The subject of electronic cigarettes is a common topic among smokers and non-smokers with particular emphasis upon smoking them in public. As the law stands in many countries across the world, it is perfectly legal to smoke electronic cigarettes in public although a number of companies have taken it upon themselves to ban electronic cigarettes from their premises. The reality is that any proprietor or business owner does have the option to ban any activities from their premises but is it even socially acceptable to smoke electronic cigarettes in public?
One stigma which seems to impact the smoking of electronic cigarettes in public is the perceived similarity to tobacco cigarettes. At this moment in time there have been no health issues reported which are directly associated with the smoking of electronic cigarettes but long-term trials are underway and this situation will be clarified in due course. Though the taste has been touted as very similar, the situation with regards to tobacco cigarettes is very different with an array of over four thousand toxins present in a traditional tobacco cigarette and a number of health issues have been linked to these toxins.
This leads us onto the subject of secondary smoking which is perhaps one of the main reasons why the smoking of tobacco cigarettes was originally banned in public. Many people automatically assume that electronic cigarettes also carry potential secondary smoking issues when in reality this is not the case. It is worth remembering that tobacco cigarettes create a smoke while electronic cigarettes create a vapor which is effectively water. This is something which many people fail to realize and tests so far indicate there are no secondary smoking issues with regards to electronic cigarettes.
While in theory it is legal to smoke electronic cigarettes in the vast majority of countries there are times when perhaps social etiquette takes over. Many people seem to dislike those who use electronic cigarettes in places where food consumption is involved.
Interestingly, electronic cigarette companies selling this product normally do not push the smoking of electronic cigarettes in various situations and locations as they prefer to leave this up to the individual. In some ways it is the difficulty in distinguishing between tobacco cigarettes, and the smoke that they create, and electronic cigarettes, and the water vapor which they create, which may be behind some of the social etiquette difficulties. Perhaps as more people become aware of the finer points of electronic cigarettes the issue of smoking in public may become less of a problem and lead to fewer heated debates.
At this moment in time the vast majority of countries around the world have no legal restrictions on where and when one can smoke electronic cigarette. Business owners will always have the option to ban certain activities on their premises and a number of restaurants have looked at restricting the smoking of electronic cigarettes to avoid any potential heated arguments between customers. It is perfectly understandable that some business owners would prefer to avoid any conflict as social etiquette in some situations may well create a difference of opinion.
There are times and places to smoke electronic cigarettes, as there were times and places to smoke tobacco cigarettes when they were more accepted by society, even if from a legal standpoint there are no restrictions at this moment in time.
Adapted from Is It Socially Acceptable to Smoke Electronic Cigarettes in Public? by Mark A., 2013.
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