Should electronic cigarettes be treated with the same harshness as traditional combustible tobacco? Who are any of us to decide for the group? I do think that those who vape disrespectfully or rudely do not help things. As with any new technology it will not be widely accepted immediately, if ever by some. It comes as no surprise that so many places have enacted laws to treat vaping the same as smoking traditional tobacco cigarettes. Considering the subjective nature of the topic I want to first reiterate that this is merely a personal opinion. Furthermore it’s only the opinion of an American living and vaping abroad.
Iam of the mindset that I should not vape in a place or situation where I would not normally be able to smoke a cigarette back home in America. I choose to treat it the same as I would have treated a cigarette in the past. It’s my opinion that nobody would want me to blow cigarette smoke in their face so why should I blow a cloud of Kentucky Bourbon, Madagascar Vanilla, Coconut, and Almond at them? Generally being aware of others and concerned with their comfort is one thing that can easily separate the vapers from the smokers. Beyond that we, as vapers, have some incredible social hurdles and misconceptions to clear. Making it more difficult makes no sense.
It’s not as bad as it was before since vaping has been in the media’s eye for the past year at least. However vapers still get a lot of attention, especially due to the fact that most devices look more like a beta max video cassette or lightsaber. With electronic cigarettes looking more and more unlike traditional cigarettes we can expect a certain amount of curiosity or derision. For me, being in China, I can expect to receive googley eyes and stares whether I vape or not. When I first started vaping my device resembled a lightsaber or a sonic screwdriver, so the attention it caused me to receive was almost unbearable. The key difference is that I live behind a language barrier so offering any sort of articulate explanation is impossible. I still try my best to explain what I am doing and what it is in the most friendly way possible, despite my terrible Mandarin. My point is that when we encounter the curious we, as vapers, get the chance to put our best foot forward and educate someone about electronic cigarettes which could lead to the conversion of one more smoker. This person might be someone’s mother or father, or maybe someone’s sister or brother. To me it’s a beautiful thing to educate another about the benefits of this technology.
I can sum this up with a single word, “respect”. With so much controversy surrounding vaping as an alternative to cigarettes and as an industry I can understand wholeheartedly how people do not want to have vaping classified as a tobacco product and regulated accordingly. I also understand how some may think that following the regulations in place for smoking in public may lead the greater public to come to view vaping as the same thing as smoking. The caveat to this is that the damage even one rude or irresponsible vaper could do to vaping and the electronic cigarette industry is immeasurable. So I implore all of my fellow vapers all over the world to vape respectfully and responsibley. The future is ours to make!