vapor away from them. I think it’s only polite.” – Morten Moe
Here the minor disagreement on the best way to proceed is definitely understandable. Steve’s point about the “implied consent” – i.e. you’re in a bar that allows vaping, so if you choose to eat there obviously you don’t mind vapor – is probably the most important thing to bear in mind, and it ties in closely with James’ point about the main purpose of bars. However, if you don’t mind taking a break, Morten’s approach is the most considerate.
This scenario might seem oddly specific, but the advice generally carries over to other non-restaurant eating situations. If it’s expected that you’ll be vaping wherever you are, then there isn’t much reason to stop; just don’t blow clouds all over their food! If you’re around at a friend or family member’s house, though, I’d generally go with Morten’s approach unless they’ve explicitly told you they don’t mind.
Vaping Around Kids
Finally, the usual concerns with etiquette are pushed into overdrive when children are present, and it’s easy to see why. As well as the concern about the potential risks of second-hand vaping, there is the additional issue of “setting a good example,” especially when you’re vaping around other people’s kids.
We asked the vapers about their approach when it comes to vaping around kids:
“I personally don’t vape when dropping my children off at school, although I might sneak out in a school function and have a sneaky vape outside! But it certainly depends on the situation. If a parent comes with their kids into one of our vape shops, then you are not going to stop vaping then! Once again, there are a range of situations in between where people need to use their judgments.” – James Dunworth
“It depends on the situation. Again, outside with some space around you, it’s OK. Inside, I don’t vape around other peoples kids. At home I do it, but I still try not to blow it in their faces. I know that it doesn’t harm my kids, but other parents might get worried.” – Morten Moe
“It depends on the situation. I will vape around my own kids because they know why I’m doing it. I try to avoid it around other’s children, especially if they aren’t familiar with the idea.” – Steve K.
On the whole, it’s much like other issues discussed in this post: it’s best to avoid vaping around other people’s kids, but in some situations, there is really no need to avoid it. And with your own kid’s things are a little different because you can explain what you’re doing and ensure they don’t get the wrong message.
Again, E-Cigarette Direct’s survey is in rough agreement with the responses we received. About 62 % of respondents said vaping around children is OK as long as it’s done with respect and with regards to the location, but about a third said it’s never OK. In short, it’s probably better to err on the side of politeness around kids, but in some situations, you can vape discreetly around children without causing any problems.
How Vaping Etiquette Impacts the Community as a Whole
So overall, despite the wide range of different situations you may encounter and the necessary nuances in the responses given by vapers, it’s safe to say that “be considerate, but use your common sense,” is a good, simple and to-the-point rule for vaping etiquette.
Take cloud-chasing, for example: being considerate tells you that cloud-chasing indoors will probably upset someone and is usually best avoided, but common sense leads you to the realistic conclusion that cloud-chasing outside is probably fine. For vaping around kids, being considerate tells you that you should avoid vaping around other people’s kids, but for some situations – like in a vape shop or a bar – common sense suggests that you don’t need to worry so much about it.
However, there’s another side to the issue, and some would even argue that it’s the reason vaping etiquette is important: how it makes vapers look overall. In other words, how we behave on a day-to-day basis is important for us in our everyday lives, but it could also impact on how people view the community or even the issue more broadly. The question is: are you hurting the vaping movement?
We asked the vapers if they thought how we carry ourselves in public reflects on the vaping movement on the whole:
“It matters. If vapers behave nicely around others the community as a whole will be viewed as polite, reasonable people that are only trying to quit smoking and help others do the same. People tend to generalize more than they like to admit themselves.” – Morten Moe
“Absolutely! When people see vapers carrying on like disrespectful douchebags, that paints the entire community and industry with the same brush. We lose the general public’s support. In extreme cases, it may even cause those people to become more active against vaping. That’s not something we can afford.” – Steve K.
“Absolutely. But vapers are a microcosm of society, so we can expect to see a range of behaviors and attitudes from them, just as we would expect this from society in general. Unfortunately, people have a tendency to take isolated examples of behavior and generalize it across the whole of a group. This is exacerbated by media. For example, I saw Gregory Conley from CASAA mention recently that he was cut out of a report because he was ‘too normal.’
“Even more unfortunately, this matters. Vapers are fighting restrictions or bans on e-cigarettes across the world, and the perception people have of vapers can influence whether our struggles succeed or fail!” – James Dunworth
The responses were unanimous: how you act in public does affect how people view vapers on the whole. It goes without saying that you shouldn’t allow one or two isolated examples to affect how you view a whole group of people, but that doesn’t stop people from doing it. Of course, there are many examples of this exact thing happening in other areas, and vaping is no different.
Whether it’s fair or not, we will be judged based on how we behave in public, so if you want to do the best thing for the vaping community, be respectful when you’re out of the house.
Do We Send the Wrong Message About Vaping by Standing With the Smokers?
In discussions of how we present ourselves as a community, an argument is often made that by voluntarily standing outside with the smokers, we’re implicitly reinforcing the idea that vaping is just as bad as smoking. It’d be better, so the theory goes, to vape openly indoors to give the public the chance to realize that vaping really isn’t something to worry about.
It’s a bit of a perverse point – do something people won’t like to show them that they shouldn’t mind it too much – but it does have something compelling about it. How will people ever learn that vaping isn’t smoking unless they’re exposed to it so they can see for themselves that it isn’t intrusive?
We asked the vapers what they thought about this:
“I think in the early days of vaping there was a valid argument to be made for awareness. But now pretty much everyone knows what vaping is, so doing it just to show the public what it’s all about isn’t that big of a deal now.” – Steve K.
“There’s a delicate balance to be had. On the one hand, we don’t want to show vaping in a negative light, so blowing huge clouds at a kids’ party would not be ideal! On the other hand, it’s not smoking, the evidence shows there is no danger from passive vapor, and we want people to accept this and get used to vaping.” – James Dunworth
“I don’t think we should vape inside just to prove a point. At least not at this point in time. Again, it depends a bit on the situation, though. If you’re in a situation where it makes sense to educate people you might do it, but don’t do it in a meeting where you just don’t have time to explain properly.” – Morten Moe
Overall, everyone generally agrees that always vaping just to prove a point probably isn’t needed (at least not anymore), but there are some situations when you can be a positive influence by showing that vaping isn’t anything to be worried about.
However, Morten goes on to make a crucial point:
“Another thing that is important to remember, if you’re trying to help more smokers make the switch, is that the smokers have to go outside, so that is where you’ll have the opportunity to talk to them.” – Morten Moe
The key distinction here is who we’re interested in influencing. While it would be great to have the public accept vaping, we shouldn’t lose sight of who we’re really hoping to help: the people who still smoke. You don’t want to be hassling smokers about their choice, criticizing them for still smoking or acting superior because you vape, but you do want to be there in case they are interested.
If all the vapers were sat cozily inside bars all the time, smokers might get jealous, but it would be much harder to follow up on their curiosity. If you’re out in the smoking area with them, it’s way easier for an interested smoker to strike up a casual conversation with you about vaping. The question is: where will we do the most good? You may disagree, but I think the answer is out with the smokers.
The Dos and Don’ts of Vaping Etiquette
We’ve learned a lot about the fuzzy issues surrounding vaping etiquette throughout this post, but it can be hard to translate all if this into actionable, real-world advice. To provide some clear takeaway messages for vapers, we’ve put together this list of the key dos and don’ts of vaping etiquette:
Don’t Think You Can Vape Anywhere
Make no mistake, vaping on the bus, at school or at the office will put you on the receiving end of some cold, disapproving glares. Even if a location doesn’t have a specific law banning vaping on the premises, that doesn’t mean you should vape anywhere you like. Base your opinion on the specific situation – you’re more likely to be able to vape in a local bar than a shopping mall, for instance – but remember that it’s generally more polite to restrict your vaping to where you can smoke.
Do Follow Official Rules
Some locations, businesses, and even counties do have rules or laws governing the use of e-cigarettes, and others may think they do with restrictions on the use of “tobacco products.” You may not agree with them, but where rules are in place, you should show respect by following them. Instead of spending your day arguing about how you can technically vape in a certain county building, parking lot or arena, do yourself a favor by simply heading outside.
Don’t Be A Fog Machine (At Least Not Indoors)
Yeah, we know. Billowing big, thick clouds of vapor can look really cool. But it can also freak out those around you who have been conditioned to fear any type of exhalation that appears similar to smoke.
Instead of going into preacher mode and trying to explain how your vapor cloud isn’t really second-hand smoke at all, it’s easier on everyone’s sanity just to keep your vaping discreet in indoor public places. Cloud-chasing isn’t a complete no-no, but if you’re hoping to do it in public, it’s definitely better to do so outside.
Do Stealth Vape (Tactically)
Stealth vaping in many ways solves the issues with people feeling uncomfortable around people vaping. You can reduce your cloud production by tilting your head downward when exhaling, and hold the inhale for longer than usual before you let it out. If you couple this with a more discreet device or a lower power setting, you can vape without people really noticing.
As James said, “if you are not sure what the reception is likely to be it makes sense to be discrete.” However, stealth vaping all the time anywhere is generally not recommended: if you’re explicitly not supposed to vape somewhere, then it’s better to just follow the rules. However, if you aren’t expressly forbidden and you aren’t in a situation that’s a definite no-no, stealth vaping is a potential solution.
Do Be Considerate and Ask Permission
Asking those around you if it’s OK if you vape is courteous, kind – and is likely to bring you favorable results. Nearly two-thirds of Americans said they would not be bothered by someone vaping around them, according to a Harris Interactive American E-Cigarette Etiquette Survey. And if you happen to be around the one-third of Americans who would be bothered by your vaping (or in a bar, restaurant or another public place that doesn’t allow vaping), you can continue to be courteous and kind by respecting their wishes.
Vape in smoking sections whenever you’re in doubt, and remember that following good vaping etiquette helps to build a great reputation for all vapers across the globe.
Do Be Extra Considerate Around Kids
All of the rules of etiquette become more important when you’re around children. Although you can explain to your own children what vaping is and why you’re doing it, other parents might not be so understanding about you vaping around their kids.
This isn’t to say you should never vape when kids are present – as discussed above, there are some situations when it isn’t as big a deal – but it’s definitely true that you should be particularly considerate around other people’s kids. In most cases, if you can vape away from children, it’s much better to do so.
Don’t Be A Preacher
Even if you spent weeks poring over studies that point to vaping being less harmful than smoking, most people don’t want to hear a sermon on the glorious virtues of vaping. This may especially hold true for smokers you may be trying to convert. Don’t randomly push the benefits of vaping onto others. They’ll learn quickly enough themselves if they ever give it a whirl.
Do Answer General Questions When People Ask
If someone outright asks why you took up vaping, you’re free to share all the impressive stats and benefits in the world. Also, be willing to answer general questions about vaping when people are genuinely curious. They may want to know things like how it works, what vaping liquid you use, and where you got that awesome drip tip that’s shaped like a garden gnome. Not only can you provide a brief education on the whole vaping setup and experience, but you may be able to dispel some of those nasty vaping myths and misconceptions.
Conclusion: Etiquette Matters, So Do it Right
As always, the golden rule is “don’t be a dick.” We can delve into the various issues and situations in detail as we’ve done here, but this is the simplest take-away message and really it’s all you need. We may have extended it to “be considerate, but use your common sense” earlier on, but the last question we asked elicited some additional key take-away points from the vapers:
“I think the whole topic can be summed up by simply saying if you’re not in a place that expressly allows vaping (or smoking) and you believe your vaping will distract others from doing what they’re doing, refrain. And above all, in those situations, don’t be a show-off.” – Steve K.
“If you vape inside you should be prepared to answer questions, and you should be prepared to stop if someone is bothered by it.” – Morten Moe
“I don’t think there are any easy guidelines – in the end, we all have to use our judgment and adapt to the situations we are in.” – James Dunworth
These pieces of advice, considered together, tell you everything you need to know about vaping etiquette. Try to be considerate, but use your brain and make your decision based on the situation you’re in. Ask permission if you’re not sure. If you do vape, don’t show off. And if somebody asks you to stop, apologize and either go outside to continue or just stop.
The more we can do this, the more people will accept vapers for who we are – smokers trying to reduce the risk of our nicotine use – and the less we’ll make the community look like a bunch of inconsiderate douchebags.