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It’s hard to believe that e-cigarettes, which have been around for over a decade, still inspire so much debate when it comes to  vaping etiquette. With years of vaping behind us, and millions of vapers around the globe, you’d think we’d have arrived at a basic standard of how to best use our devices without potentially offending other people. Given the sheer number of online discussions about vaping politely, it seems we still haven’t reached a consensus. So, while there are no clear-cut rules about puffing on an e-cig outside your home or car, here are 8 rules of vaping etiquette to make life easier for everyone.

Blowing Smoke into Someone’s Face is Always a Bad Idea

 E-cigarettes are not like traditional cigarettes, and some e-liquids certainly smell delicious, but no one really wants a face full of your exhaled vapor. This really should go without saying, but it appears not everyone has gotten the memo. If you’re out in the world, with a group of people, make it priority one to avoid blasting them in the face. If you’re in a situation where vaping is okay, at least try to direct your exhaled vapor towards the ground or downwind. It’s just common courtesy

Don’t Vape in Crowded Public Spaces

Okay, this one comes with a caveat – if you’re in a crowded bar where vaping is okay, then vape away. If you’re in an elevator, or a on a crowded street, or in a restaurant full of people (even if it’s just a McDonalds…), then the polite thing to do is to not pull out your device and begin puffing away. To win the battle of public perception (and let’s face it – winning over non-vapers helps our cause), we need to be sure we’re erring on the side of caution.

Stealth Vaping

This is a tricky topic – I know people who consider it a challenge to see where they can get away with secretly vaping without anyone noticing. Honestly, though, this is probably a bad idea. Vaping in secret (provided you aren’t caught) seems like a victimless crime – but if you do get caught, it potentially gives all vapers a bad reputation. You don’t want to do that…

Don’t Vape Around Children (or the Elderly)

E-cigarettes are arguably significantly safer than traditional cigarettes, but that doesn’t mean it’s cool to start vaping in areas where kids or the elderly are located. Most parents are going to freak out in this scenario – so avoid the whole scene by keeping your e-cig safely stowed in the presence of little ones and senior citizens.

Don’t Vape in Restaurants

While the urge to light up after a good meal can be strong, be considerate and don’t do it. Vaping etiquette dictates to avoid vaping in places where smoking is prohibited – and this is particularly true of restaurants. Again, these aren’t the Ten Commandments etched in a stone tablet, but it’s usually advisable to consider other people’s feelings.

If You’re Unsure, Ask

If you’re out in a public, in a friend’s home, or just anywhere outside of your own property and you’re not sure if it’s okay to vape, the best thing you can do is ask. Asking makes you appear conscientious of others, and eliminates any confusion on the issue. If the owner/manager/whoever tells you it’s okay to light up, go for it. If not, you won’t commit a faux pas that offends other people.

It’s Okay to Chase Clouds – Just Not Around the General Public

Sensing a theme yet? So many of vaping’s etiquette issues stem from how vapers interact with the public at large. There’s a lot of misinformation out there, so non-vapers seem to automatically equate your e-cig with the real thing, even if they are quite different. This is particularly true if you’re a cloud chaser. Blowing a dragon-like plume of thick white smoke out in the world is sure to freak out the non-vapers. So it’s probably best to blow the huge clouds in your house, at the vape lounge, or during a contest.

Don’t Just Help Yourself to Someone Else’s Vaporizer

Yes, that new flavor your pal is vaping might smell amazing, and you’d totally love to try it – but make sure you ask before you grab the device and wrap your lips around it. Not everyone wants to share something that goes into your mouth – and vaporizers can be very personal things. Grabbing without asking is a good way to get the stink-eye from your friends.

Unfortunately, a lot of this list feels like it’s dedicated to protecting the feelings of non-smokers and non-vapers…and it is. While smoking and vaping are different things, the general public has linked them together thanks to a wealth of bad studies, scare-tactics, and fear-mongering. We can help combat these preconceptions with information – and by making sure we try our best not to make people uncomfortable when we’re vaping out in public. Practicing good vaping etiquette is a great first step.

Now go forth and vape responsibly! For more on this topic, check out the following article.