Unravelling The Complicated Etiquette Around Vaping

Fashion goers are causing controversy by using their e-cigs in the front row. But that's not the only place it’s not OK to shove an electronic stick in another person’s face, right?


by Erica Buist |
Published on

Major controversy is happening at Fashion Week, people. Front rowers are pulling out their e-cigarettes from those tiny clutch bags and vaping away as the models stomp by. And others aren't impressed by it. Amongst them, blogger Bryanboy, who went on a rant about how rude vaping is recently. ‘I’m a chain smoker, but I know there’s a limit. I know how to pay respect to a designer,’ he told The Cut at a New York Fashion Week afterparty.

And, never having been to Fashion Week myself, I have to agree with him. Whether it’s on the front row, or in a Tesco’s, not every time is vaping time. In fact, as the e-cig biz has boomed this year it’s had some nasty consequences to those whose of us who still puff away IRL – and those of us who resolutely don’t. In short: vapers, we need to talk.

This is a bit awkward, because I’m about to have a little moan. Just a little one. I’m not declaring war or anything, but there are some things that need to be said. For some of you, this vaping thing is a hobby; a huff-puffy, tasty, gadget-y joy. And it’s not nice to moan at people about things that bring them joy.

READ MORE: The Unique Complications Of Living With A Stoner

Some of you vape as a way of quitting smoking, and that’s admirable and the best of luck to you. I agree, purchasing cancer in tiny, smelly increments is a very odd thing to spend your money on and it sucks that it’s so difficult to stop. You have my sympathies. I myself am addicted, to Vaseline. Which is not the same at all.

It’s great that you’ve found a way to smoke without blowing hundreds of additives including about 70 carcinogens – let’s just say it: cancer – in people’s faces. Although not blowing potentially lethal substances in people’s faces is a courtesy that’s taken a surprisingly long time to catch on, don’t you think?

Here’s the thing, though: there are several places you can’t vape without also being a bit, or possible quite a lot, of a jerk. I have taken the liberty of listing those places.

The non-jerk may not vape:

In my nose

The fact that vaping is legal does not mean it’s not ASTOUNDINGLY rude in certain settings. Like around very expensive one-off clothes at a Fashion Week. Or around food. I really do admire how expertly you’ve mixed those flavours, and yes it really does smell like peanut butter and chocolate with a hint of mint – but I’m eating a lasagne here. You’ve shoved a smell between my nose and my food. You put the wrong smell almost directly in my nose at the worst possible moment. That’s rude. This also applies to people who peel oranges at their desks.

I really hope that one day I cease to be amazed by what people do in the cinema. And vaping is one of them. You realise the health risks of passive smoking are at about number four of the reasons people don’t want you smoking cigarettes at the cinema?

All the others also apply to vaping:

  1. It smells, and I’m trying to smell the movie. Or my popcorn. Whatever. Don’t put smells in my nose.
  1. Smoke and vapour are both visible. Since the cinema is pretty much all about seeing the movie, please don’t put a vapour veil in front of the screen or force me to talk over the movie about what a douchenozzle you are.
  1. You look like an oblivious, pretentious tool when you puff in the cinema and it’s going to make someone give the very tired ‘bloody hipsters’ speech, and I’ve already sat through that rant four times today. I wish I’d stop it.

The library is another no-no. Because again, we’re sharing a confined space, so get out of my nose.

READ MORE: Cough Medicine, Coke And Crack Pipes: What Recreational Drug Use Looks Like Across The World

In my ears

Vaping is only 10 years old, so like most 10-year-olds, it’s not yet clear whether it will have harmful, long-term effects.

That’s something I have learned not to say to people who vape because they get quite weirdly defensive, angry and insistent in my face. Please don’t do that. It’s weird. And I want to talk about it, I do – but not for two hours, and if it could be a two-way conversation rather than a bollocking, that would be great.

In my brain

Please also don’t talk to me at tortuous length putting facts in my brain about the different models, batteries, liquids, flavours or chargers. I can see why it would be fascinating, I really can, but I’m also aggressively uninterested. You may as well tell me about the motor on your fridge and expect me to say, ‘Wow, that’s cool! Oh... see what I did there? HAHA – but seriously, tell me more.’

In my mouth

I actually do not want to try it. So please stop asking, encouraging, and repeating the lecture on how safe it is. I’m not standing here trying to convince you to try eating frozen bread (even though it’s awesome) or pogosticking to the bathroom when you really need to pee, am I? Let’s stick to our own hobbies.

**Like this? You might also be interested in... **

Exactly How Safe Are Those E-Cigarettes You're Sucking On?

A Dutch Company Has Just Produced The First E-Joint

10 Thing You Really Don't Need To Be Carrying In Your Handbag

Follow Erica Buist on Twitter: @ericabuist

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us