The most important vaping etiquette rules. The appropriate behavior for vaping in public places without annoying others.
What vaping etiquette is
Vaping means using an electronic smoking device, also known as an electronic cigarette. This type of device contains an atomizer, which creates vapor instead of smoke. By some accounts, vaping is considered less harmful than smoking. However, this type of device is still relatively new and there is limited medical literature about it. Thus, our recommendation is to apply most of the etiquette rules that apply to smoking.
Vaping etiquette is the set of rules for vaping in public venues or in presence of other people. Such rules include when and where it is best to avoid vaping, and the appropriate behaviors to avoid incidents or conflicts. The key principle of vaping etiquette is to respect non-smokers or non-vapers, preserve their health, and appropriately address their concerns.
If you vape, respect vaping etiquette to avoid annoying or offending others.
If you do not vape, follow vaping etiquette to politely deal with vaping people at work, in your house, or in public.
Vaping etiquette rules
1) Avoid vaping in the presence of no-smoking signs
Vaping is still a relatively new type of device. Thus, not every country, area, city, or establishment has clear regulations about it. In the absence of clear and explicit rules, it is best to strictly respect no-smoking rules and signs.
Never vape in locations where smoking is expressly not allowed. Furthermore, in some countries, regions, or cities, vaping may be completely forbidden in some circumstances. Such as in public venues or in the presence of children. Thus, before vaping, you should learn the local rules and restrictions.
2) Avoid vaping in places with no air circulation
Even where vaping is not expressly forbidden, avoid vaping in places with limited air circulation. Such as cars, planes, trains, elevators, small rooms, or any place where the vapor is more likely to be perceived by others.
When you vape indoors, open the window or allow as much air circulation as possible.
3) Ask for permission before vaping
When you vape in the presence of others, always ask for permission first. It is good etiquette to do so even in places where vaping is allowed or with people you do not know.
4) Do not vape in the presence of sensitive people
Avoid vaping in the presence of people that may be particularly affected by passive smoke. Even if, by some accounts, vapor may be less harmful than smoke, those devices are still relatively new. Thus, many people may be not comfortable with them.
It is best to never vape in the presence of children. Avoid vaping in front of seniors, people that are ill, or anyone who could experience difficulty breathing. It is tactful and good etiquette to avoid vaping in front of anyone who quit smoking or is trying to limit it.
5) Avoid vaping during a meal
Avoid vaping during a meal, as it could disrupt the restaurant staff and the other guests.
Restaurants usually prepare the food to serve every course in a timely manner. Thus, if you take a vaping break in between courses, you risk disrupting the timing of cooking and serving your own food. Similarly, a vaping break can force other guests to wait for you, and thus it risks being annoying and rude. To stay on the safe side, vape only after the meal.
A short smoke or vaping break could be allowed on some occasions, such as long dinner parties. In such cases, you can leave the dining table between courses. Avoid vaping at the dining table as passive vapor may annoy other guests. If the meal consists of the standard 3 to 5 courses, wait until the meal is over.
6) Apply the appropriate vaping etiquette to each place
The general vaping etiquette rules apply to any situation. However, some occasions or venues call for additional rules or extra care.
Vaping etiquette at someone else’s house
Always ask your hosts if vaping is allowed in their homes. Never pressure your hosts. Unless they explicitly allow vaping, assume that they prefer to avoid it.
If the hosts allow vaping under some conditions, such as going outside or opening a window, strictly respect such conditions. Such conditions are also a sign that vaping is not fully welcome in your host’s home. Thus, you might want to limit it.
Vaping breaks at work or in the office
While vaping in the workplace or the office is often forbidden, vaping breaks at work are usually allowed. However, it is best to follow a few additional etiquette rules to look professional and avoid annoying coworkers, customers, or business partners.
Limit the duration and frequency of your vaping breaks. A 5-minute vaping break is an acceptable duration. Avoid vaping breaks longer than 10 minutes. Otherwise, your coworkers or managers might think that you are working less than other team members. Similarly, it is best to limit the frequency of your vaping breaks. One break in the morning and one in the afternoon are acceptable. One break every two hours is borderline, while one every hour is too much.
Vaping in public transportation
Vaping in public transportation is usually forbidden. However, even when it is not explicitly forbidden, you should avoid vaping while in transit. Public transportation is usually a crowded environment, with limited air circulation. Thus, the risk of annoying others and creating conflict is higher.
Vaping etiquette in hotels, bed & breakfasts, and hostels
Some hotels, bed & breakfast, or hostels allow vaping on their premises. Make sure to follow their rules. Ask whether it is possible to vape in a non-smoking room.
Restaurants, cafes, and bars
Every venue may have its rules for vaping. Some venues completely forbid vaping. Others allow vaping outdoors, while some may allow it indoors too. You should follow the rules of the venue. In addition, it is perfect vaping etiquette to ask nearby guests permission to vape in their presence.
Schools, hospitals, and care houses
It is best to altogether avoid vaping in such venues, as they host children, seniors, or ill people, who may be particularly sensitive to or concerned about passive vapor.
Vaping in public open-air venues
Before vaping in a public open-air venue, make sure that it is allowed. Some beaches or parks forbid smoking and vaping. Others allow it but under some conditions. Respect the local rules.
Etiquette to deal with a careless vaper
If someone does not respect vaping etiquette, it is often sufficient to make them aware of the appropriate behavior. However, be understanding and speak in a non-threatening, neutral tone.
In your home, you can ask your guests to please refrain from vaping or to do it under the appropriate conditions. Such as going outside or in the kitchen. As a considerate host, it is best to accommodate your guests and their preferences. So, you should allow vaping under some conditions. However, if you are in the presence of children or ill people, or if it is not possible to vape without annoying other guests, you can ask to avoid it.
In public venues, it is best to avoid any conflict. You may make the vaper aware of the vaping rules. However, if this is not enough, do not try to reinforce the rules by yourself. Instead, notify the appropriate persons, such as the train manager or the restaurant staff.
Vaping etiquette: the worst mistakes
The Rude Index identifies and ranks negative behaviors.
A high score (8-10) means that the behavior has the potential to trigger a conflict with others. A medium score (4-7) means that the behavior risks making you look inelegant and unsophisticated. More about the Rude Index and its methodology here.
Avoid the worst vaping etiquette mistakes.
- 10/10. Vaping where it is not allowed.
- 9/10. Not asking your hosts for permission to vape.
- 7/10. Vaping during a meal.
- 7/10. Taking long or frequent vaping breaks at work.
- 5 Vaping Facts You Need to Know: hopkinsmedicine.org