It might surprise you to learn that there are several places that, as a vaper, you’re not allowed to vape in the vicinity of. A common misconception about vaping is that since it’s so different from smoking, the rules of smoking don’t apply to vapers.
This is an especially difficult concept for those vapers who use JUUL pods or other discrete devices that don’t produce a large amount of vapor. But unfortunately the world views vapers and smokers as one and the same, and has strict rules about the code of conduct for anyone blowing clouds from their lips.
Today, we’ll examine five places that you are not allowed to vape, regardless if it’s an indoors establishment or outdoor public place. Let's get started!
Subway stations might seem like a no-brainer, mostly because they’re underground and people might get nervous if they see a mysterious cloud approaching them. But what about the outdoor platforms? This was a real question of mine for a long time, since you don’t see any signs posted about not smoking/vaping. But a close friend of mine went further than simply questioning whether it was allowed: he actually took several hits from his vape while waiting for his train. Lo and behold, he was approached by an undercover police officer, who told him it was actually not allowed, despite being outside and no posted signs. He was even written a summons! The moral of the story? Wait until you completely exit the subway system before resuming your cloud-chasing activities.
BEACHES AND PARKS
Beaches are tricky because this includes both the boardwalk and the actual sandy shores. This can vary with every location, but in the summer you can be in the midst of hundreds of people and none of them will be happy to walk into a cloud without warning. I’ll admit, I am guilty of doing this on occasion. I have to remember that, even though I’m in a public place, I need to be respectful of the people around me.
The same goes for going on the actual beach. You might be tempted to think that since the whipping wind usually blows the vapor away fairly quickly, vaping shouldn’t be an issue. Keep in mind that your clouds will not always be appreciated by other beachgoers. The people in close proximity have a right to enjoy the warm sun and relaxing breeze without having to ward clouds off with their hands. Once you leave the boardwalk and are once again on the sidewalk or asphalt street, you should be fine to vape as much as you please.
Parks are very similar, in that public government property is available for the enjoyment of the residents. The last thing you want to do is have the cops called because your insatiable lust for clouds interfered with someone else’s enjoyment of the park. Many parks offer smoking sections throughout the trails, so keep an eye out for those as you walk.
I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve been at a concert and suddenly see a huge puffy cloud burst from the crowd, usually smelling of weed or vape. It’s enough to make me want to break out my vape and join in on the fun, but the risk of being caught and kicked out isn’t something I’d like to take my chances on. A quick puff is enough for security to reprimand you, or worse, kick you out of the building. Most concerts have metal detectors at the entry gates, and while I’ve never been told I can’t enter with my vape, it’s probably wise to keep your vape in your car or pocket during the concert.
The last two concerts I went to had a designated smoking section, one outside the building in a fenced off area and another at the far side of the alcoholic beverage arena. For the fenced off area, you had to have your hand stamped before you could return into the building. It was great to see the facilities had thought ahead for smokers and vapers alike, but keep in mind that not all buildings and concerts will be so kind. At any rate, try to get your puffs in before entering the building or arena. While music and vaping are a terrific combo, be careful that your love of cloud-chasing doesn’t prevent you from enjoying your favorite artist!
Again, this might seem like a no-brainer, but many people are so ingrained in their habits of vaping that it’s easy to forget your common sense in certain situations. Schools contain hundreds of kids on a daily basis, many of which have young unshaped minds and who look for adults to imitate. All it takes is one hit of your vape to produce a huge cloud of sweet-scented vapor and suddenly you have a group of kids asking, “What is that?” or “Can I try that?” Just like that, something as simple as picking up your kid from school can turn into a nightmare for both you and other parents. Since vaping is a strictly-enforced, age-appropriate product, it makes sense that it should be used by age-appropriate adults. If you’re picking up your sibling, your own child, or even a child you’re babysitting, it’s best to turn off your vape and leave it in your purse or pocket until you can vape without worrying about secondhand vape inhalation from minors.
While there are designated places in many amusement parks that you can go to have a vape break, there are usually smokers there as well. Since many vapers are recovering smokers, that may not be the best place to congregate, as you may be tempted to ask for one. But the biggest reason I have for not bringing my vape with me to a place like Six Flags Great Adventure in NJ is because I actually lost mine on one of the rides! It was the last ride of the day, and we had decided to hit up Bizarro. I thought I had tucked my vape far enough into the front pocket of my jeans, but with all the jerky twists, aggressive turns, and upside-down loops, it somehow got loose and fell out. I didn't even realize it until I had exited the ride and realized my pocket was suspiciously light. I checked with Lost and Found, but to no avail. My precious vape had been claimed by Superman's vicious alter-ego!
To be fair, taking a bulky vape to an amusement park filled with roller coasters probably wasn't the smartest thing. While you can take your vape with you to amusement parks, be careful about bringing glass bottles (those will be confiscated at the gate) or extra batteries (as those can overheat and even explode if left in direct heat for too long). I've learned to either leave my vape in the car in a cool dark place (my trunk, glove box, or center console) or bring a small drawstring backpack that won't add a lot of heat or weight to me while I walk around.
While vaping is usually something done outdoors without a second thought, there are certain places where you’ll have to keep your clouds to yourself! There may very well be other places that I haven’t mentioned, so be sure to leave a comment below if I missed one!
Different states and countries may vary with these laws; let me know if your state doesn’t enforce any of these rules! If you’ve had an experience vaping in any of these places and haven’t had an issue, definitely tell us about it!
There’s so much the world has yet to learn and accept about vaping; be patient and respectful wherever you go, especially in public places. For now, enjoy your clouds where you can and keep your tank full for all your traveling adventures!