While vaping is legal in countries such as the UK, Australia and New Zealand, that doesn’t mean it’s okay to vape anywhere you like. There is, after all, etiquette required of us vapers to help spread the word that vaping is a great alternative to smoking tobacco cigarettes and that others may like to give vaping a try for themselves and make up their own minds.
However, if we’re going to vape wherever we please and make others feel uncomfortable as a result, we won’t get that positive message across to non-vaping members of the public. Here are a few points on vaping in public to think about.
In some public spaces, like UK high streets and the open pedestrian malls that are a common sight in Australia, vaping is fine as you’re doing it discreetly and not exhaling billowing clouds into the air. In other spaces, however, like parks and playgrounds where smoking is banned, it’s often not so clear whether it’s okay to vape or not. Use your common sense, especially if children are around, and always vape considerately.
Some workplaces now have designated vaping areas, which is something most of us yearn for at our respective workplaces. Nevertheless, others aren’t moving with the times and have relegated us vapers to the same sad spots as cigarette smokers, which is often out of sight somewhere out back, if not in plain sight right outside the front door.
If your place of work doesn’t have a vaping policy, politely suggest to your employer that they create one so you and your fellow vapers know where you stand, and perhaps ask about creating a designated vape spot where you can sit down and relax while vaping.
This one’s a ‘don’t do it’. Vaping isn’t legal on any form of public transport and it’s also not legal at bus stations and on train platforms. There may be some exceptions to the rule but, generally speaking, vaping on any form of public transport and waiting areas like bus stops is not acceptable. It doesn’t take much effort to wander a few metres down the road to enjoy your favourite flavoured vape while waiting for the bus to arrive.
Bars, Cafés and Restaurants
Indoors it’s definitely not allowed, but in outdoor areas, such as al fresco dining areas at cafés, it may be okay. However, always be sure to check with the proprietor and please vape discreetly, i.e. don’t cloud chase in a crowded space where people are sitting down to enjoy a coffee and chat with friends. Show some respect for those around you.
Until the word really gets out about vaping and much better it is than smoking tobacco, we’ll always encounter some opposition when vaping in public. That doesn’t mean, however, that we need to adopt an attitude in return. After all, you never know when you may be presented with an opportunity to educate someone about the many benefits of e-cigarettes and help us all enjoy greater vaping freedom.