While vaping is a much less harmful alternative to smoking, the rules around when and where you can vape can be confusing. Knowing the socially acceptable way to vape in public is important to ensure you're respectful of your surroundings.
In addition, staying informed about vaping laws will help you better understand social etiquette when it comes to vaping.
Below you'll find some helpful guidelines around vaping etiquette.
A lot of people want to know: can you vape inside? Vaping inside the workplace in New Zealand is prohibited (with limited exceptions).
While some of us can work from home, it's best practice not to vape whilst in a meeting or on call, especially on video (such as Zoom or Google Meet).
Generally speaking, etiquette around eating and drinking during a meeting can also be applied to vaping.
In New Zealand, vaping is prohibited in any part of a casino, restaurant or licensed premises that is not an open area.
Something to keep in mind is a restaurant is usually a sensory experience, specifically around smell and taste. Using a vape in this setting could be considered anti-social, as it could interfere with people's meals. Check in with the staff to see if they have a designated vaping area.
This one's relatively easy to remember as vaping is prohibited on most forms of transport, specifically on passenger service vehicles such as buses, trains, taxis and rideshare services, like Uber.
Vaping (and smoking) is also prohibited in motor vehicles carrying children. If you are in your car alone, you're good to go. If you have a passenger, the rule of thumb would be to ask whether they're okay with you vaping. Remember you're in an enclosed space, so not everyone will be comfortable with vaping in a car.
Not sure? Ask
The most straightforward way to know whether you're in a situation appropriate for vaping is to ask. Whether that's the host, a friend, or a stranger, generally, you wouldn't want to vape in an enclosed space, such as an elevator or bathroom, as the clouds are more likely to enter someone else's personal space.
Sometimes you won't be permitted to vape somewhere, and while this can be frustrating, it's best to be respectful and comply. You can always ask if there is an area close by where vaping is permitted so that both parties can reach a happy medium.
It's important to remember that vape clouds can set off smoke alarms, so keep that in mind to avoid accidentally setting off a fire alarm.
Being mindful of people's space is a matter of courtesy for both vapers and non-vapers alike.
For many people, vaping is a means to quitting smoking and doesn't carry the same harmful tobacco toxins as cigarette smoking. Those who don't vape should keep this in mind so as not to cause vapers discomfort when vaping in public. At the same time, vapers should be considerate not to blow clouds too close to people.
Being aware of your surroundings and proximity will help you not encroach on the personal space of others. Everyone should be accommodating and respectful of each other's preferences.
Keep it clean
Avoid leaving vaping equipment such as vape juice, vape pods, tanks, coils and other vape equipment lying around. No one like's a mess, and you want to be considerate of people who may not vape. If possible, ensure you recycle your vape with programmes like VapeCycle powered by TerraCycle.
These are some basic guidelines that will help you navigate vaping in public. While they're not set rules, keeping them in mind will ensure you're considerate of others and help to have a pleasant vaping experience.
If nothing else, one of the main takeaways from vaping etiquette is to ensure you're respectful of other's views and be aware of when it might not be the appropriate time or place to vape.
Sometimes vapers can get a bad rap, so using vaping etiquette will enlighten those who may have misunderstandings and show how thoughtful vapers are.