Never wear white to a wedding (unless you are the bride).
No phones at the dinner table.
Look people in the eye when you meet them.
Do not covet your neighbour’s wife…. I could go on.
Etiquette is just basic human consideration and when it comes to manners, certain rules are not made to be broken.
So, what vaping behaviour is socially acceptable and what is guaranteed to mark you out as persona non grata?
Out and Proud
Cloud chasing in a non-private environment is bound to rub some people up the wrong way. Read the room. It may feel limiting but anything that casts us in an anti-social light is damaging for the vaping community as a whole. Creating huge plumes in a room of non-vapers is, well, just not cool.
You know we all hate being labeled obnoxious, and these vapers are simply adding fuel to the fire. And we are not into fire, or any combustibles for that matter. So take a look around you and assess the situation. If people are giving you the evil eye, or moving away, just respect that they find your cloud invasive and desist. Or better still, don’t do it in the first place. Remember good etiquette ultimately comes down to basic manners.
It’s Not Always Better to Ask Forgiveness Rather Than Permission
You would be surprised by just how effective simply asking the person in charge if they mind you vaping really is. In doing so, you are acknowledging that they make the rules and you are willing to abide by those rules whatever they may be, plus you are appealing to their goodwill.
If in doubt, asking permission is always best and if the policy or ‘house-rule’ dictates that vaping is not allowed then it is important to respect this. Take it from someone who knows. If I could get the time back that I wasted during that first year trying to defend my vaping to waiters, bartenders, ushers (yeah, I’m talking about the ones in the cinema and theatre), I’d have…. some time back.
Anyway, just ask. You may never return, but good etiquette has been maintained and we all move on.
This is also sometimes referred to as “stealthing” and it’s the oldest (and the worst) trick in the book. This is when an individual holds a vaporiser in their closed hand with only the mouthpiece or tip protruding, inhales the vapour deeply and holds it in their lungs for long enough so that when they exhale no vapour is visible.
What, I hear you cry, is so uncivilised about that? Well, for a start, it looks pretty shifty. Ever tried to have a conversation with someone holding their breath? It’s strangely off-putting.
Also, it’s actually hard to do (nature dictates that at least a little of the vapour that went in, comes out). And it doesn’t make for a pleasant vape. I mean, is anything that involves holding your breath for sustained periods of time ever really that enjoyable, all told?
The only reason an individual would choose to stealth vape is because they are in a scenario that frowns upon the activity and as we discussed, under these circumstances we, as a community, politely abstain.
(Should your host or venue permit you to vape subtly, AYR’s discreet mode allows you to do so. With the simple touch of a button, the glowdown lights dim and a minimal amount of vapour is produced. A happy compromise, one would hope, for all.)
Not in Front of the Kids
Okay, so studies have proven that second hand vapour is not harmful. But where children are involved, it’s important to set a good example and not set their curious little minds whirring. Not to mention, it’s important to respect the parents so always err on the side of caution. We want to normalise the activity in adult society but not around youngsters. End of discussion.
Explain, Explain, Explain
You don’t want to be the veritable vegan at a bbq BUT if people are curious or do not understand the process of vaping or how it differs from smoking, enlighten them. The more society understands something, the more willing they are to accept it. And that is our mission.
Do Not Preach to Smokers
Most of us were smokers once. Cast your mind back to the days when you were either not ready or not willing to give up tobacco. And the annoying ‘reformed smoker’ who had succeeded in quitting and could not stop lauding it over you. Don’t be that person. You may be ‘only trying to help’ but we invite smokers to join our community, we don’t grab them by the scruff of the neck and drag them away from combustibles.
Here’s a tip. Not everyone wants to share their tips. It is not something that bothers me, personally, but I know vapers who carry around spare tips for when other individuals want to try their product. It’s quite simple, you wouldn’t assume you could take a sip of someone else’s drink so don’t assume you can wrap your lips around their vaporiser. If you are conscious of germs yourself, having spare tips on you is a good way to allow others to experiment with your device in a social environment.
Vaping in Cars
This one comes down to basic common sense. Smoking in cars is now against the law. The same does not apply to vaping … and we would like to keep it that way. Huge clouds of vapour in cars with closed windows obviously impair visibility. This is just the kind of excuse the powers-that-be need to clamp down on it. So, vape sensibly in cars. With the windows down. And always ask the driver’s permission – because that’s just polite.
So, there you have it. Not too much to ask, right? A good way to stick to the rules is, if in doubt, ask yourself: is this likely to alienate the vaping community or normalise it? Then follow your best social instincts.