There may not be much scientific evidence that vaping is harmful, but that doesn’t mean everyone’s on board with allowing this relatively new trend to continue moving forward in its current unregulated state. Both anti-smoking activists and lawmakers alike are spooked by this activity that bears such a strong resemblance to traditional tobacco use. Vaping remains largely unregulated at the moment, but that is changing.
Vaping enthusiasts around the country are concerned about protecting their right to vape. Lawmakers in some cities, like Los Angeles, have already banned vaping in public, and other cities may soon follow their lead. Vapers fear the advent of regulations that could make it more difficult to get e-cigarettes, e-liquid and other vaping devices. But you don’t have to stand idly by while lawmakers debate the right to vape. You can take steps to protect your vaping rights, including being polite and discreet about vaping, contacting your government representatives with your concerns, supporting bans on vaping for minors, and getting involved with the vaping subculture.
1. Be Polite When Vaping in Public
When you’re rude about vaping in public, your bad behavior reflects poorly on the movement as a whole. Many anti-smoking activists aren’t convinced that vaping is safe, and don’t want to be forced to breathe secondhand vapor. Members of the general public may not appreciate what they may perceive as being exposed to chemicals without their consent. Even if someone isn’t concerned about possible toxicity, most secondhand vapor bears a trace of the fragrance used to flavor it. People on crowded buses or eating in restaurants probably don’t want a whiff of your dark-chocolate-scented vapor.
But, if you’re polite about public vaping, members of the non-vaping public will remember you when it comes time to vote on important legislation; your interaction will color their opinion of vaping and could mean the difference between a “yes” or “no” vote. Ask permission before vaping, and don’t vape on public transportation, around children, or in other situations where it’s considered rude.
2. Be Discreet
“Cloud chasing,” the practice of trying to blow the biggest clouds of vapor you possibly can, tends to put people off the vaping movement. Not only does it reek of showing off, it’s also that much harder to escape when someone’s exhaling huge clouds of it. You also run the risk of catastrophic equipment failure when cloud chasing — it can cause batteries to overheat and explode. Catastrophic equipment failure gives members of the public the wrong idea about vaping’s safety.
3. Write Lawmakers With Your Concerns
It’s your right as an American to contact your lawmakers when you feel your rights are under threat. When writing your elected representatives, remember to be respectful, articulate, and brief.
Let lawmakers know what vaping means to you and be sure to let them know how vaping has changed your life, and why you feel the right to buy e-cigarettes and vape is an important part of your lifestyle. If you’re speaking at a council meeting or other public meeting, prepare remarks ahead of time and don’t vape in the meeting.
4. Support Vaping Bans for Minors
As of December 2014, kids under the age of 18 were allowed to buy e-cigs in 10 states and Washington D.C. Vaping is fine for adults, just as consuming alcohol in moderation is fine for adults. But nicotine is an addictive stimulant, and it’s not something kids need to be using. By supporting bans on vaping for minors, you’ll be allying yourself with parents, lawmakers, non-smokers, and anti-smoking activists, all of whom rightly desire to protect children.
5. Get Involved in the Vaping Subculture
Vaping is more than just a hobby — it’s an entire subculture complete with conventions, clubs, and activist groups. By getting involved in the vaping subculture, you’ll meet others who share your passion for vaping. You’ll also learn more about right-to-vape groups in your area and what you can do to help protect vaper’s rights.
Vaping is a loosely regulated hobby, but that’s changing as it grows in popularity. Changes on the regulatory horizon could put your right to vape in jeopardy — but not if you act now to protect your right to vape, for yourself and for vapers around the country.