Today, everyone is aware of the dangers that smoking cigarettes pose, from yellow teeth to life-threatening conditions like emphysema and cancer. Vaping provides smokers with a safer alternative.

But did you know that there is an etiquette to vaping? That’s right: you shouldn’t just pull out your vaporiser anytime you feel like it. There are certain social settings where vaping could be deemed just as rude as smoking a cigarette. So rather than embarrass yourself or your group of friends on a night out, here are some of the etiquette rules you should know next time you reach for your vaporiser.

  1. Know How Your Vaporizer Works: Vaporisers are battery-operated devices that heat an e liquid inside a capsule hot enough to “vaporise” it and produce the smoke alternative that you inhale. Unlike cigarettes which contain harsh smoke, tar and harmful chemicals, the vapour that is produce through an e-cigarette is mostly water vapour. The e liquid contains the nicotine and any flavouring that you may want, like strawberry, sour apple or “smoke” that simulates the taste of a real cigarette. The good thing is that users can get the nicotine they crave without the dangerous additives that cigarettes possess, so it makes for a great way to wean yourself off of real cigarettes. The amount of vapour produced corresponds to the intensity of the heat. This is important to know when you are in social settings, because, while it may be alright if you vape, you may be producing too much vapour that can annoy other people. If this is the case, just turn down the power on your device and you should still receive a nice flow of vapour.
  1. When In Doubt, Don’t: A good general rule to follow when using an e-cigarette is that if smoking a real cigarette would be frowned upon or is outright banned where you are, then do not vape. Many places — like hospitals or at the cinema — have bans on smoking for health and safety reasons, so you should never vape if you are in such a building. As for other social settings, just use common sense. If you are visiting a friend who doesn’t smoke, then don’t vape inside their house — just take a moment to step outside and your friends will thank you for it. Also, if you are around pets, you may want to think twice before vaping. Many people are very protective of their dogs and cats and, even though e-cigarettes are a safer alternative to smoking, may not like the idea of you vaping around their pet. If you use an e liquid with a strong smell, make sure that the people around you aren’t sensitive to fragrances.
  1. Vaping On A First Date/Girl Night: Using your e-cigarette on a first date can be tricky. Chances are, if you’ve had any type of conversation before agreeing to the date, that the issue of smoking has already been broached and you were honest with the other person. Because vaping isn’t considered as “dirty” as smoking real cigarettes, the other person won’t mind. If they do show signs of doubt, though, be courteous and leave the vaporiser in your bag. They will appreciate your consideration and the subject can be hashed out another time. If you have a night out with the girls, pay attention to the restaurant or club’s smoking policy. There are some establishments that specifically ban vaping, so make sure you know the policy before doing so.
  1. Vaping At Work: One of the benefits of vaping is that you don’t need to take a 10-minute break every time you want to smoke: you can just take a drag or two and continue on with your day. Some business like the idea of no smoke breaks, so they may allow you to vape at your desk. If they don’t, they will probably have no problem with you taking a quick break every now and then. Just remember that vaping can have a lingering effect on you throughout the day. If you wear lipstick to work, make sure to check your lips after vaping. Also, never vape too soon before a meeting, otherwise you may carry the smell with you into the room, which may be a turnoff to co-workers and clients. When you’re at work, treat an e-cig like a real cigarette and you should be fine.

Vaping provides people with a safer alternative than smoking, but there is still etiquette that you should be aware of. Lucinda Watson writes on a range of lifestyle topics for a variety of women’s blogs around the web. She also enjoys arts and crafts and long walks on the beach.