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Vaping 101: E-cigarette Etiquette
The Makeup of an Electronic Cigarette
First and foremost, an electronic cigarette is an apparatus that does not burn tobacco. Instead, they function as inhalers that run on a lithium battery. The user inserts a cartomizer filled with a nicotine-based liquid into the device, and it in turn vaporizes the liquid. The result is a water-based vapor; the act itself is called “vaping.”
These facts are important because they underscore the differences between typical tobacco cigarettes and e-cigs. These devices represent a new frontier for smokers, and many non-smokers often don’t know quite how to react to these new nicotine delivery tubes. And just as tobacco enthusiasts of generations past had to consider how to behave when new laws were passed, so too do the new legions of e-smokers that are springing up throughout the country. In fact, with so few laws on the books concerning e-cigs, folks need to be even more conscious of proper etiquette when firing up that vaporizing device in public.
Just because e-cigarettes aren’t covered under most smoking bans, that’s no reason to go vaping wherever and whenever one pleases. People in public places are often thrown off by the appearance of an e-cig because they often look very close to the real thing. And while the water vapor produced by one of these devices won’t do any second-hand harm, just using one can lead to misunderstandings and disagreements of the kind to ruin a person’s restaurant or cinema experience.
Indeed, many e-cigarette manufacturers are encouraging prudence when using their products in public. To avoid even the perception of impropriety, it is simply best to do what standard smokers do and electronically light up outdoors. It’s also good to err on the side of caution in this manner because the Food and Drug Administration may still implement firm regulations regarding usage of these devices in public.
E-smokers should always take the initiative whenever out in public. That means asking waiters, bartenders or salespeople whether it is in fact okay to e-smoke in their particular establishment. Because these devices are so new, relatively speaking, many employees may not know how to respond. The best weapon the e-smoker has at his or her disposal is information, like the info found in the first section of this article. E-cigarettes produce an odorless, water-based vapor that is perfectly harmless to those in the vicinity. If the proprietor or employee still has an issue after being presented with these facts, it is best to avoid an argument and take the e-cig outside.
In the end, e-smoking etiquette doesn’t stray too far from that of tobacco cigarettes. The main difference is that society has yet to decide on how these devices will be treated in public. Hopefully folks will see them for what they are – a healthier alternative to paper cigarettes – and allow e-smokers to vape as they see fit.
Image by: Michael Dorausch
Lauren Nance is a professional blogger who provides information on the latest electronic cigarette developments. She writes for Smokeless Image Electronic Cigarettes, a top provider of smokeless e-cigarettes and e- cigarette accessories.