Smoking & Vaping in Public

Man Vaping Outdoors in Sunglasses
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos

It might be challenging to imagine living in a modern world without vaping. Vaping culture has become a part of contemporary culture. The fact is that we cannot indicate or classify people who vape – a vast number of people vapes. Surely, there is something that captures the attention of the majority of Americans or/and Europeans, or Europeans and/or Asian people, but such a grand scale of interest to vaping is horrifying. We cannot deny that vaping has become a new fashion obsession all over the world. We can hardly remember any precedents before.

That is why when we are talking about the present time when both sixteen-year-old girls and the big cheese from Google Inc use vaping devices, the question of vaping in public is a cutting issue. In the UK, public health officials insist e-cigarettes are 95% safer than cigarettes. In the US, the FDA does not acknowledge that e-cigs are safer. The general public seems to be 50/50 of vaping. The research is ongoing and in the meantime regulators around the world are trying to figure out how to regulate vaping and e-cigs.

For quite a long time, vaping in public was not regulated at all. Vape pens are not cigarettes, so the restrictions and bans on cigs could not be applied for vape pens. Nowadays, the situation has changed, but not dramatically. The difficulties with a vaping lie in the following moments:

  • Vaping was thought to be a healthy alternative to smoking. That was the purpose – finding such an option – when vapes were developed. Now, the most confusing thing is that we have no enough pieces of evidence to prove whether e-cigarettes or usual cigarettes are more harmful. Introducing nicotine-free vape pen from has brought more ambiguity into this question. However, even having dozens of researches that prove that even vapor produced by non-nicotine vape pen contains plenty of harmful chemicals and, in some cases, provoke cancer, there still exist people, who consider vaping to be a rather innocent activity.
  • Some people still see attempts to explain the harm of vapes as the fight between the cigarette and vape industries. No jokes, some people think that cautions about possible damages of usual vaping or vaping without nicotine are just the methods to bring discredit to vaping as such. Unfortunately, there might be a grain of truth in this position, because smoking was one of the hugest ways to make money from.
  • For a while, everyone had access to vaping devices, and there was no limit, the most required of which is the age. It has become a problem, because nowadays, thanks to all existing stereotypes, teens can convince parents that vapes are ok and some of the adults gladly present no nicotine vape to their offsprings.

Taking into account the factor above, some questions about the regulation of the use of vapes in public arise.

Are people allowed to vape in public transport? Actually, according to the law, you are not allowed to smoke (which includes using a pipe, a cig, a hookah, a vape, an e-cig, some shisha) in public places and workplaces, which include public transport. If you are out of the USA, it is better to consult local laws as they vary within the globe.

Man with Beard Smoking Electric Cigarette
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos

Could vapes be used in cafes, restaurants, and museums? In general, the answer is yes, but it has many ‘BUTs.’ Both smoking and vaping are ok in a café but special halls. The same thing is with restaurants. If we talk about a museum, usually you cannot vape or smoke, because the vapor or smoke itself might destroy the pieces of art. The question is individual, and the answer depends on the policy of the particular place’s you are visiting.

Are the restrictions against smoking valid for the nicotine-free vape? Yes, at least in the USA. According to the law, there exist a list of things, the use of which falls into ‘smoking activity.’ Vapes and e-cigarettes are on this list.

Can we vape at the airport, or railway station? It also depends on the particular place and country, but usually, you cannot vape inside a train or a plane. In the UK, for instance, vaping is banned all the airports indoors, but London Heathrow. If we talk about platforms at railway stations, it also depends.

These and many other questions are ones of the most popular requests among those who regularly use vaping devices or smoke. However, you cannot foresee the policy of every place you visit. The important factors are the place (the country, state, building, etc.), your personal data (age, gender, etc.). Some of the examples around the world tell us that people in authority are not loyal to vaping anymore.

The breaking news for vapers is that India has adopted remarks in their laws and now not only several regions but also the whole country has a ban on vapes. That is a severe action because not only the use of vapes is forbidden, but also manufacturing, sale, distribution, advertising, import, exports, transport, and storage.

In the USA, the wave of bans on flavored liquids, which could be used either for usual vape mod or a non-nicotine vape pen, is said to be aimed at the reduction of harmful impact on youth. Many people are aware of the fact that now there could be a boom on the black market, because of this federal ban.

People tend to have completely different attitudes to the problem, and while the government tries to react to the requests to save youth from a new bad habit, the others see it as an attempt to curb freedom. Therefore, some people claim there is no difference in the question of whether you smoke cigarettes or use vapes, but the result is always cancer. The other – less pessimistic – see vaping as a transient phase: from tobacco cig to a vape, and then from a non-nicotine vape pen to not smoking at all. The attitude to the ability to use vapes or smoke is different in the same way: some people try not to pay attention to vapers and smokers; the others do not want to become second-hand vapers and smokers.

Taking into consideration these attitudes and the need not to curb people’s freedom, the regulations about vaping and smoking in public are aimed at compromising.