It’s so sad, many anti-smoking activists, 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 a smoker violating the new non-smoking-area rules. Although most cigarette smokers do obey the rules, many electric cigarette smokers who try to “vape” in a non-smoking area have been accused of doing the dirty thing, i.e. smoking in a public place. For those enlightened souls who have switched to e-cigarettes, it can be very intimidating, dealing with the ignorant.
What To Expect
If stage 1 of learning to smoke an electronic cigarette is getting used to the heavier feel of the cigarette and learning how to charge the battery, then stage 2 has to be getting comfortable “vaping” in public. It’s not all that simple, unless you enjoy conflict. First of all, most e-cigarettes look like real cigarettes. While no smoke is produced, no flame, no tobacco smell and no ash, there isvapor and that’s what gets the wolves salivating. Unless you’re really cagey, pretty soon someone will reprimanded you for breaking the rules. More likely, someone will avoid the actual confrontation, preferring to snitch on you by complaining to the nearest waiter, maitre’d or airline flight attendant.
So What Does the Savvy E-Smoker Do?
Here are some suggestions that have worked for many:
First stab the accuser with the end of the e-cig and watch them jump. Then say “Hah, fooled you..no flame!”
OK.. that was a joke – I couldn’t help it. I’ll start again.
1- Apologize for upsetting the accuser, then say, “This is just a fake cigarette, it doesn’t produce any smoke or smell,.. it’s just water vapor”. Once the accuser is (hopefully) diffused, you can tell them that what they’re looking at is an electric cigarette (e-cigarette) and that it has marvelous properties.
- no tar
- no smoke
- no smell
- no flame
- no ash
- no offense
2- Another great thing to do is to tell your story. If you’ve been a smoker, let people know how much better you feel, how much better your house (and breath) smells and how you’ve overcome a bad habit.
3- Explain that smoking electric cigarettes in public helps to create product awareness. Subsequently, others may be encouraged to quit smoking a much more dangerous product, tobacco cigarettes.
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 so it won’t bother anyone nearby.
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, while maintaining the lofty assumption that anything resembling a lit cigarette needs to be banned from public view. This highly emotional reaction is sadly, a behavior that could prove deadly for e-smokers if we let those groups get too organized and too powerful.
Here’s How to Handle the Tough Cookies:
1 – Somebody says, “That e-cigarette may be harmless, but it still looks like you’re smoking and people in here may start to light up real cigarettes!”
Just say, “I’m not breaking the law using this little personal vaporizer, but if someone does start smoking, I hope you will ask them to stop.”
2- The Maitre’d approaches you. Get out your wallet and show them your Green card.
Smokefree, one of the most reputable e-cigarette companies, includes a membership card in all product kits. They anticipated that customers would need some additional support while in no-smoking zones.
Second Hand Vapor?!
If someone complains about becoming contaminated from alleged chemicals that may invade their space, just give them a demonstration and set them straight.
The odorless vapor, unlike the smoke that continuously comes from a lit cigarette doesn’t travel more than a couple of feet from the user. It also tends to dissipate more quickly than smoke, making it fairly undetectable and unobtrusive for those nearby. It’s also harmless, despite recent fear-inducing reactions from tobacco interests groups and others bent on banning anything that looks like a cigarette.
Just Do It
It’s a great idea to ask your favorite restaurant owner to post a “Vaping Permitted” sign in his or her establishment. It could save more than conflict – it could save lives. Ask your e-cigarette distributor if they can supply a free poster.
Until there are enough e-smokers out there to tip the scales, making e-smoking proper social behavior, its 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, so spread the word about e cigarette being a better alternative to smoking.