I was recently teaching a project management course for an electrical utility outside of Toronto. On the first day of the course, during my first break, I decided to go outside for a vape (given that I didn't know how people would feel had I started vaping in the classroom :). I was a little ticked about the whole idea of going outside to puff on an e-cigarette and wondered what the other people in the smoking area would think seeing me vaping outside. "Isn't it ironic", they would say. At least that's what I thought.
To my amazement, as soon as I stepped out the door, 3 out of the 4 of us in the smoking section were smoking an e-Cigarette. And not the ones that look like cigarettes. The question is ... why are we all still forced outside to enjoy something that no longer poses a health risk to others around us? Is it our unconscious embarrassment at the strange looks that people give when they see something they've never seen before? Is it our fear of being chastised for smoking indoors given the overall lack of e-cigarette awareness by the general public? Why do we still feel it necessary to seclude ourselves? Why haven't the majority of coffee shops, restaurants, bars, clubs, etc. caught on? Can we now blame those who force us outside for subjecting us to carbon monoxide from the cars, trucks and buses passing by?
After feeling anxious about vaping in public on a number of occasions, I decided to go out and see if other people truly had a problem with me vaping in close proximity to them or if I was just so used to perceptions about smoking that I automatically felt guilty partaking in something that so closely resembles smoking.
About a week ago, my wife and I went to see Les Miserables at the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto. We had some time before the show to get a coffee and enjoy the sunny weather that we hadn't seen for a while. Standing facing the sidewalk and a huge crowd of people waiting to see the show, I pulled out my iTaste VV with Kanger ProTank Mini and vaped for a good 10 to 15 minutes. I was dumbfounded. Not a single glance! Not a single double-take. I moved a little closer and still, not even a glance by the people standing within inches of me. I puffed away as people passed me seemingly unaware of this huge billboard I once thought I carried.
I now have the confidence I needed to replace my analogs on a full-time basis knowing that I can vape in public (even if it is currently still outdoors) without getting looks everywhere I go.