You’re doing yourself a favor by not smoking, but vaping is still a highly regulated activity. Despite the legal sale of e-juice and e-cigarettes in the U.S, vaping is treated like smoking in most localities, regardless of what’s in your juice.
Help yourself stay on the right side of the law (and not get kicked out of your favorite bar) by learning where vaping is banned. The last thing you want is to have your $100 mod box or $30 bottle of juice confiscated by some Paul Blart mall cop.
Vaping in Restaurants, Bars, and Workplaces
Vaping is banned indoors in many U.S. states, with most specifically naming restaurants, bars, enclosed workplaces, private clubs, and hotels/motels. Bars are typically the only places with vaping exemptions, and you can typically vape outside these places, so long as you’re not within 10-100 feet of an entryway.
Bans are designed to limit the exposure of non-smokers to chemicals found in e-juice, and in August 2016, the World Health Organization recommended vaping be banned everywhere smoking is.
The only states that don’t regulate vaping on the local or state territory level are Tennessee, Rhode Island, Nevada, and Nebraska. Every other U.S. state features some type of vaping ban, though some are laxer than others.
Many businesses are beginning to add vaping language to employee policies and procedures for insurance purposes. While vaping enjoyed a brief couple years as a loophole to tobacco laws, it’s now being regulated specifically as a tobacco product instead of smoking cessation.
Despite both the FDA and insurance companies refusing to recognize e-cigarettes as a healthy alternative to smoking, some hospitals are recognizing the benefits. Though you should never actively vape inside a hospital and it’s typically banned anywhere on the property, some hospitals do encourage vaping.
In the U.K., the Royal College of Physicians released a report earlier this year that contradicts the FDA, hailing e-cigarettes as a healthy alternative to smoking. As a result, some British hospitals actively promote vaping to patients who smoke or use other forms of tobacco.
Just be mindful of any posted signs and treat the word “smoking” to include vaping, regardless of whatever semantic argument is in your head. If you’re ever unsure about whether or not you can vape, ask someone who works there.
Vaping on Flights and Public Transportation
Much like smoking, passengers were once able to use e-cigarettes on long flights. This is no longer the case, as the Department of Transportation announced in March that e-cigarettes are banned on commercial flights. The ban took effect in April of 2016, adding vaping to the 30-year-long ban of smoking on commercial flights.
The department decided to ban vaping in part due to footage of an electronic cigarette battery exploding in a passenger’s pocket. The man sustained second-degree burns. Both passengers and airline crews are prohibited from carrying battery-powered vaping accessories in checked luggage due to the possibility of said batteries igniting.
In addition, bus lines (including city buses), trains, light rails, taxis, and other forms of public transportation may prohibit vaping, even on platforms. It’s commonly banned across England and the European Union, though some transportation companies in the U.S. still allow vaping, especially in tourist destinations like Las Vegas.
Rental car companies like Hertz and Budget will likely charge you a smoking surcharge if evidence of vaping in the vehicle is found. Hotels are cracking down on vaping as well, with stories of guests being charged for vaping in their room popping up on social networks, forums, and travel sites.
When traveling, be sure to research vaping laws where you’re going. Ask the driver before puffing, and at least crack a window or make an attempt not to disturb other passengers. Keep vaping etiquette in mind any time you’re around other people.
If you’re going to be flying, your best bet is to either mail yourself an e-cigarette (which is also restricted, both because it’s classified as tobacco and contains a lithium battery) or simply buy a disposable when you get where you’re going.
What About Public Places?
While vaping is still allowed in most public areas around the country, California is known for the strictest laws, prohibiting the sale of e-cigarettes to anyone under 21.
Some California cities like Los Angeles took the ban a step further. The L.A. City Council unanimously voted to ban vaping not only in indoor spaces, but also in outdoor ones such as parks, restaurant patios, bus stops, and beaches.
In Illinois, Minnesota, and Massachusetts, vaping is prohibited on all state-supported college and university campuses (including parking lots, buildings, etc.), while Kansas and South Dakota specifically ban vaping in prisons by either guards or inmates.
Kentucky and Minnesota ban vaping in government properties, and in Utah, it’s banned everywhere that isn’t specifically designated for smoking or vaping. Like L.A., localities across the United States may have more stringent anti-vaping laws in effect.
Also, just like alcohol and pot laws during a beer festival or Cannabis Cup (where vaping is also likely to be considered acceptable), many of these laws are exempted for special vape events like indoor cloud-chasing competitions, vape trade shows, and any event related to or sponsored by the tobacco, cannabis, alcohol, or vape industries.
Educate yourself on vaping bans in your city and state, along with anywhere you’re traveling. Do your research so you can continue to enjoy the sweet taste of e-juice in peace. When we started this blog, the intention wasn’t to sell more e-juice. We wanted to clear up misconceptions in the vape community and industry.
If you’re unsure about whether or not you can vape in specific places or situations, feel free to leave a comment below so one of us or another member of the community can clear things up for you.
We want this page to become a place where people can share and discuss vape bans and anything else related to the culture and industry of vaping, so please reach out if there are topics you want us to cover.