The widespread availability of vaping in recent years has given smokers a safer, more socially acceptable alternative to cigarettes.
Studies have found that the more that smokers vape, the greater their chances are for quitting smoking successfully. The evidence further suggests that e-cigarettes are far less harmful and life-threatening than tobacco products.
Despite its monumental popularity in recent years, many people still aren't sure what's considered appropriate and what's not when it comes to proper vape etiquette. There seems to be confusion especially surrounding the matter of vaping at work, and other public places.
Are you wondering what standard vape practices are acceptable in the professional world?
If you vape, instead of trying to guess what the rules are, find out everything you need to know here!
A Practical Guide to Vaping at Work
Millions of people have made the switch to e-cigarettes, all over the world. And while it is certainly not as offensive as smoking tobacco cigarettes, users still should exercise caution in the workplace, as well as in the company of their employer or co-workers who may or may not use vape products personally.
Vaping spread so quickly that it happened before standards for use were established, leading to mass confusion over what is acceptable and what isn't.
Now, etiquette experts, employers, and even the government in some instances are beginning to weigh in.
After combing through sources, we came up with these guidelines that anyone can refer to regarding vaping at work.
The Common Courtesy List of Do's and Don'ts
1. Do Vape on Your Own Time
Excluding work breaks, you should not use time on the clock to vape if you work with others or in an office setting.
Instead, vape during breaks set aside for meals or otherwise and be sure that you follow the protocol set by your management.
2. Do Be Considerate of Others
If your co-workers are gathered outside to chat, you should ask if anyone minds prior to puffing. It's possible that the vapour could irritate allergies of others or may otherwise be offensive to someone for a reason that might not occur to you.
If you are not familiar with a group or if top-level superiors are present that you may want to impress, it is a good idea to find a more secluded spot to privately vape.
3. If Someone Asks, Do Answer Honestly
Although you may not want to broadcast your habit to all of your colleagues, you shouldn't lie about it if you happen to be questioned by a co-worker. And while stealthing is becoming a mainstream fad, it's better in professional circumstances that you don't sneak away to areas where vaping might be viewed as unprofessional (for example, the workroom or restrooms).
Use discretion, and if questioned about your habit, answer honestly and comfortably. You never know when someone may be asking out of curiosity spurred by their own motives, such as considering a personal switch from cigarettes.
Even if they are just being 'nosy' they will be more likely to respect your preference if you are forthright and mature in your response. As long as you are abiding by work-related rules and your habit isn't infringing on others, it won't likely cause a negative response.
4. Do Not Vape in Public Locales When Keeping Company With Colleagues
If you are invited out to an office-wide lunch, dinner, reception, or have a meeting in a public location, such as another office, library, or institution, wait until you can slip outside to vape.
It may be viewed as unprofessional, inappropriate, and in many cases, it can be against the law to vape in restaurants or other indoor meet-up spots.
If you have to attend for an extended period, slip outside for a vape break when you use the restroom or telephone. Most likely, no one will notice that you have even left the group if you don't linger.
5. Do Obey the Law
No matter how your co-workers or employer feels about vaping, you should first make sure that you are obeying the law. Never sacrifice good judgment that could result in the loss of employment, or worse, a legal infraction.
Be mindful of the expectations for those whom you serve in your career. For example, if you work at a hospital that does not allow vaping within a certain distance for patients, you should also follow this rule.
6. Do Not Vape When Riding Public or Shared Transportation
In your career, you may find that you sometimes or often must share transportation to and from business-related activities with others in your office or industry.
If you are sharing a taxi, bus, or carpooling, either in yours or someone else's personal vehicle, it's not a good time to break out your e-cigarette. When stuck on the road, your co-riders will have little say in whether or not they are exposed to the vapour.
If the weather is chilly, they may have to ride along with the windows up. And even for others who enjoy vaping, this can get stuffy after a minute or two.
Better yet, wait until you have arrived to inconspicuously disappear outside for a puff or two.
7. Do Not Blow Smoke
This rule should apply to any group that you may be around when vaping. Hopefully, it goes without saying, that you should never blow in the direction of others, especially towards their faces.
If you are chatting with others who are also vaping at work, then stand a few feet away so that you can talk comfortably without exhaling too closely.
How Does the Government Feel About Vaping?
In addition to practicing common courtesy, several government vicinities have established their own set of legalities towards the vaping trend.
While many of the suggested government guidelines allow for discretion, they typically provide a framework from which to base decisions.
In the UK, where the number of vape users rose to 2.8 million in 2016, the Department of Public Health England released a publication outlining a framework for professional policymakers to use when creating their own standards for vaping at work.
Their advice included the three following acknowledgments by professor Kevin Fenton, National Director of Health and Wellbeing at PHE:
"The evidence is clear that vaping is much less harmful than smoking and that e-cigarettes are helping many smokers to quit."
"This new framework will encourage organizations to consider both the benefits and the risks when developing their own policies on e-cigarettes."
"Different approaches will be appropriate in different places, but policies should take account of the evidence and clearly distinguish vaping from smoking."
Considerations for Professionals
The released publication from Public Health England, in agreement with Cancer Research UK, held that e-cigarettes are playing a key role in reducing the harm caused by tobacco.
They urged professionals to abide by five considerations when instituting their vaping at work policies. These consisted of the following:
Make clear the distinction between vaping and smoking
Ensure policies are informed by the evidence on health risks to bystanders
Identify and manage risks of uptake by children and young people
Support smokers to stop smoking and stay smoke-free
Support compliance with smoke-free law and policies
The UK's approach varies from some of their neighbours, however.
Vape Users on the Rise While Vaping at Work Dips in the U.S.
In the United States, many states have banned e-cigarette usage in public areas and professional buildings, giving individuals less leeway to make their own rules.
In 2014, 28 of the United States and the District of Columbia had enacted a ban on smoking at work. But only three states, which included New Jersey, Utah and North Dakota, had added e-cigarettes to those bans.
On the other hand, 150 municipalities had banned vaping at work and public spaces, listing restaurants, bars, and offices as no-zones.
In 2014, Forbes also reported that many of the most popular U.S. chain stores and employers, including Walmart, Target, and Home Depot, who collectively employ millions of workers nationwide, had put in place a "no vaping at work" policy. It is unclear if these retailers allowed vape breaks or vaping on the grounds, however.
Be sure that you are mindful of the precise rules according to your area prior to puffing to avoid any potential conflict.
It should be noted that although some places are stricter than others, almost all agree that vaping is a preferred habit compared to smoking tobacco.
Even with national and state law addressing the issue, vaping at work does not appear to carry the health, professional, social, or legal ramifications associated with lighting up tobacco cigarettes, comparatively.
Do You Want to Quit Smoking Tobacco?
If you have been wanting to cut back or to quit smoking cigarettes altogether, vaping may be the solution for you.
Vaping at work and other public places are much more convenient and less obtrusive than the tobacco alternative. You won't have to worry that co-workers smell the stench of smoke after you vape. Almost all experts agree that the health risks associated with vaping don't come close to those of tobacco products.
If you're not sure where to start, check out our wide selection of vape products to get started today!