The e-cigarette revolution continues to pick up momentum, to the extent that it’s rare to set foot outside without crossing paths with a vaper or two. And while e-cigs are getting plenty of positive press these days – not least the fact that new studies have confirmed how much better they are for you than tobacco products – there are still some negative perceptions to overcome. One of the most important has to do with the etiquette of vaping.
One of the main hurdles for vapers everywhere in the world is laying the ground rules for how to politely vape in front of others. This is particularly true in Australia, where existing smoking regulations are relatively strict. The fact that your e-cigarette is not a genuine tobacco product doesn’t change the fact that vaping in public should still follow certain ground rules and guidelines.
Those who love vaping are wise to consider themselves as ambassadors to this relatively new trend. With that in mind, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to vape etiquette that will help you stay in the good graces of the non-vapers around you. By following these rules, you’ll be doing your part to improve the image of e-cigarettes and vapers across Australia.
- Don’t Vape Anywhere You Wouldn’t Smoke
Many people who have just switched to vaping understandably assume that they can enjoy their vape anywhere they please. This may have been legally true in the earliest days of vaping, when the public had not yet caught up with the new trend. However, the present reality is that vaping is off limits in many of the same places that smoking is. Your vape may be healthier than tobacco products by a long shot, but that doesn’t change the fact that those who don’t vape would rather not be exposed to second-hand vapour. The best rule of thumb is to only vape in places where smoking is permitted (or at least not frowned upon).
- Know Your Vaping Facts
E-cigarettes are still a relatively new phenomenon, and non-vapers are likely to assume that the vapour coming out of your e-cig is every bit as toxic as the smoke that comes from a cigarette. Of course, we vape enthusiasts know that this is absolutely not the case. Plenty of studies have indicated that e-cig vapour doesn’t have nearly the level of toxins or carcinogens that tobacco products do. Do your research and make sure that you know the facts so that you politely talk to others about why you love vaping. This is not a call to be a know-it-all. On the contrary, part of being an effective ambassador is making sure that you know as much about the topic you’re representing as possible so that you can humbly present this information when asked.
- Always Ask Permission to Vape
Based on the research you’ve conducted, you understand the facts. You know that second-hand vape is not going to harm others – even if they’re located quite close to you. But there’s a good chance that they’ve done considerably less research than you (if any at all). The best thing that you can do is ask those around you if they would mind if you vaped in proximity to them. If you’re spending time with friends, don’t just begin vaping with the assumption that no one minds. Ask them explicitly for permission. The same goes for vaping in semi-public areas where you’re sure what the rules are. If you ask for permission, you’re putting the decision of where to vape in other people’s hands, and that’s never a bad thing when it comes to etiquette.
- Be Ready to Respect the Wishes of Others
Asking for permission to vape is only worthwhile if you are going to respect that person’s wishes. You’re likely to find yourself in situations where another person would rather you not vape – even when it seems unreasonable to you. However, the burden is on vapers to maintain a strong positive image. This means that you should always respect other people’s wishes. Don’t try arguing or convincing them that what you’re doing will result in absolutely no harm to them. This isn’t going to help your case, and it could even serve to diminish the public image of vaping. Strive to be more conscientious than smokers at every opportunity.
- Say No to Stealth Vaping
Stealth vaping is the act of discreetly (i.e. secretly) vaping in places where it is either frowned upon or prohibited. It’s also a tactic some vapers use to forego the need to ask others for permission. The assumption is that since we know the vape isn’t doing anyone any harm, then secretly vaping in proximity to another person (but without their knowledge) is a ‘no harm, no foul’ situation. The problem with this, of course, is that it completely disrespects the needs and wishes of others. And in the event that you are caught out (which often happens), the public view of vapers is going to decline.
- Don’t Be a Public Cloud Chaser
Cloud chasing is a lot of fun for vapers – especially those with a drip mod device. In fact, cloud chasing has even become a competitive sport. Fun as it may be, this style of vaping produces a great deal of vapour, and this can be off-putting to non-vapers who are close to you. There’s nothing wrong with honing your cloud-chasing technique, but it’s best to do this out of the public eye – or at least far-enough removed to make others feel comfortable.
When it comes to vaping etiquette, the best way to proceed is to simply be conscious of how others may feel. By asking permission, respecting others’ boundaries and going out of your way to be conscientious, you’ll be doing your part to ensure that vaping continues to be an accepted practice long after tobacco products have gone the way of the dinosaur. You’ll be doing your part to maintain a positive public image for e-cigarettes.