Vaping Etiquette: How to Vape the Polite Way

With so many turning to vaping e-cigs as a less harmful alternative to smoking, we’ve seen a huge influx of new vapers. This is a great news, and the larger vaping community is always excited to accept new vapers into the fold. However, because of how new vaping is, there may be some grey areas surrounding proper vaping decorum.

With smoking, it was always quite simple: don’t do it in enclosed spaces or even just near others. However, with there being no laws currently banning vaping from public areas, it is often down to the discretion of the property owner or vapers themselves to make the decision on whether it's OK or not. 

Not to worry though! is here to help set the record straight. We’re passionate about vaping, so we want both vapers and non-vapers to get along as best as possible. For this reason, we’ve put our heads together, done some research and come up with the Do’s and Don'ts of vaping etiquette, along with plenty of useful information.

Where is vaping legal?

Unlike some other countries, the UK currently has no explicit laws prohibiting the use of e-cigarettes in certain places. This is contrary to smoking, which is famously subject to tight controls complete with laws and enforceable penalties. Currently, vaping operates on a more discretionary basis with businesses, workplaces and landowners deciding their own vaping protocols. PHE does offer some useful information on the current UK vaping policies, including advice for organisations.

While this may seem brilliant, it can actually be a headache for discerning vapers who don't want to offend others. Vaping rules can differ wildly between locations including workplaces, bars and even shops. This can make vaping something of a social gauntlet, where you can spend a good deal of time just figuring out if somewhere is vape friendly. To help, we’ve curated a list of simple rules based on our own experience and research.

Vaping Dos and Don’ts

These tips are far from exhaustive, but can make vaping on-the-go a little less complicated. Stick to these and you’ll avoid ticking anyone off, making the vaping life easier for you and everyone around you!

Do - Ask!

The first thing you should be thinking when you reach for your vape in a new setting is whether it’s OK to vape there. The easiest way to find out is to just ask. For example, if you’re in a pub or bar, just ask a member of staff, they will probably know if vaping is allowed. If e-cigs aren’t allowed inside, they can point you to a smoking area where it’s OK to vape. It’s important to remember this everywhere, even in people’s homes and cars. Even though vaping may be less harmful than smoking, people may prefer others not to vape in their personal space.

Do - Check for signs about vaping

Nowadays, most businesses are savvy and realise that vaping is commonplace. Because of this, many have begun placing vaping guidelines as they would for smoking. As you walk into a pub, bar, restaurant or even an office, try to take notice of any signs you see upon entry. Look out for no smoking signs as well, as sometimes businesses will also add vaping instructions underneath the smoking section.

Do - If all else fails, treat vaping like smoking

If, for some reason, either of the above haven’t worked out, then the best bet is to just treat vaping as you would smoking i.e not indoors or around others. Although we know the health benefits of vaping over smoking, many see them as one and the same. Furthermore, e-cigarettes can be annoying for those who aren’t vapers themselves, as the clouds of vapour and odour may be unpleasant to them. Think of others first, that way we can improve and maintain a positive image of vapers!

Don't - Vape in queues

Even though you may be outside and in public space, vaping in close proximity to others is a big no. Places such as queues are a prime example. Although you are outside, and perhaps not subject to any laws, the smells and clouds of vaping can still be unpleasant for those around you, who have no choice but to inhale the vapour you are producing.

Don't - Blow vapour in people’s face

This one should really just be common sense, but you’d be surprised how often people forget this. Even we (as seriously avid vapers) don’t particularly enjoy having other people's vape blown directly into our faces. Even if you’re with friends who don’t mind vaping, just make sure you blow your vapour down or to the side, out of people's way. Unlike cigarettes, vape devices offer a lot of control over where your vapour goes, so make use of this advantage!

Don't vape while driving

Experts confirm that vaping in a car while driving can cause significant distractions. Not only does it impair visibility but it also could attract heavy fines, as much as £5000 and 9 points on anyone'd driving licence. Though vaping while driving is not illegal, the police warn motorists that if caught, it will be considered as ‘driving without due care’. According to the Road Traffic Act, anything that obscures a driver’s vision, including vape clouds and mist can lead to prosecution. Therefore, to promote responsible driving, government authorities advise citizens to maintain visibility in their vehicles to prevent any injuries and avoid serious consequences.

Don't sneakily vape

If you’re in a place where you can’t vape, of which there are many, don’t try and beat the system by taking sneaky puffs on your e-cig. No matter how discrete you are, it's not hard to detect the smell of vaping, or see the wisps of fine vapour. While staff may not see you and ask you to stop, other people may, which could lead to confrontation. Furthermore, a lot of people will be too polite to ask you to stop, but you will no doubt annoy them. This damages our reputation as vapers and contributes to a negative stereotype.

Vaping in a relationship

Another big part of vaping etiquette we get asked is how do people view vaping from a romantic point of view. Well, we did some research on how smoking or vaping affects relationships and found that vaping is indeed far more preferable than smoking for potential suitors.

For vaping in a relationship, we’d recommend sticking to our basic etiquette do’s and don’ts. This includes both in public and in your partner’s company. We can’t imagine a first date would go very well if you were to be blowing clouds of vapour in their face all evening and getting into disagreements with members of the public!

How to vape in public

In summary, it’s really quite easy to vape in public, even with all of the potential social pitfalls. Just remember that the easiest thing to do is to treat vaping like smoking until you have more info. Having respect for other people goes a long way, and if us vapers respect others then we’re sure that people will have a lot more time for e-cigs in the future.

Learning when it's OK to use your e-cig is one of the main concerns when starting to vape, which is why we wrote a dedicated article! If you’re after more vaping advice or if you’re wondering what the best e-cigarettes and e-liquids are to begin with, we’ve curated a superb vaping guides hub to get you started on the right path!