Most of the stigma that surrounds vaping comes from media reports and public commentary from both non-vapers and non-smokers alike. But why do they care so much? It’s our bodies, not theirs, right? These questions are important because they’re personal, and affect our everyday behaviour, but what happens when we stop focusing on the questions and start focusing on who the answers are being directed to?
Allow us to play devil’s advocate, and we’ll do just that.
It’s no secret that there are people out there who believe that vaping just as bad as smoking.
Sure, the vapour might smell a bit better and the clouds may not be as harmful as tobacco smoke but to them walking through a vapour cloud is paramount to walking through a large, obnoxious, cloud of cigarette smoke. It’s their decision not to vape, and they shouldn’t be made to inhale it through no fault of their own.
Simply put, if a person already has a negative view of vaping, then negative behaviour will make the perception that much worse.
As much as it’s our choice to vape, it’s also their choice not to, and it’s up to us (the vapers) to uphold the social contract by ensuring that we vape it in a polite and considerate way. We’ve come up with a few guidelines to that can help ensure your vaping habits aren’t inconveniencing others, and help improve the perception of the vaping community as a whole.
Vaping Around Others
When vaping in the presence of others, it’s important to remember that some people may be affected by vapour or act of vaping around them. It’s likely that non-vapers will equate vaping with smoking, but this is not the right time to educate them.
A few general tips when vaping around others are as follows:
Do not blow vapour in others’ faces. Doing so can be seen as disrespectful and is generally frowned upon. Even in cases where the vapour may not be directly blown into another person’s space, it’s a good idea to be careful and respectful.
When vaping around other people, try blowing the vapour directly up towards the sky or down towards the ground to keep your vapour away from others.
If you do blow your vapour in the air, be mindful of wind conditions. Your best attempt at trying to be polite might result in the wind blowing vapour directly in someone’s face.
Avoid using high wattage/low resistance devices when going out. Smaller, lower-powered devices will produce less vapour and be less intrusive.
Refrain from vaping in confined spaces without the consent of the owner and the others sharing that space.
Vaping in Public
Although similar to vaping around others, vaping in public tends to have its own set of rules, some of which are already established in legislation.
Let’s take a look at some of the laws currently in place:
Vaping in indoor or confined outdoor spaces (like patios) is generally prohibited unless given direct consent from the owner/manager of the establishment. However, for the sake of others around you, it’s best to avoid vaping in these spaces altogether.
Vaping in non-confined outdoor spaces is permitted, but you should be conscious of your surroundings. Passersby may not enjoy walking through a cloud of vapour.
Be aware of smoke-free areas. Buildings will normally have a set perimeter around entrances where smoking is not allowed. These rules are also applicable to e-cigarettes, and should be respected.
Sometimes locations will have a designated smoking area. It is most polite to vape in these specific locations.
Vaping Near Minors
It is very important to be cautious about vaping around children and youth under a specified age. Not only could it endorse vaping to minors, but it could also expose them to unwanted substances like nicotine or propylene glycol that may trigger an allergic reaction.
Here are a few things to remember when vaping around minors:
Many regions already have laws in place making it illegal to vape in cars with children present.
Although it’s not illegal, vaping in confined spaces, like houses or rooms, with children is not a good idea.
Studies have shown that children with smokers as parents are more likely to take up the habit. It’s possible that this psychological impact could also apply to children of vapers.
For the most part, children are not able to control their surroundings. While an adult may leave or speak up if your vaping offends them, children are not able to do so.
All things considered, the best way to show the public that vapers are not intrusive and disrespectful is by being courteous of others and showing good vaping etiquette.
Remember—it’s not the action. It’s the perception.
Can you think of any other ways that vapers can display good etiquette? Let us know in the comments below!