Like most things, there's an etiquette for vaping …

Look, no one can argue that vaping isn't a safer way to smoke. Whether we're talking weed or nicotine, vaping is often the cleanest method of intake.

But, you don't have to be a vape douche about it.

Just because you discovered a less toxic way to smoke doesn't mean you should inflict your personal habits on the people in your vicinity. Although you're quite proud of your newfound smoking method, there are people who don't know or care how harmless e-cigs and PVs are purported to be, and they don't exactly appreciate seeing you vape in public or worse, being forced to breathe in what you've just breathed out.

So, to help you with your vape etiquette, we've outlined the 6 cardinal sins of vaping that give it a bad name. At the end of that list, we'll hit you with some tips on how to do it proper.

1. Calling it "cloud chasing"

Listen, you're not riding Falcor through the stratosphere in the Never Ending Story. You're a dude on the bus with a rat tail. That's a mighty whimsical way to describe what you're doing … which is exhaling. We just exhaled like, 200 times writing this, but you don't see us giving it a playfully quaint name.

2. Exhaling massive cumulonimbus cloud of vapor just … anywhere

Just because that vape miasma won't give us cancer doesn't mean we want to be embedded in a dewy mist of it that was just expunged from your lungs. Just as you have a right to vape, we have a right to not be spewed with lung mist and chemicals.

3. Acting like holier-than-though e-cig evangelist

However ecstatic you may be about vaping; however much Sublime is loaded into your Spotify queue … please don't go all crazy fundamentalist vapist on us and bash smokers for choosing a different method than you. There's no need to spread false gospel about your habit if it's not backed up by fact, or to pester others to convert to your vape ways when they're either happy not vaping or don't care.

4. Acting like we don't see you

We see you alright. We have two eyes trained to observe potentially irregular irregularities in our environment, and when a volcano is coming out of someone's hoodie, we notice. You're hunched over, your shirt is pulled up over your head, and there is a massive cloud of white vapor emanating from your armpit and neck holes. This is the worst on airplanes …  can you chill out for like two seconds while we hurtle through space and time?

5. Insisting it has no smell

It does. It smells like vaping.

6. Competitive vaping

Somehow, vaping has turned into a competitive sport, yet no one that's doing it is an athlete. Sure, they practiced blowing Picasso paintings out of their tracheas and developed a weirdly talented habit of writing people's names in vape smoke using nothing but their soft palate and nostrils, but vaping shouldn't be a win/lose situation. You shouldn't fail at exhaling if you don't win.

Moreover, if we're going to treat weed like alcohol or tobacco, there shouldn't competitions for who can smoke it most ostentatiously. Oh, but you're competing with harmless e-cig tobacco vapor, you say? Good for you. You're still in a smoking competition, and that's a weird thing to compete over. Sorry, but it's true.

So, how do you avoid these vape offenses? It's simple.

— Don't vape at or near other people, especially kids in public places where no one signed up for that. Vape convention? Fine. Your friend's house? Fine. At a family gathering where your dad is grillin' up some steaks? Only if your dad is Willie Nelson.

— Don't vape on public transportation, especially planes. People see smoke, people panic. Plus, there's no escaping your vapor.

— Don't vape near food. We're all for a hint of smoky tang in our meals but not when it was exhaled from your lungs in the shape of a Chinese dragon.

— Don't vape in medical places. Don't need to explain this one …

— If you must vape at a concert, don't blow that shit into the back of someone's head so they're temporarily engulfed in one of your lung clouds.

— If you must turn vaping into a competition, compete over who can develop and produce the best PV or e-cig, preferably one that improves upon current models and is even healthier for you.

Here's a fun little infographic we found that sums of most of these points:

In short, you're a smart kid. Use your common sense. If smoking is not allowed in a particular location, think twice before vaping there as well. And realize that just because you've found a cleaner way to smoke weed or a less lethal way to consume tobacco, it doesn't mean you should subject others to the byproduct of that.

But at the end of the day, we're happy for you and your vape habit. Really, we are. Vaping is great if you keep it out of our faces. So go forth, conquer, blow your cloud-things and hopefully, next time we see you in public, we won't know it's you because you won't look like you're on fire.

[originally published August 21, 2017]