Millions have made the switch to vaping due to its harm reducing potential as an alternative to cigarettes. As it stands, smoking is the biggest cause of preventable death across the world, responsible for 7 million deaths each year because of smoking-related diseases such as lung cancer, heart disease and emphysema and a further million due to complications relating to second hand smoking. Since its introduction back in 2003, vaping has always been a less harmful alternative to smoking, ‘95% less harmful’ according to independent research conducted by Public Health England in 2014. This landmark study is still quoted heavily today and formed a bedrock of vape research. It has spurred researchers across the world to further investigate the true potential of vaping.
Despite all of this people still hold an untrustworthy stance towards vaping, which mainly comes down to a lack of education surrounding the subject of vaping, essentially giving birth to myths and non-truths, myths such as e-cigarettes being dangerous because they contain nicotine or that they’re leading young people into smoking. This type of thinking is rife and it is unsurprising that uninformed individuals and groups get upset when they’re out on a walk or sitting in a pub and are suddenly surrounded by a sweet-smelling cloud of vapour. Some people will also consider it an invasion of their personal space and rightfully so.
Etiquette might sound like quite an old-fashioned word but when it comes to vaping it is very important. Despite its uptake by millions across the world and continued efforts to educate the general public, vaping doesn’t have the best reputation which makes it important that we all do our bit. The best way to do so is to be considerate of how and when we vape. This is why this guide to etiquette was created, to help you navigate the pitfalls of a potential social misstep.
As a general rule, we recommend that you remain aware of your surroundings and consider what impact vaping might have on people around you. Of course, we’re not saying that you shouldn’t vape where you’re legally allowed to, but there are plenty of situations where it remains a grey area. These situations could include when you’re in a confined space such as a car or within large social gatherings of people.
The most important rule in our eyes is that you should only ever vape if you’re over the age of eighteen and you’re trying to quit smoking. The first is enforced by law, the second is important as people indulging in vaping as a recreational hobby does nothing for its image, tarnishing the reputation that so many in the vaping and health community have tried to build.
Awareness of your surroundings is the most important principle of vape etiquette. Due to the stringent laws regarding where you can vape, most of us are already acutely aware as to where is the best place to have a puff. But what if you’re in an area you don’t know or are just not sure? As a rule of thumb areas where smoking is not permitted will also not permit vaping. So be on the lookout for signage and notices asking you not to smoke or giving direction to the nearest designated smoking areas. Knowing when to vape stretches further than just what the law dictates, this is where best practice becomes so important. So, if you’re in the park with your kids it might not be looked upon favourably if you start sub ohming in a public playground. If you find yourself in densely populated areas such as cities you’re going to be short on space and the vapour you produce is going to be more visible to more people and you run a higher chance of impacting those around you. In neither of these situations is vaping illegal (unless the government in your country or locality says otherwise) but they both present opportunities where it would probably be best to discreetly vape.
When it comes to homes and workplaces, the rules are slightly different. The best thing to do in environments like this is to always ask permission. It is unlikely that a friend or relative will deny you the privilege of vaping but they might get annoyed if you simply assume you can. Also, it may be the case that they say no and you should respect this decision. Perhaps the smell is irritating to them or they’ve recently stopped vaping themselves and are trying to give up nicotine completely. Either way, if it’s their space, it’s their decision.
In the workplace, it is more than likely that there’s a rule in place regarding vaping. If you work in a shop or bar it is going to be very unlikely that you will be allowed to vape inside as you’ll be surrounded by members of the public most of the day. If you’re unsure about whether or not vaping is permitted in your workplace, we recommend checking your employee guidebook, contacting human resources or speaking to your line manager.
If you choose to vape anywhere that’s likely to have other people in or around it, be prepared to answer questions. People are naturally curious and will often strike up a conversation about your vape, not to scold you, but to learn more. This is no bad thing, explaining that you’re trying to stop smoking and that vaping has shown to be a less harmful alternative can do great things for its public perception. You’re essentially an ambassador and the spreading knowledge about vaping could help someone hugely in the long run. On the other hand, acting hostile and impudently blowing vapour into someone’s face will do nothing for how people perceive you or vaping as a whole.
As a hard and fast rule, unless stated otherwise government buildings, police stations, and schools are designated no-vaping areas under UK law. Privately owned businesses will likely have their own laws, so it’s best to brush up on what you can do and where. Remember a lack of knowledge is no defence in these situations. There will not be a law for every environment and every scenario, so if you’re unsure it’s best to rely on initiative and common sense and don’t be afraid to ask. If it’s a new business perhaps they’ve never had an employee who vapes and they might welcome the idea.
In the same vein, international travel has now become an everyday thing for a lot of us. Whether you’re leaving the country for business or going to enjoy your holidays it’s important you pack what you’ll need vape-wise, as always be prepared. You can check out our holiday vaping checklist here. More importantly, there are now a growing number of countries where vaping is illegal. These laws are in place for many reasons and while you may not always agree with them you must obey them, as the punishments can range from a fine all the way to imprisonment. To date, the following list of countries who prohibit or heavily regulate the sale, distribution or use of vape products are:
Argentina Brazil Brunei Darussalam Cambodia Colombia Egypt Gambia Hong Kong India Indonesia Jordan Lebanon Malaysia Mexico Nicaragua Panama Philippines Qatar Singapore Taiwan, Province Of China Thailand Timor-Leste Turkey Turkmenistan Uganda Uruguay Venezuela Vietnam Mexico Australia Chile Japan South Africa
This is in no way an exhaustive list and we highly recommend that you contact your destination country before travel. This will help avoid any difficulties when entering or exiting the said country. For more information check out our vaping abroad guide.
There are a number of ways for you to reduce your vaping presence overall. This will draw less attention to you and in turn, means your vaping will affect fewer people.
Firstly you should take a look at what sort of kit you’re using. Conventional wisdom dictates that higher-powered vape kits are going to produce a greater amount of cloud, the reason for this is that they enable vapers to use a lower nicotine strength e-liquid whilst still satisfying their cravings. For many, the direct to lung vaping style these kits allow for can feel freer than the restricted mouth to lung inhale of smaller kits. The issue is these larger clouds will travel further and take longer to dissipate. If you’re in a busy or enclosed area this can lead to obvious problems. Luckily the majority of these devices will feature a variable power output, by lowering your device’s output level it will, in turn, create less vapour for a more discreet experience. We stock a large selection of variable wattage devices and kits, available at a range of price brackets so they’re worth checking out.
Turning down the wattage can be something of a temporary measure however. If you’re finding yourself in crowded places or have moved to a densely populated area It may be worth investing in a smaller mouth to lung kit such as a pod kit or classic starter vape kit. These will invariably produce less vapour and as a bonus, they’re often a lot more compact in their design for ease when carrying around or in your pocket. If you’re concerned about nicotine cravings, not to worry these kits will support a higher nicotine content e-liquid without delivering a harsh throat hit. The small size and basic design of an MTL kit often mean they’re a lot cheaper to purchase and maintain than larger traditional sub ohm vape kits. Many more experienced vapers consider it to be a viable option to keep an MTL kit as back-up to their larger, primary kit.
While one of the most common complaints against vapers is the larger amount of vapour that their kits produce, some have also been known to take issue with the smell. The smell of vapour is based on the flavour of the e-liquid that’s used, which will generally be sweet. But the familiar smell of a complex tobacco and hazelnut or very sweet fruity candy can prove to be off putting. If this is a concern for you, then we recommend you switch to a more discreet flavour such as a menthol or a simple fruit blend. To further increase your chances of success of stealthy vaping, you can utilise an e-liquid that features a higher PG content, anything above 50% PG should suffice. These e-liquids will produce less vapour, reducing the chance of those around you ever smelling your vapour in the first place. These e-liquids are best accompanied with a smaller MTL device as they require a lower wattage and by combining the two you’re guaranteed a more stealthy experience. For more information on discreet kits, you should read our top ten 10 pod kits list.
Changing when you vape can also have a big effect on your vaping presence. This is especially effective if you’re required to go outside to vape or if you’re in a confined space. It is often the case that when we vape we engage in a ‘grazing’ style, taking a single puff every once in a while. This is in stark contrast to the more concentrated way that you’d smoke a cigarette, taking five minutes to have a cigarette and then not having another one for an hour or two. Replicating this style with your vaping will mean that you vape less often and likely to bother fewer people. Combine this style with a higher nicotine strength e-liquid and you may find you vape less than ever.
As you can see vaping etiquette is not about stopping you from vaping, but it does involve paying attention or changing the manner in which you vape. These changes don’t have to be permanent either, they only need to take place when the situation deems it necessary for the people around you. At the end of the day, by making sure you don’t vape where it is illegal to do so, switching to a kit that produces less cloud or even just picking a more mellow flavour, you could actually be doing the vaping community a big favour. Every adult who picks up a vape kit becomes an ambassador for a health-driven movement, it shows that you’ve made a big step in trying to quit smoking. But remember your actions may be judged as the norm and a slip-up can leave a lasting impression.
It is in the interest of some that vaping disappears completely and pointing out that vapers are irresponsible and care little for the public at large is one such way to strengthen their argument, so let’s all do our bit.
If you’d like more advice about discreet vape kits, picking the right e-liquid or vaping in general, check out our vape guides section. For more information, please contact our customer service team directly.