The social etiquette around vaping in public can be a bit ambiguous. At times, it can feel like a bit of a social minefield. Where am I allowed to vape? Will these people mind if I vape next to them? Is now a good time? These are probably some of the questions you’ve asked yourself before taking your first puff.
In this article, we’re going to take you through our findings with seven useful tips for excellent vaping etiquette.
Be mindful of personal space
We all have our own personal space bubbles. It’s important to be conscious and considerate while vaping near others, so you don’t encroach on anyone else’s bubble and make them uncomfortable. Avoid blowing vapour into the personal space of others, and if it seems like the people near you aren’t okay with vaping, tuck your vape pen away and move to a space where vaping is accepted or where you’re further away from people.
Ask before you vape
Can I vape indoors? Can I vape when I go to restaurants? These are questions you may have asked yourself in the past. Whilst vaping doesn’t release smoke, it’s still treated like smoking in many public areas of New Zealand. This means vaping is banned in smoke-free areas including all workplaces, restaurants and bars which are required to be smoke-free and vape-free. This also includes the buildings and grounds of schools, early childhood education and care centres too. Beaches, Taxis, Ubers, public transport, aircrafts and many beaches are also smoke and vape free.
If you’re in a public place and aren’t sure if you can vape, it’s best to ask first. In a 2022 study conducted by Debretts UK people were asked what they would do if they were unsure whether or not they could vape in a certain location. 40% of people said they would assume they couldn’t and therefore not vape and 18% would ask if it’s okay to vape first. This shows that most vapers use their common sense and assess their surroundings before vaping. Don’t just start vaping if you aren’t certain that you’re allowed to, always ask first.
Remember guest etiquette
If you’ve been invited into someone's home or have been offered a lift in their car, you should always observe the rules of guest etiquette (and remember, it’s illegal to smoke and vape with a child in the car). Always seek permission to vape before you do, open a window, or even better, find an open space outside. These rules apply to work vehicles too. If you’re an employee who uses a work vehicle from time to time you must seek permission to smoke or vape in the vehicle, and all employers have a duty of care to ensure their vehicles remain vape-free if requested. So, the next time you jump in a car, ask permission first and if your host isn’t too keen on vaping, put your vape away until you’re in a space where you know it’s safe and acceptable to vape.
Don’t vape indoors at work
All workplaces in New Zealand are smoke-free indoors, which includes vaping. Your employer may have a designated outdoor area where you can vape, or they may choose not to allow vaping on the premises. When you’re at work it’s best to refrain from vaping unless you’ve been given the all-clear and have a designated outdoor area to use.
Using your vape during an important meeting, an interview or while you’re conducting a presentation in person, or on Zoom, isn’t a habit you should ever get into. Before you pull out your vape pen, always ask your boss where the designated vaping and smoking area is.
Don’t vape while you’re eating
Vaping and eating isn’t something that goes hand-in-hand. In fact, it’s best if you keep the two separate. The same goes while cooking, it’s simply not good etiquette. For that same reason, in some settings it could be considered anti-social to vape immediately after a meal with family or friends especially when everybody is still savouring the tastes and smells of the food. Instead, give it some time and enjoy the company of those around you before picking up your vape.
Avoid being the stealth vaper
We all know of one or two stealth vapers. And of course it is possible to vape discreetly, with minimal exhalation of vapour. But nobody wants to get caught vaping in a non-vaping zone. According to the research, stealth vaping is considered a massive faux pas by our survey respondents. So instead of vaping on the sly, wait until you’re somewhere where it’s okay (and legal) to vape.
Read and respect the situation
The truth is, not everyone is as interested in vaping as you are. While you may find the tastes, smells and devices that come with vaping fascinating, others might not.
So when you’re in a social situation it’s important to read the room. If you start discussing vapes and see those in the room tuning out or their eyes glazing over, consider vaping in a space where you’re out of sight. While you may disagree with their attitude towards vaping, it’s important to be receptive to others’ preferences and try to accommodate them.
Better vaping with Vuse and Debretts
We hope that you’ve found our vaping etiquette research as useful and interesting as we have. Understanding the importance of vaping etiquette means that you can make sure you have an enjoyable and stress-free vaping experience while out and about. Reading the room and asking the questions you need to will go a long way!