To Vape or Not to Vape

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Earlier today I was visiting with my cousin (she started vaping just a few months back) and the discussion turned to where can you vape and where can’t you vape.   In most all of Central Florida there are no vape bans/laws yet…it’s still (rightfully) up to the business proprietor or property owner as to whether you can vape somewhere or not.  Things may be different where you are.  But much like passing gas, just because you can doesn’t necessarily mean you should.

Look, I’m no Vape Etiquette Master; and I’m certainly not some fount of Vaping Rules that one should follow — but sometimes all it takes is basic common sense and a little courtesy.  One of my rowdier vaping buddies, Rick, usually has a healthy bit of both — but not always; especially after a few vodka-based beverages….

Last week we were at a small neighborhood dive kinda bar having a couple drinks when I asked the bartender if it was OK to vape in the place.  “I’d prefer it if you don’t,” the guy said.  “If you want to do that, you can go out to the patio around back.  With our crowd, it’s just easier that way.”

Looking around the place, I got the gist of what he was saying.  There was a pool table smack dab in the middle of the floor, some electronic dart machines against the wall near the front door and an assortment of hard-scrabble types scattered about the place.  So after coming back in from the patio from grabbing a quick vape, Rick asked “Where’d you go?”

“Out back to grab a vape.”

“Out back? Screw that,” he said and grabbed his SB and worked up a huge cloud of vapor.  There were some murmurs and gibbering at the sight of this cloud heading toward the pool table, and some guy in a leather jacket broke out a pack of Marlboros and lit one up.  “Hey, you can’t smoke here,” the bartender said as discreetly as possible.

“Yeah? WTF is that, then?” he snarled more than asked, pointing at Rick’s vapor cloud.  Soon, someone else grabbed a pack of smokes and lit up.  After another protestation from the bartender, a small fight broke out and a glass of draft whizzed by my head.  I knew two things…Rick was gonna enjoy this, and I wasn’t.  So I carefully eased out to the patio and hopped the fence, went back around front,  and got into the Slapmobile to wait.  Just as I heard a siren blaring from around the corner, Rick came out laughing — his shirt torn and carrying glasses of vodka and coke in both hands — and jumped into the car.  I calmly pulled out as two cruisers pulled in….

I see the question of when to vape or not to vape posted a lot; personally, I never vape in a restaurant when others at tables around me are still eating; and never without first asking about the establishment’s policy.  I know we like to tell people that vapor doesn’t have an odor or aroma, but most of the nicquid I’ve ever vaped does.  It may not smell like cigarettes, but it’s like people who blare their car stereos far too loudly that you can hear a block away– what makes them think I wanna hear what they’re playing?

Basically, it all comes down to some common sense and respect.  There’s nothing wrong with asking permission of your hosts to do something…whether those hosts are your friends at their house, a business owner or club manager at their places of business, whatever.  If I’m a guest, I usually ask if it’s OK before doing something that in some way impacts others — or else I’ll step outside with the smokers.

Since vapers are an overwhelming minority in this country, it follows that the majority of people don’t know from Shinola about it or us.  And the characterizations they make about vaping and those who do it are made by first impressions.  I’m not above doing a couple of stealth toots at the grocery if no one else is around; but I’d likely not brazenly blow a huge cloud of vapor while asking the store manager where the Nutella is.  I’ve done my share of stealth toots in the cinema and made sure to exhale slowly so no one knew.  Is it against the law?  Probably not, but it will likely color people’s perception of vapers in a manner we may not like.

Most of the theme parks here in Central Florida don’t mind vaping except in queues, and I have no problem with that.  If I’m outside on public property, I’m vapein’ like a chimney if I wanna.  In a long queue somewhere for tickets or to get in someplace?  I’ll ask the people around me if they mind.   If I’m in a taxi, I’ll ask the cabbie if he or she minds.  But all that’s just me.

And if you’re gonna just whip it out and vape away regardless?  Just make sure you’re not in the same dive bar I was in last week.

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  1. saboinia says

    i agree ask first…..just to make sure they do or do not mind just to play it safe

  2. Sylvie says

    wish more thought like you and like us other vapers that do have respect for others around us!! personally i have followed the no smoking indoor policies with my vaping since day one, it just makes sense to do so to me.. Only indoor place i ask if i can vape is our local bar and even there i often go out to smoking area with the smokers since my mostly VG ejuice loves to cloud up the place and them pool players indeed are not happy about that one lol

  3. John "Shub" Fellhoelter says

    Great post Slap… things could’ve ended a lot worse but you managed to squeak by. Rick needs to settle down! LOL

  4. Nev NYC says

    I’m always courteous and try and not bother ppl with my vaping but i do vape pretty much everywhere i go.. you did raise a good point on how vapers will be portrayed if we just dont care at all who we may or may not offend or bother with our vaping.. getting vaping banned all together would be bad and if i would have to go outside with the smokers all the time everywhere i go then that would be much worse than being just slightly more sensible as to where i vape..

  5. Mike says

    HAAA, sounded like a goooood time. 🙂

  6. hallucinoJEN says

    In case of a dive bar where you were at, I can see why it wasn’t OK to to vape. Apparently, they were so stupid, they couldn’t tell the difference between a vaporizer and a cigarette.

    I have to disagree about asking for permission though. The more we hide and act like it’s smoking, the more people will thing it’s just like smoking even though it’s nothing like smoking. The less the public knows about vapor, the more easily they will be duped by the Prohibitionist (especially when they claim that vapor smells like smoke in which I have seen them do).

    If you’re going to vape in public, you HAVE to be prepared to talk about it to clear up any confusion people may have in their minds. Because of this, I have handed out so many business cards to people (smokers AND non-smokers usually because non-smokers know someone they love who smokes).

    Just 2 weeks ago, I was in line at Food Lion, and the lady in front of me was buying a pack of Virginia Slims and waiting for the manager to get the cigs for her. She was talking with the cashier about how hard it was to quit smoking, especially on how traditional NRTs didn’t work for them. I chimed in and said that I stopped smoking by using my ecig, and I blew out a cloud of vapor as a demonstration. They were very much impressed and wanted to know more. I game them each some business cards and info for the Richmond Vape meets. I don’t know if anything went any further for them, but at least I planted a seed in their heads for when they are ready to stop smoking the cancer sticks.

    If I had kept it to myself, they would not know about this wonderful invention we all love.

  7. tiffjamesnjj says

    if i am going to blow clouds, i ask… when i am going to be there for awhile, i ask… if they say no, i either go with the smokers or stealth it if i can..

  8. hallucinoJEN says

    Ecigs getting lumped into smoking bans occur out of ignorance over not knowing that it’s not like smoking.

    Being pioneers of vaping, we must join CASAA at to help fight for our right to vape in public and educate the ignorant..

    By hiding what we are doing, we are just hurting ourselves by making people believe we are doing something wrong.

  9. RCO67 says

    Interseting story slap. I agree with every word.

  10. NonFat says

    started a bar fight over vapor…. I laughed and WTFed at the same time

  11. Karla Lyle (MsV8PR) says

    I think that was perfectly said. Love the analogy But much like passing gas, just because you can doesn’t necessarily mean you should. Very well stated and I think I might want to stay out of that dive bar, vaping or not. LOL

  12. TheCrookedOne says

    I have a tendency to follow the same rules as when smoking a cig. Unless i am in Walmart… Its on in Wally world….

  13. MrsB3 says

    Couldn’t agree more, Slap. Good stuff

  14. bybees3 says

    Good stuff, Slap.
    So many vapers seem to think we should be able to do it wherever we want, not realizing the adverse effect it can have. People who don’t smoke or vape have no dog in the fight. But, if we go around, imposing our ‘right’ to vape where we wish, we will offend these people and they will join with the ones who oppose vaping. In this situation, we have nothing to gain, but everything to lose.

  15. Nerva666 says

    i vape everywhere and screw business owners, they got a problem i would leave but haven’t had a problem yet, only curiosity. sick of these yuppies, i was against the smokers ban and defiantly against any restriction on vaping.

  16. Ben Stewart says

    I treat my vaping with the same common courtesy as I do anything around others. I chew silently, I try not to project foul breath (or other bodily oder…)

    Likewise with the vapor I exhale, I consider the fact that I do not want to knowingly inhale anything that that came from someone else’s body, and I act in accordance to that consideration.

    However, there must be an effort on our part to increase the visibility and publicity of vaping. The anti-smoking agenda went way too far. Instead of simply exposing the dangers of smoking, they chose to direct ridicule, condemnation and judgement at the smokers themselves. In fact the USAG once touted the fact that smokers now “cower” in shame.

    I remember a couple years back, I was spending the day at a local theme park. Still a smoker at that time, I had to search for a while before finding the “designated smoking zone”. This “zone” was a little yellow box painted on the ground. There were a couple of us huddled within the small confines, which happened to be smack dab in the middle of one of the main walking paths of the park. As I noticed all the looks of disdain and resentment we were receiving from the passing crowd , I suddenly realized we were in a form of modern stockade.

    That is the battle for vapers. It isn’t so much the justification of the e-cig that is needed, but rather the re-humanizing of the
    vapor-transitioned smoker.

    So while we should act with every common courtesy, we should refuse to act, and be treated, as smokers.

  17. Tyler says

    great post!

  18. Ms Puffinstuff says

    Wonderful post, Slap. You always make sense. From the start I knew that if I vaped indoors in a public place around here people would go nuts, so I haven’t. Since then, I found out that it’s banned in public buildings here anyway and it’s been in place since 2009. Back then I don’t even recall seeing e-cigs in stores, but the county put a ban in place knowing nothing whatever about what they were banning. Not even surprising. Just another nice thing about vaping, as opposed to smoking, though, is that if you can’t find a place where you can vape in peace, stealth is possible in an emergency.

  19. Tony says

    Good stuff

  20. FloridaVaping says

    I normally bow my head and vape into my shirt… LOL

  21. slap_maxwell says

    Thanks for the comments!

  22. MrsCasey says

    I agree completely. I may be the first introduction to Vaping that a non-Vaper, non-smoker or even anti-smoker might have. If I am in your face I have rights I’ll do what I want rude that is gonna leave a bad impression about Vaping in that person’s mind. I have been approached by non smokers quite a few times when Vaping outside of a restaurant and I have been given the opportunity to tell them what I know about THR, how well ecigs work in helping smokers kick the habit and myths about nicotine. Had I Vaped inside the restaurant not only would I have risked turning people’s opinions against ecigs but I would have missed the opportunity to convince someone that THR and Ecigs are a much safer alternative then tobacco cigarettes.

  23. morrinb says

    Great writing!

  24. stogismkr says

    Great article and great posts, this has sparked quite a discussion. I agree on both counts, I am respectful about where and when I vape, outside of my home, however, I no longer wish to be categorized as a smoker either. As a matter of fact, even only after a few weeks of not smoke the smell gets to me.

  25. Michelle says

    I love reading your stories, They are always entertaining and educating Thanks Slap

  26. bybees3 says

    Agree, MrsC

  27. Hannah says

    great post slap!

  28. VapersWin says

    I never ask, but then again, I never go to the bars anymore. I could see that being an issue like the one you wrote about. For the most part I just like being able to vape anyplace I go and feel good about it. Its not like us ex smokers did not put up with a bunch of crap in the past. So I guess I like the feeling of knowing. I am not actually smoking. But I see your point. Might need to tone it down some. WM checkout is my favorite though : (

  29. Dale Van Droof says

    If I am not 100% certain that I can stealth vape and get away with it I will ask first. I spent a weekend in the hospital and I stealth vaped the entire time because I knew there was no way I was gonna get caught…lol.

  30. Flux83 says


  31. Anthony says


  32. crystal harris says

    Great story Slap 🙂

  33. slap_maxwell says

    Might have to go back for another round so i have another story to post. 🙂

  34. MrsCasey says

    Lol, Slap. If you do go back for Round 2 just make sure you don’t land in the drunk tank. Although, that might make for a good story too.

  35. slap_maxwell says

    No drunk tanks for me, thanks. Sometimes the old 9 to 5 is close enough to jail for me. 🙂

  36. carlos says


  37. cobaltjord says

    I agree with your post! My bosses don’t mind at all and I am so thankful. They ask me why I step outside and I always reply because there are customers inside. When there are no customers there, I happily vape away at my desk. I tried to be a courteous smoker, so why not be a courteous vaper? Use common sense and we can go a long way!

  38. Stephen W says

    Discretion will take you far in life. If you wanna be able to vape at work, step around the corner and take a quick puff. Don’t walk up to your boss and money shot him in the face just because it’s not a real cigarette. Same thing with crowded places. We can at least delay the knee jerk reactions that are going to come our way.

  39. aaron says

    To Vape!

  40. slap_maxwell says

    Great replies, fellow babies! Thanks!

  41. mjfive says


  42. Tsull says

    I agree. My girlfriend is like your friend Rick… I can’t stand it.. lol. and she doesn’t even have her own devises. We’ll be in Walmart, and I will have let her borrow a disposable or an ego battery earlier in the day.. and she just busts it out waiting to check out or in the middle of a crowded aisle.. I never tell her, but that bothers the hell out of me. I will stealth vape here and there if I am having a nic fit.. but not just because I can and flaunt it. There needs to be an awareness of how it can make people feel uncomfortable, and to be a little more conscientiously polite and less blatant. A little consideration and subtlety can go a long way for vapers.

  43. Andrew says

    always ask first and if anyone protests i politely step outside to get my fix

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