Manvaping has taken over New Zealand.
Like manspreading and mansplaining, I define manvaping as the obnoxious male-specific use of vapes in public. You've seen the guy I'm talking about everywhere: he looks like he's Puff the Magic Dragon, billowing what I can only describe as fruit juice residue out of a USB drive.
Why am I calling this a male-specific phenomenon? While women do vape, I'm yet to see them do it disrespectfully. They don't seem to blow vapour onto the people walking by them, nor do I see them hiding among the rubbish bins outside their offices looking like a bad spy who never received proper convert training.
In the last year, manvapers have been popping up everywhere. They're taking up space and making a public spectacle of themselves, as if they have the divine right to be the centre of attention and make others uncomfortable. For such reasons you can see how I lump manvaping into the same societally-uncool category as manspreading and mansplaining.
Yet I do acknowledge that people have a right to vape, and lots of them are doing so instead of smoking real, nasty cigarettes. If that's you, good on you. But I think we'd all like you to follow a bit of vaping etiquette for the sake of the non-vapers of New Zealand.
Debrett's, the world's trusted source on social etiquette and behaviour, actually provides us with a good set of rules for vapers.
It begins with the following: don't assume you can vape wherever you like. Yes, it's not technically smoking but public places like restaurants, bars, cinemas, and workplaces will probably have informal rules as to whether or not they're okay with vaping in and around their premises. Just ask before you puff.
You should also never vape when you're waiting in a queue. Even if it's pre-concert on a Saturday night for two hours and you're jonesing for it. Non-vapers may consider vaping as dangerous to their health as regular second-hand smoke, and being around others' vaping activity unwillingly makes them grossed out. Whenever in any kind of proximity to others, on that note – whether it's walking down the street or at a friend's party – don't blow vapour into anyone's face. Few consider it the sweet smokey joy you do.
So you vape: Don't be ashamed
You don't have to be ashamed of your vaping, however. Debrett's research found that one in five non-vapers would still date a vaper, which is five times more than a non-smoker would date a smoker. Vaping isn't dirty, it's just very noticeable. You should feel free to vape in your own home all you like – it doesn't make furniture, curtains, and carpets smell like cigarettes – but for courtesy, if you have guests over do ask if they mind.
The same goes for vaping in a car. It's your private car, you can do what you like in it. But if you have passengers you're wise to clear it with them first. Also, open a window to prevent the vapour from impairing your vision, and remember that doing anything with one hand while driving is still dangerous.
Debrett's also tells us not to vape on buses, trains, and planes – but that's a given, confined spaces and all. You also shouldn't assume that hotels allow vaping and should check when reserving a room. Lastly, never think you can get away with "stealth vaping". You can never conceal that cloud of vapour, and you'll only look ridiculous (and more obvious, as if you're trying to wave away a swarm of bees) if you try.