Although it has skyrocketed in popularity in recent years, vaping is still relatively new. As a result, the etiquette surrounding it is still developing and a lot of people aren’t sure where they can vape and where they can’t. To add to the confusion, bars, pubs, restaurants and offices often have very different policies when it comes to vaping. This can leave people in fear of making a social faux pas and put some off of vaping altogether.
As Public Health England is set to launch a campaign to encourage the use of e-cigarettes in the fight against smoking, now is the perfect time to take a closer look at the etiquette of vaping and clear up the confusion once and for all.
Pubs, restaurants and bars
There are few better times to vape than when you’re socializing with friends in a pub, bar or restaurant. However vaping when you’re out and about can be an etiquette minefield with different venues enforcing different rules when it comes to using e-cigarettes.
In some places you’ll be able to vape freely inside and won’t have to get up and leave your friends sat at the table. However in many pubs and bars you’ll still have to head out into the cold if you want to enjoy a vape. Restaurants, as well as pubs that serve food, almost always ask customers to go outside to vape
If there are no signs on display telling you the venue’s vaping policy, it’s always a good idea to ask before you begin vaping. If you want to keep your friends on your side you should also check with them before you start vaping in their presence. Although research has shown there’s no risk of passive vaping, some people still aren’t happy about breathing in vapor so the more considerate you can be, the better.
Vaping is not allowed on most types of public transport. Most train networks have banned vaping, so you’ll need to wait till you complete your journey (or for a predetermined smoking/vaping stop) before you crack out your e-cigarette. In addition to buses, trains and the London Underground, you are generally not allowed to vape on planes. In 2016, the US government banned vaping on flights.
Surprisingly, there are still no rules or regulations governing the use of e-cigarettes in taxis. Although some cab companies will have their own policies regarding vaping, many leave it up to the individual driver so make sure you ask permission before you begin.
Vaping at work
If your office doesn’t have a policy about vaping in the workplace, it’s a good idea to talk to your boss before you vape. If they’re not sure whether to let you vape or not, ask your colleagues for their opinions and see if you can come to an agreement everyone is happy with.
When navigating the tricky world of vaping etiquette, it’s not just indoor areas you need to think about; a lot of people have a problem with vaping in crowded areas, too. Some sporting venues have banned vaping in their stadiums and a lot of people object to vaping in queues, outdoor concerts and other open air spaces. If you do choose to vape close to other people, make sure you blow the vapor away from their faces and always stop if someone around you objects.
Even after you’ve explained the benefits of vaping and the fact that it’s infinitely preferable to smoking, some people are still going to have a problem with you vaping in their home. Always offer to go outside when vaping at a friend’s house and if you do stay inside, make sure you blow the vapor away from other people.
Although vaping isn’t banned in cars, motorists have been warned they could face fines if vaping causes them to drive without due care and attention. If you have passengers in your vehicle, always ask if they’re happy for you to vape before you begin.
As it’s not always possible to vape openly whenever you want to, some people are tempted to go stealth. However, even though you may be able to get away with it, vaping under the radar is not good etiquette and you may well find you annoy the people around you, especially if you’re in a restaurant, on public transport or in another enclosed space.
Vaping etiquette essentially comes down to two main rules: be considerate and ask permission. As long as you think about those around you and check with staff that vaping is allowed, you should be able to vape without ruffling anyone else’s feathers.