A guide to vaping etiquette
In recent years, e-cigs and vape kits have exploded into mainstream culture. Unfortunately, vaping and e-cigs have inherited some of the negative stereotypes of smoking. By observing specific guidelines and etiquette, we can try to alleviate the negativity of vaping.
Be aware of your surroundings:
As there are few vaping guidelines or official rules (as there is for smoking), you should know what is and isn't acceptable vaping behaviour in a public area. This includes your work environment or a more casual setting like a restaurant, bar or shopping centre/mall. Some venues have implemented a ban on vaping, which is mainly indoors. Still, when there is no signage to inform you about vaping policy, it's a good idea to enquire before you pull out your e-cig and start puffing.
On the Road:
The majority of transit authorities have instituted an official ban on e-cigarettes and vaping on trains and buses. This restriction would also cover areas like platforms and waiting areas. If travelling in a taxi or an Uber, it goes without saying that you should not use your vape as these spaces are confined. Are you travelling with a friend or family member in their car? It's polite to ask, and if the answer is no, respect their wishes.
At Work / In the Office:
As the vaping culture grows around us and more people are vaping, employers and employees are implementing more definitive vaping policies in the workplace. Different work environments will have different vaping guidelines; in some, it is against company policy, while others permit it. Should policy allow you to use electronic cigarettes while at work, use them in moderation. Be mindful of your colleagues in meeting rooms and common areas.
Travel near or far:
Each country has its own laws and its own customs concerning e-cigarettes. Before you travel, take some time to research your destination country and determine what local customs might be. As with all cross-cultural issues, respect the vaping etiquette of your destination when travelling abroad. Most airports are non vaping zones unless there is a designated smoking or vaping area. While onboard, there is a strict non-vaping policy. Lastly, when you get to your hotel, speak to the receptionist or person in charge and ask if vaping in your room is allowed.
Just because you find yourself with fellow vapers doesn't mean you should forget your manners! Being with like-minded people does allow you some leeway, but there is still protocol to follow: • Do not blow your vapour in other peoples faces or even in their general direction. Keep it classy and exhale your clouds upwards or to the side. • If somebody has a new flavour you've been dying to try, make sure it's ok with them before you help yourself. • The same goes for trying other peoples vape kit or mod. Some people may be insulted if you help yourself without asking them first. Be extra prepared by having some disposable plastic tips which you can attach to mouthpieces. This measure protects you as well as them.
Children and Pets:
This can be a sensitive situation when you are around children or pets, especially if these parents or pet owners don't practice vaping. It's just a huge no-no. If inside, find an outside area to vape and move away if you are in a public place. Keep your e-liquid locked away and out of reach of children and pets. Be responsible.
There are numerous public places where vaping is not allowed, so don't try and vape on the sly. Even if you think you're being discreet, it's easy to recognise the smell of vapour or notice when you exhale. Some people may be too polite to ask you to stop, but others may become agitated, leading to an unnecessary confrontation. This negative vaping behaviour contributes to the stereotype and lousy reputation of vaping, which we are working hard to improve.
Onwards and Upwards:
The vaping world collides with non-vapers every single day; this could be in public or private spaces. We have to improve the image of vaping by adhering to certain etiquettes and being mindful of those around us. Anybody who vapes is a representative of the vaping community, so be part of the solution and not part of the problem.