Smokers are kicking their cigarette habit by vaping, but not everyone is happy about their offensive clouds.

E-cigarette users blowing large, obnoxious clouds of vapour indoors or on crowded streets could turn the public against the habit, which is helping thousands of smokers kick tobacco.

Basic vaping etiquette needs to be established, Hāpai Te Hauora Māori Public Health manager Rebecca Ruwhiu-Collins says, and she's working with retailers and vapers to come up with basic guidelines for use.

The guidelines, so far, included keeping your vape clouds small in highly populated areas, always asking whether you could vape in someone else's space and not vaping near parks or schools.

Hāpai Te Hauora supported vaping as a smoking alternative because it was proving the most successful way to get people to kick their cigarette habit.


"Vaping is at least 95 per cent safer [than smoking]. That's what the experts are saying," Ruwhiu-Collins says.

But vapers shouldn't assume blowing big clouds of vapour in busy public places was fine just because it was less harmful than cigarette smoke.

"What we don't want to do is have vapers stigmatised like smokers," Ruwhiu-Collins says.

Vape juice retailers should remind users to vape considerately at the point of sale.

"That's an opportunity to lay the law down - say 'hey mate, I want to remind everyone, you can't go out into these highly populated areas and blow big clouds'."

Vapers spoken to by the Herald said they were aware they needed to be courteous when using their e-cigarettes.

Newstalk ZB head of talk Jason Winstanley managed to kick his 25-year-long smoking habit last year after unsuccessfully trying to quit several times.

He never used to smoke inside anyone's home, including his own, and wouldn't have dreamed of asking to.


That's changed since he switched to vaping.

"If I go to my mate's place and he's vaping inside, I'll vape inside."

He also vaped at home and inside his parent's house, where his mum and dad smoked cigarettes outside.

Winstanley wouldn't assume he could inside a restaurant or other indoor public spaces even though he thought it probably wasn't harmful to other diners.

"I'd love it if we were allowed to vape inside the building [where I work]."

Building apprentice Lucy Guinness, 28, recently kicked her smoking habit of nearly a decade after worrying about the effect it was having on her health.


She would never smoke in someone's house or car without asking and assumed she shouldn't do it indoors in public places, she said.

"I generally treat it the same as when I smoked.

"The health aspect is up in the air for vaping and there's not much information on the effects of second-hand vape but I think it's good to keep public places like that smoke and vape free."

However, she knew people who would vape discreetly in the movie theatre and said there wasn't yet a clear consensus about what the correct etiquette was.

Vaping Etiquette

• Keep your vape clouds small in highly populated areas.

• Common courtesy… Always ask permission to vape in someone else's space.


• If your cloud is going to be intrusive to others, ask permission to vape.

• Be discreet with vaping in front of children and youth.

• Don't vape near children's spaces i.e. parks and schools.

• Don't judge smokers, and be approachable to answer questions regarding vaping. Encourage them to try switching to vaping.

• Keep your vaping devices and e-liquid in safe places out of children's reach.

Source: Hāpai Te Hauora Māori Public Health