With today’s consumers of nicotine products rapidly converting to a more socially friendly medium like e-cigarettes, many have become confused as to the etiquette associated with them. Can I use this in public? Where am I not allowed to use them?
If you are unfamiliar with e-cigarettes (electronic cigarettes), they are battery operated, hand-held devices that generally vaporize liquid. The liquid, depending on user preference, is flavored and may or may not contain nicotine.
Etiquette is one thing to consider, but there’s also the law. The laws on e-cigarette use vary by location. Some cities, like Philadelphia, have begun banning the use of e-cigarettes in public establishments; these include places like shops, bars, and restaurants. However, Philadelphia does allow the use of e-cigarettes in specialty e-cigarette business establishments. In Delaware, the state has only banned the use of e-cigarettes in their state buildings. Currently in Maryland, there is legislation proposed that will ban all indoor use of e-cigarettes. For other states, like New Jersey, the state does not explicitly have laws that ban e-cigarettes.
There is a hazy line of whether or not e-cigarettes can be used in many 100% smoke-free establishments. Even though e-cigarettes do not emit smoke, it should never be assumed that users can start vaporizing anywhere, anytime. For that reason, users should follow these simple rules of etiquette:
- Look around for signs stating e-cigarettes are not welcome.
- Ask an employee or manager if it’s okay to use your e-cigarette indoors. Usually, they’ll be glad you asked and let you vaporize.
- In a friend’s house or car? Ask before you vaporize. Just because you are friends does not give you free reign.
- Be respectful. Out and about with friends and colleagues? Ask others if they mind that you vaporize.
- If you’re in an establishment that doesn’t allow e-cigarettes, don’t make a scene. Make your way outside to vaporize.
- Exhale the vapor in modest size, and do not blow the vapor in the direction of anyone. People are still getting used to the idea of e-cigarettes, and may not care to have the vapor around them.
- Do not vaporize around children.
- Keep yourself educated about e-cigarettes and impart your knowledge to those who ask. Widespread knowledge and acceptance is a step in right direction to be able to vaporize in public places.
If you are traveling by air, the TSA currently do not have any rules against you bringing your e-cigarette through the security check-point. If you’re using liquid to vaporize, you should still abide by the liquid limits imposed by the TSA. Most airports have banned the use of electronic cigarettes, unless you are in designated smoking areas. If you’re unsure about where you can or cannot use e-cigarettes, simply ask an airline staff member. Most airlines categorize e-cigarettes under the same umbrella of cigarettes and ban their use.
While on the plane…
Vaporizing in the bathroom is prohibited – they are equipped with smoke detectors that are super sensitive and detect the vapor.
When traveling on buses and trains be wary of the laws of that state and/or city and also be on the lookout for signs prohibiting the use of e-cigarettes. Many public transportation systems are banning their use.