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How To Smoke An E-Cigarette in Public

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Do You Have Vaper-Phobia? You’re Not Alone! 

Smoke 'em anywhereSo you’re ready to try electronic cigarettes, but there’s that nagging issue about smoking your e-cigarette in public.  What if someone thinks you’re smoking a real cigarette?

Will you be chastised? Will they throw you out of the restaurant or off the airplane?

Probably not; however, it is really unfortunate that anti-smoking activists, self-serving public health officials and all those holier-than-thou members of “I hate smokers” groups just can’t control their outrage and disdain when they discover an e-cigarette smoker “vaping” in a public place.

I have vaped in many public spaces successfully, but I also learned that it takes some know-how.

What To Expect

Getting comfortable “vaping” in public, especially in cities that have eCig bans in place is not all that simple, unless of course you enjoy confrontation. First of all, traditional e-cigarettes look like real cigarettes. Even if you vape a tank, or eGo style ecig you may get dirty looks. While no smoke is produced, no flame, no tobacco smell and no ash, you do puff on it and you do produce a vapor cloud. That’s what gets the wolves salivating. 

Unless you’re really cagey, pretty soon someone will complain that you are polluting the air (which you are not), or breaking the rules (which may be unfair but true). More likely, someone will avoid the actual confrontation, preferring to snitch on you by complaining to the nearest policeman, waiter, maitre’d or airline flight attendant.

Find out  How Can You Get Away With Smoking An E-Cigarette on an Airplane.

So What Does the Savvy Vaper Do?

Here are some methods that have worked:

First stab the accuser with the end of the e-cigarette and watch them jump. Then say “Hah, fooled flame!”

Okay.. that was a joke. I’ll start again.

Apologize for upsetting the accuser, then say, “I vape because I choose not to smoke toxic cigarettes. I do it for myself, my loved ones and to set an example for those who still smoke.  

The vapor appears only when you take a puff, unlike the smoke that continuously comes from a lit cigarette. Also, it doesn’t travel more than a couple of feet and it dissipates almost immediately. Contrary to sensational news stories, this ecig, does NOT produce any toxic smoke. Studies are now showing that second-hand vapor is harmless…far less harmless than the emissions from that bus that just went by.

Once the accuser is (hopefully) diffused, you can tell them that even Mitch Zeller, director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products said,


Electronic cigarettes are all about tobacco harm reduction and ecigs have life-altering advantages. Explain that smoking your e-cigarettes in public helps to create product awareness. Subsequently, others may be encouraged to quit smoking a truly toxic product, tobacco cigarettes.

If  You Need to Get Tough

Every once in a while you’ll come across a really tough critic. You know who they are; those sanctimonious individuals who refuse to accept any smoking alternative no matter how innocuous it may be. They take great pleasure in denouncing you as a lawbreaker and maintain the lofty assumption that anything resembling a lit cigarette needs to be banned from public view. Most likely, they read a headline that says e-cigarettes may or may not be completely safe for anyone.  This highly emotional reaction is a behavior that could prove deadly for people who choose to avoid learning the true facts and who continue to smoke because of the “dangers” of e-cigarettes.  


If You’re Not Sure Whether It’s Safe to Vape Follow These Guidelines. 

Smoke Something That Doesn’t Look Like a Cigarette

  • Many excellent e-cigarette companies offer designer styled batteries so your e-cigarette doesn’t resemble a real cigarette. Green Smoke has eight cool new designs . We have even written a review of both Green Smoke’s designer batteries,  #1 best selling V2Cigs and  Vapor Couture’s beautiful designer batteries for women. Small personal vaporizers are also a good choice.
  • Don’t flaunt your vapor clouds. Many e-cigarettes now produce greater vapor, but if you’re vaping in public, use the “stealth” method of taking smaller puffs. If you hold the vaper a few extra seconds before exhaling, you’ll also reduce the amount of vapor. The biggest complaint non-vapers have is that they’re offended getting a cloud of vapor in their face.
  • If you are at a restaurant or bar, simply say, “do you mind if I vape?”. 
  • Vape a mild flavored e-liquid in public. Some people are just as offended by strong smelling eVapor as tobacco smoke.

More Smart Ideas for E-Cigarette Smokers

If you enjoy using your e-cigarette in public and would like to feel more relaxed when you do so, why not ask your favorite restaurant or bar/pub owner to post a “Vaping Permitted” sign in his or her establishment. Many e-cigarette distributors will supply a free poster.

In Conclusion….

Until there are enough e-smokers out there to tip the scales, making e-smoking acceptable social behavior, it’s likely vapers will have to tolerate a few ugly stares. A few may even be scolded in public like naughty children.

But take heart, there’s safety in numbers. Join the ranks of responsible vaping ambassadors when vaping in public by keeping it low key, unoffensive, and by spreading the word about e-cigarettes – the smarter alternative to smoking. 

There are also ways to protect your right to use electronic cigarettes indoors and in public spaces.  Voice your demands for the retention of e-cigarette rights.

If you type “electronic cigarette laws” into a Google, Yahoo or Bing search, you’ll find a lot of information, including petitions to sign. You can write to the appropriate lawmakers and show up at city council meetings and argue against any legal restrictions on the use of e-cigarettes.

Better still, join CASAA – The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association.

Need to compare prices and details of the most popular e-cigarette brands? Check out Cloud Nine’s comprehensive  Best Selling Electronic Cigarette Comparison Chart.   

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About the author


Hillary Miles, Cloud Nine’s editor and contributing author is an Emmy award-winning national television writer, producer and marketing expert whose clients have included HGTV, The Food Network, CNN, TBS, TNT and The Cartoon Network.

She is the editor for Cloud NineSavvy ExaminerBest E-Cigarette Guide and ECigarette News . A talented artist, Hillary also creates uber cool ecig t-shirts for Vaper Design Studio.

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