Do you mind if I vape?
If you ask this question, you might receive a few quizzical looks. Although electronic cigarettes are rapidly gaining traction with enthusiasts, many people are still not knowledgeable about e-cigs. In fact, at first glance, many people will not be able to distinguish between lighting up a traditional tobacco cigarette and inhaling the vapor that e-cigs produce. Visually, ‘puffing’ on an e-cig can look very much like smoking a tobacco cigarette.
This is, of course, by design. E-cigs were specifically developed to mimic the look and feel of smoking to provide adult smokers with an authentic alternative to tobacco cigarette smoking. But for those who are not familiar with e-cigs and vaping, the simulated smoking experience may cause some confusion—possibly annoyance. So what should you do you make sure that you are not offending anybody when you enjoy an e-cig? How can you ensure that you are not mistaken for a tobacco smoker when you exhale vapor?
To make sure you do not ruffle any feathers, you can follow some basic rules of vaping etiquette.
Ask before you vape. It almost goes without saying that most of us appreciate it when people are conscientious and considerate. It is a simple gesture to ask whether vaping will bother somebody, but a powerful one. It shows you are exercising care and aware that your actions might be bothersome to those around you. Today, we are accustomed to tobacco smokers asking permission before they light up in the company of others, or going to a place where their cigarette smoke will be out-of-range. Although vaping is not the same as smoking, it is still appropriate to ask before you vape. The need for good manners does not change, even when technology does.
Think of asking for permission to vape as a teachable moment. When you ask to vape, you have a unique opportunity to explain the difference between electronic cigarettes and traditional tobacco ones. You can take the time to explain how an e-cig works and why it is a part of your lifestyle. Some people may applaud the fact that you are choosing to go smoke-free, while others may remain wary and unconvinced. Whatever the response, you can take a minute to increase awareness about e-cigs and address concerns. Of course, it is important that you are prepared to answer questions and dispel any misconceptions. So the more informed you are about electronic cigarettes, the better the dialog will be!
Always be respectful of others. Most of all, be polite. If somebody expresses reluctance to be in your presence while you are vaping, be mindful of their wishes. Do your best to find a compromise so that you both feel respectful and respected.
As the public-at-large learns more about electronic cigarettes and their effects, the communication surrounding them will begin to evolve. By following some basic rules of e-cig etiquette, you can have a hand in making sure the conversation is civil and courteous.