Since its invention in 2003, vaping has become extremely popular, with nearly 21 million people consistently using vapes worldwide.
Vaping is a healthier alternative to smoking, and has a wide appeal because of the wide range of flavors on the market. Because of its relatively new popularity, laws and social norms around vaping are difficult to grasp.
Smoking cigarettes in public is easy; the norms and laws are clearly cut in stone and well advertised on television. Vaping in public is a different story.It’s difficult to find places where vaping is socially acceptable because smokers are usually pretty keen on keeping “Vapers” out of their smoke circles, and the general public sees vaping in the same light as smoking.
There are ways to navigate the terrain of vaping in public, but in order to be comfortable with doing it, you have to have a general idea of vaping’s history.
The Rise of Vaping
Vaping was invented to help eliminate smoking.
It’s such a great idea that it would be easy to imagine the vape’s inventor as a savvy businessman with a great idea. Surprisingly, he was simply a smoker who happened to be a chemist.
If you are, or have been a cigarette smoker, you understand that quitting is probably one of the hardest things in the world to do. Even though packages boast the dangers of smoking, smokers puff down cigarettes as if they didn’t know better.
In many countries, cigarette companies are required to put images of open-heart surgeries, black lungs, and the aftermath of cancer on their labels so that consumers are motivated to quit.
Hon Lik, the inventor of the vape was one of these smokers. He was smoking two packs a day and needed a reason to quit. His ingenious invention was his cure to smoking.
It soon became the cure for millions of others as well.
The benefits of the vape are huge on an individual and societal level, so it is frustrating that it has been tabooed in public. From the pleasant smell to the untold saving of lives and hospital expenses, it should be evident that vaping is generally good for the population at large. Unfortunately, though, it is still seen in the same way as smoking.
While you understand that vaping is not a negative thing, you still want to respect the beliefs and preferences of those in your community. It is important to take note of how people feel towards the things you do and act in a way that respects those feelings.
But if you are going to choose to vape instead of smoke, or simply do it for enjoyment, you can’t live your life according to other people’s preferences. So if you are going to vape in public, it’s important to understand the general rules in place in order to show some class as you puff away.
Vaping in Public
The most primitive form of cigarettes was invented sometime in the 9th century. There are clear rules and societal norms to follow that have developed over the last twelve-hundred years. Vapes have been around for a measly fifteen years.
There has been limited time to develop and learn the ways that we should treat vaping in public. Luckily, because vapes are so similar to cigarettes, many of the same rules apply.
There are, however, a few tricks of the trade that are specific to vaping, and those are the rules that will be discussed below.
Without a rulebook, it’s kind of hard to get a grasp on how people will respond to your vaping. Here are a few methods that will keep you in good standing with the people who understand the unwritten rules of vapes.
Know the Area
You’ll understand this if you’re a smoker. It’s very important to be vigilant about the area you decide to vape in. Families with children and elderly people are typically people you should refrain from vaping by.
In the same vein, steer clear of family restaurants, daycares, elementary schools, and nursing homes. Essentially, any place where your intuition tells you it would be unwise to smoke a cigarette. There are some exceptions to this rule, though.
For example, let’s say you’re sitting on a park bench next to a walking path.
Here, there are bound to be people from all walks of life passing by. It’s perfectly acceptable to vape in this situation because vapes allow you to take a puff whenever you choose.
While a cigarette is lit, you don’t have the option of taking one hit without a lingering smell; a cigarette is always seeping very potent smoke. Vapes are different, so if you’re in a situation that requires you to be selective about who you vape near, use your intuition to make decisions and you will be totally fine.
Know the Preferences of Your Friends and Local Establishments
Everyone takes to vaping differently. Maybe your closest friend despises the smell, while the owner of your favorite establishment doesn’t see the harm of vaping indoors. When it comes to friends and family, consider the context.
Your friends might hate the smell of your vape, but they’re understanding of the fact that you just quit smoking, and vaping is an improvement for you. It’s ok to vape in this circumstance if you need the nicotine. If you’re just casually puffing because you like the taste, take it outside if your friends are irritated.
When you’re considering if a local business would be cool with you vaping indoors, don’t just try it and see if they say anything.
It’s important to realize that you aren’t just trying see if you get caught. You are trying to develop vaping etiquette, which means you are considering how vaping affects those around you.
Ask the nearest employee if vaping is acceptable, or if there is a better spot for you to vape freely without offending anyone nearby. The key here is to maintain a good relationship with your friends and local establishments, so that you keep a good name for yourself and your vape.
If you aren’t sure about a certain situation ask yourself one question: “Would it be ok to smoke a cigarette right now?” If the answer is no, you should make the decision to ask someone if it’s ok to vape, or simply wait until you’re in a better environment.
Recognize the Stigma
Smoking and vaping are seen as the same thing in the public eye. Those who despise smokers are likely to have similar feelings toward those who vape. Additionally, vaping is becoming increasingly suspicious as the use of marijuana-infused vapor makes its way into the mainstream.
Be prepared to receive the same looks that smokers receive. If you want to vape, this is an inevitable consequence. You have an advantage over smokers, though, because you can justify the benefits of the vape!
Essentially, just assume that people don’t love your Cherry Blast E-Juice as much as you do, and blow the vapor in a different direction.
Understand and Inform
Become informed about the benefits of vaping. If you can understand the product on a deeper level than someone who has done a basic Google search, you’re likely to make an impact on their thinking and change their perspective.
Take a look into the advantages of different mods to your pen, or how a change in temperature affects the quality of the vapor. These are all things to consider for yourself, and if you explain them to someone else it will boost your credibility.
Research different vape-pens and decide which one is going to be the best fit for your lifestyle. We can help you understand your product if you have any questions.
Gather some information about the health-risks of smoking, and the effect that vaping has on smokers. Vaping has a real, proven benefit to society. If you can provide data that exemplifies vaping’s use to society, you’ll find a lot of people changing their minds about your habit.
The more general rules of vaping require a little information and a decent intuition. The laws regarding vaping are more strict and must be understood before you begin vaping in public.
Know Your State and Federal Laws on Vaping
State laws should be the first that you get a grasp on before bringing the vape outside.
The state needs to regulate vape use because it often contains nicotine, and there are potential health risks. Because of the presence of nicotine, vapes are considered tobacco products.
Vapes do get a few allowances that cigarettes don’t, though. For example, no cigarette can be sold or advertised as being flavored. Luckily for the user, vapes still have this freedom.
Additionally, vaping in public, especially indoors, is acceptable in far more cases than smoking is. The FDA has allowed states to make their own decisions on how to create and enforce vaping laws. Understanding your state’s legislation on vaping can save you from facing legal repercussions.
The fines for smoking and vaping indoors may be the same, and depending on your state, they may be harsh. Each state has a unique set of laws regarding vaping.
Most people assume one of two things: that vaping and smoking laws are the same, or that there are no laws surrounding vaping. The latter group of people are the ones who get insulted and argue with a business owner who doesn’t let them vape in their facility.
No one wants to be that person.
The truth is that most states have vaping laws. Some states do, in fact, have the same regulations on vaping as they do smoking. Unfortunately, most states have slight variations on the laws that apply to vaping and smoking in public.
These variations can be hard to remember, but they are necessary to know if you don’t want to receive a fine. There is no way to give a generalization of the specific state laws on vaping in public. Because of this, you need to look into your state’s specific vaping laws.
Additionally, each state has different signage that declares if an area is “smoke free” or “vape free,” or both. Gather a good understanding of these signs and laws in order to prevent any complications.
Most states have a “clean-air” act that lays out the penalties and restrictions for smokers. Your state likely has one, and you’ll want to read it- especially if you plan to vape in public buildings.
Keep up to Date on Legislation
Things are always subject to change. Just a few decades ago, smoking was allowed in nearly every public building. The jury is still out on vapes.
If evidence comes forward that supports vaping’s benefits to society, it’s very likely that users will have a lot of freedom to vape in public. On the other hand, if research shows that vaping has a number of serious negative effects, vaping will be restricted just like smoking is.
Keep tabs on vape websites, blogs, and forums in order to stay updated and informed on the current laws and regulations on tobacco products.
Let’s Go over This Again
The most important things that you can do to have excellent vape etiquette are to get informed, and use your intuition.
State laws and regulations are cut in stone. There is very little room to make a mistake that you couldn’t have prevented by reading up on your state’s rules.
It’s most important to read your state’s “clean air” act and see how vaping ties into it. If it’s unclear, contact your local law enforcement to ensure that you understand where it is legal to vape in public.
We all know the feeling that comes when someone else doesn’t approve of what we’re doing. Sometimes that person shouldn’t be judging what we’re doing, sometimes they have a right to. If you’re in a place where it’s unclear if you should vape, follow these two rules:
When you’re vaping in the open air, wait for the person in question to pass by before starting back up. If you’re in a public establishment, ask whoever is in charge if they would be ok with you vaping within the building.
It’s pretty simple. A little common courtesy will take you a long way if you plan to vape in public. Hey, if you’re nice enough, they might make an exception for you!
Do your research, use your intuition, and give vaping in public a good name!