Now you’re all set up, mod in one hand, e-liquid in the other.
You have kicked the habit and you are free to do what you please, uninhibited by all those pesky SmokeFree signs and the stench of cigarettes.
I implore you to rethink your stance.
Almost 4 years ago, Vapourium set up the first dedicated brick and mortar vaping supply store in New Zealand, and since then vaping has become a nationwide phenomenon. The Ministry of Health is on board encouraging smoke-free services to introduce vaping as a method of quitting smoking, but we haven’t reached the finish line yet.
With new media articles every week “exposing” the side effects of vaping, we have to band together as a community and an industry to protect what should be the death of tobacco in New Zealand. But what can we do?
Education comes to mind. We can educate people about the benefits of switching to vaping.
Educate people in how to properly use their devices and feel confident doing so.
But in my opinion, the big one is etiquette.
Back in the day, before you made the switch to vaping, would you light up a cigarette in a crowded bus stop? Or at your friend’s house while you’re over for tea?
You certainly wouldn’t light one up at your kid’s school!
Ok, you got me. A couple of these examples are grossly exaggerated, but my point remains.
As smokers, we were forced by law and by society to keep our smoking habits to ourselves and refrain from lighting up just anywhere. It is my belief that the same should apply to vaping.
There are situations and settings where vaping is completely acceptable, and although I don’t claim to be a wealth of knowledge when it comes to social etiquette, there are some things that really just come down to good manners.
Vaping while driving?
I don’t know that any of you have tried vaping while driving. As someone who doesn’t drive, I haven’t, but I have been in the passenger seat. One change in wind direction and the vapour is all through the car and obscuring the drivers vision, causing a risk for not just us, but everyone on the road.
The reality is, vaping is intrusive. Although it smells nicer than cigarettes and it has been proven that second-hand vapour is virtually harmless, that doesn’t mean your average person walking down the street wants a face full of it. If you HAVE to vape on the streets, be mindful of the people around you. If you’re sitting outside a cafe with friends, it doesn’t hurt to ask the people around you if they mind, or switch seats so that the wind carries it away, rather than vaping out the entire seating area.
As you’ve no doubt noticed, there are also a number of SmokeFree signs outside around New Zealand, and they are not a guideline or a recommendation. They are the council taking into account that many people really do just want to breathe air, plain old simple air. And while the Ministry of Health is trying to catch up on vaping regulations in New Zealand, it’s only polite that we give your average non-smoker or non-vaper the space designated for them to be able to breath smokeless/vapourless air.
Vaping with smokers?
I’m sure we have all seen this image before: A smoker waving away your intrusive clouds with a cigarette in hand. There’s no need to get upset or criticize them. If you feel comfortable, try to talk to them about it. It’s really as simple as just blowing towards the ground rather than straight into the air.
Vaping with children or pets?
Robbie posted about this last week, and you can check out his full blog here. In short, and in my opinion, children and pets don’t get a choice in the matter. In the same way I wouldn’t cloud out a grocery store, I’m not going to cloud out my daughter at our house. No matter how many studies prove that second-hand vapour is virtually harmless, it’s about common courtesy.
Vaping at work?
Legally, you can vape in the workplace, but it ultimately comes down to your boss. I am extremely lucky to work in an office with my fellow vapers, but some of our staff do not vape and we have taken the necessary precautions to prevent them from having to sit in a vaped out room all day every day. For example; the office next door has a makeshift vent to prevent the room from being clouded up.
Again, just ask. Check in with your boss, and see how they feel about it. Although they probably won’t agree with you vaping inside, they may give you some options about where on the premises you can vape freely.
Keep in mind, these are not “Rules to Vaping”, they are simply measures you can take to prevent your vapour from becoming someone else’s issue.