The Social Responsibility of Vape Etiquette
Posted on 21 August 2015
Vaping is in a unique place right now. It isn't accurate or fair to lump it in with smoking, but it carries much of the same stigma. This creates an environment for vapers that varies from welcoming to hostile depending on the people involved, setting, and actions of vapers. It's more important than ever to present the best possible face to the public.
We put together a list of general etiquette that covers most situations, an exhaustive explanation of where and where not to vape, as well as some guidelines for how to interact with others as a vaper. Together we can create an image that reflects positively on the vaping community.
- Be mindful of where your vapor goes. Try to keep it away from others’ personal space and never blow it in their face.
- Take special care not to let your vapor reach children.
- Most people don’t want to talk about vaping.
- Remember that public perception affects the future of our community. You’re an adult, act like it.
- Always ask before handling or using another vaper’s equipment or e-liquid.
- Don’t vape where you can’t smoke, unless you get permission.
- Use your head when it comes to powerful equipment. Cloud chasing is fine at most vape shops, but may cause your local bar to ban vaping.
Where Is It Okay to Vape?
If you’ve researched the effects vaping has on yourself and those around you, it’s easy to dismiss vaping as harmless and billow to your heart’s content. While it may not cause physical harm to bystanders, many people are more familiar with anti-vaping propaganda than the facts we arm ourselves with. This can cause emotionally negative or psychosomatic reactions among non-vapers (even smokers!) and give yourself and the community a bad name. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. We have compiled a helpful list of how to vape (or not vape) in common settings.
Anywhere Vaping is Banned
If vaping is prohibited by law or establishment rules, put it away. There are no exceptions to this rule, and the vaping community has very unkind words for people who break it.
If you have others living with you, get their permission to vape indoors. It’s better to take it outside or compromise (such as putting a fan in the window or vaping only in your room) than to stress your living arrangement by fogging the kitchen. If the other residents are fine with your vaping habits, by all means do so!
Ask the residents! It’s their living space, so leave it up to them. Don't press the issue, if anyone is unsure about giving permission take your vaping outside.
Anywhere you can smoke, you can vape. Outdoors is no exception. It’s best to respect any smoking laws, such as staying a certain distance from doors. Avoid blowing your vapor onto others, especially children, as it is considered rude and reflects negatively on vaping as a whole. Respect personal space and avoid exhaling into crowds.
If you’re in a crowded public park, avoid vaping altogether. Parks are supposed to be a clean getaway from life and a place for children to play. Don’t ruin it.
If smoking is allowed in the bar, vape away! If not, ask a staff member. If you do get permission, try to keep a low profile about it. Hold your hits in longer, blow under the table or bar and slow down if it starts to get foggy. Failing to respect others is the quickest way to turn a “yes” into a “no”.
Vaping in restaurants is similar to bars, but requires additional tact as most are family oriented and allow children. Always ask first and never press the issue. If you get permission, try to be subtle about it. People are eating and drinking, even other vapers don’t want to see something from your lungs drifting over their food. If your vaping is causing displeasure among other patrons (dirty looks, “waving the smoke away”, negative comments) it’s best to stop.
This largely depends on the type of store, but the answer is generally to avoid vaping altogether. Get permission if you’re in doubt and always remember to respect others.
Crowded Public Places and Events
Any kind of indoor venue is a bad place to vape. If it’s legal there and you can stealth vape (no noise, no lights, no vapor whatsoever) you can get away with it, but it’s best not to. The other people there are in the room with you to be entertained, not distracted and put off.
When it comes to outdoor venues such as sporting events, ask an employee and stay respectful. Although outdoors, some areas such as stadiums can get packed, so leave your cloud chasing build at home so it affects as few people as possible. The people around you are stuck there, so stop vaping if they ask you to do so.
Whether it’s your workplace or not, the default answer to this is a firm no. The only exception is when everyone your vapor could possibly affect gives you the okay. If you have clients or other outside people coming in often, avoid vaping while they are there. Making someone feel uncomfortable can be very bad for business.
Your car, your rules. Anyone else’s car, their rules. If you do get permission, don’t distract or obstruct the view of the driver. Also be conscious of where your vapor goes when it leaves the car. Cloud chaser builds can reduce the visibility of cars driving behind you and people generally don’t appreciate your vapor coming in through their windows.
People are stuck with you in a small enclosed space. Never vape here.
Dedicated Smoking Areas
The smoke shack is absolutely a place to let it rip! Anyone in a smoking area chose to be there, so no reason to worry about your vapor affecting people.
Schools and Other Places for Children
There is no excuse for vaping at kid-focused locations or events. Take it outside (and off school property), or just don't.
Interacting With Other Vapers
If you want to start a conversation about vaping, questions are the best route. Try things like, “How do you like your device?”, “I’ve never tried that e-liquid, how do you like it?” and “How long have you been vaping?” to get the ball rolling. Converse at their level, it’s unlikely an eGo user wants to hear you go on about your preferred technique for building claptons. If they don’t seem interested, drop it. Many vapers are just in it for the harm reduction and couldn’t care less about the experience.
The biggest mistake vapers make with one another is forgetting why we started in the first place. If someone wants to use a cigalike or vapes a brand you don’t care for, just be happy they vape at all. Berating someone for their eGo setup or insulting their preferred brand of e-liquid does not make them want to talk to you, or even like you for that matter. As long as they’re vaping safely and politely, you have no business judging them or their setup.
If you see a vaper acting irresponsibly (such as blowing clouds into a crowd), remind them that the public opinion of vaping rests on our shoulders and we should act accordingly. While some simply don’t care or even enjoy being a nuisance, others don’t know or forget that their actions affect the whole community.
Interacting With Non-Vapers
If someone doesn’t vape, don’t bring it up. Above all, never try to convince a non-smoker and non-vaper to try it. This should be common sense.
Arm yourself with as much information as possible about vaping. Find the facts, learn them and know how to give this information out in layman’s terms. Also keep up on media slander of vaping so you know how to respond to misinformation. For example, it is commonly believed that e-liquid contains antifreeze. A good response to this would be, “Most antifreeze is diethylene glycol, which is poisonous. E-liquid uses propylene glycol, which is used in asthma inhalers and food products.” Not every vaper has the time or drive to keep up on these issues, but calmly and logically diffusing situations such as this are not only good for the community, but also personally rewarding. If someone is being illogical about their “facts”, just walk away or change the subject. You can’t win them all.
Interacting With Smokers
Smokers get harassed enough, don’t preach to them. Just be friendly and remember that if they want to talk about vaping, they’ll bring it up. If they talk about a previous experience with vaping or methods to quit smoking, listen to their story and share your own. Try to remember what it was like when you smoked and how you’d react to someone shoving information and opinions down your throat.
-The Vapejoose Team
Did we miss anything? Do you disagree? Let us know in the comments!