While the popularity of electronic cigarettes ever increases, ‘vaping’ is not yet a familiar term among the general public. For this reason, the technical legality of e-cigs is often ignored or overlooked as the likes of individual bars and restaurants or plane and train operators ban them for reasons such as their potential to unsettle other patrons. But having to pop outside with the smelly tobacco smokers surely robs enlightened vapers of one of the finer side-benefits of vaping, an injustice this article intends to combat with guile, grace and just a little bit of sneaky shim-shammery.
Anyone who is a smoker will know of all the day-to-day smoking stealth techniques that have been used ever since their schooldays. Having a clandestine puff in a public toilet or in the alleyway is a time-honoured tradition amongst tobacco addicts, and unfortunately still applies to innocent vapers still mistrusted by the unenlightened public.
Should vapers have to stoop to such methods? Until vaping is recognized as harmless and unobtrusive, the need for stealth will prevail. Presented for you here is a short guide on secret techniques you can use to steal a quiet vape when in public places.
Vaping on flights and long train journeys shouldn’t be a problem for the enlightened as an obvious ploy is to make use of the facilities and have a quick vape in the loo. Combine a genuine visit or simply alight in a cubicle for the sole intention of a good vaping session. This method works because the emitted vapour is odourless and will not set off smoke detectors. Alternatively, long distance trains have slide-opening windows in the doors which are usually un-peopled areas and ideal for a cheeky chuff on the old vape.
(picture courtesy of cignaturemagazine.com/vaping/)
Secretly vaping in a pub or bar is possible, assuming you have mastered holding your e-cig in your palm to disguise your inhalations and any LED light it has. The only other concern is the visible vapour that you will exhale. However, the vapour dissipates very quickly so with a keen eye watching the staff and nearby patrons, you could try exhaling at appropriate times when nobody is watching – though this is a risky strategy best kept for when you manage to secure a private booth. Alternatively, when out in the open, lean forward while you take secret puffs and direct your exhalations under the table. Also the larger the group of friends you are with, the easier it is to conceal your vaping shenanigans. Simply arrange yourselves in circular fashion and direct all exhalations downwards into the middle of your group. With wise placement, even using just a single friend to block the view of your exhalations can work wonders.
(picture courtesy of jimdavisphotography.com)
Vaping in restaurants is a trickier affair and you should probably take advantage of their facilities as smoking around people eating has been taboo for far longer than the smoking ban has existed. In a vaping emergency though, you can always pretend you have a shoelace malfunction that needs urgent attention and deftly duck below table level for a couple of covert puffs. Then just aim your exhalations directly under the table where the overhanging tablecloth should conceal the rapidly dissipating vapour cloud. Large menus afford reasonable cover also, though one must keep on the look out for the returning waiter.
‘Stealth-mode vaping’ is a vital addition to this list. What happens when vaping becomes part of your every day routine? You probably want to vape pretty much anywhere, on the fly. That’s where the tried-and-tested ‘stealth-mode’ techniques come into play. Vaping into your jacket or rucksack is a practice long-established by smokers and now carried on by vapers. A little bit awkward, but at least with an e-cig your jacket and bag remain stink free.
Vaping at work should be approached with caution, as there are instances of people losing their jobs over it. Obviously, you’ll know if there is a private place (other than the toilets) where you can sneak a few pulls on your vape, but a better strategy might just be complete honesty of your intentions. Explain exactly what vaping is to your boss who will likely be impressed by your apparent desire to achieve more for her by avoiding time-wasting cigarette breaks. You can also educate any worried workmates as to the health benefits for you and the complete lack of passive effects for them.
(picture courtesy of cvapourlites.com)
In all situations, you can try employing a folded newspaper or similar to fan yourself while exhaling as the extra air flow will help dissipate the e-cig vapour even quicker. As with the workplace though, sometimes it is better to simply explain what vaping is to any staff and fellow general public members. It’s unlikely to lead to permission to vape in every case, certainly not in enclosed places like airplanes, but the more we educate the ignorant and uninformed, the closer we move to a utopia of vaping anywhere and everywhere we like.