Sunday, September 15, 2013

The E-Cig Traveler: To Vape Or Not To Vape

Let's get one thing straight: Users of electronic cigarettes, they insist, do not smoke. They "vape," which is short for "use battery-powered nicotine vaporizers." And although the swirl of white fog or vapor they exhale looks like smoke, it's not the same as the smelly, carcinogenic by-product of burning analog cigarettes. Therefore, they say, the activity shouldn't fall under anti-smoking bans. I say "they" when I should say "we." I've been an e-cig user for more than a year now. And if there's one thing I can attest to, it's that some businesses truly don't care about the distinction. They care about not upsetting their customers and employees. Fair or not, because the act of vaping looks like smoking, that's how they're treating it. Where that leaves users is in a strange new territory—particularly as this high-travel, three-day weekend arrives. Vaping may not be federally regulated yet, but that hasn't stopped airlines, hotels and others from restricting or even prohibiting e-cigarettes.

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