Summary of Key Points
- Vaping in your home isn’t illegal in any Canadian province or territory, but knowing more about the similarities and differences between vape and tobacco smoke can help you make informed decisions about if and how you do it.
- Vape smoke is created by heating e-liquids in a vape device until they turn into vapour, while smoke is produced by burning tobacco. Because smoke involves combustion, it also creates carcinogenic particulate matter that enters the air and the lungs of anyone breathing it—making it more detrimental to indoor air quality and human health.
- While vaping indoors is less harmful than smoking, there are still some steps you should take to make sure your indoor air quality is preserved. Open windows, run your HVAC system, use an air purifier, and turn on fans to keep air moving. You should also observe proper vaping etiquette by setting and observing clear rules about vaping with other people living in your home, and avoid vaping in anyone else’s home unless you have their permission.
- Most parts of Canada regulate or prohibit indoor vaping in places other than your home. Read on to learn more about where you can vape inside in public and where you can’t.
Is It Safe to Vape in the House?
While vaping is a popular way for many people to transition away from smoking, you might have questions about how many of the same safety restrictions apply—for instance, does vaping inside carry any of the same risks that lighting up a cigarette indoors does?
Our team at U Vape is dedicated to promoting responsible vaping, so we’re here to help you learn all about what happens when you vape indoors. Read on to learn more about the composition of vape vs. cigarette smoke, whether vaping can impact your indoor air quality, and what Canadian law says about vaping inside.
Smoke vs. Vape Smoke: How Are They Different?
Secondhand vapour refers to the aerosol produced by electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) or vaping devices when the user exhales. It’s essentially a mixture of various chemicals and substances, including:
- Propylene glycol
- Vegetable glycerin
- Flavoring compounds
While vaping is widely considered a safer alternative to traditional smokin, it still carries certain risks of its own. We’ll explain more about these next.
The differences between vapour and smoke primarily lie in their composition and how they are produced. Vapour is produced by heating e-liquids in a vape device without combustion until they change states and become inhalants, whereas smoke is produced by burning tobacco. Vapour contains fewer harmful chemicals and less particulate matter than smoke, which makes it less harmful to health.
The Main Ingredients in Vape Smoke
The main ingredients in e-liquids are:
- Vegetable glycerin (VG)
- Propylene glycol (PG)
- Nicotine (optional)
VG and PG are used as base liquids for e-juice, while flavorings provide a variety of different tastes and nicotine delivers the desired strength.
How Vaping Affects Indoor Air Quality
Vaping affects indoor air quality significantly less than traditional cigarette smoking. Cigarette smoke contains thousands of chemicals, including many toxic substances and carcinogens, which can accumulate in indoor environments. Over time, this can create unpleasant odors and discolor walls, fabrics, furniture, and other objects. Secondhand smoke exposure is also harmful to others, particularly children, pregnant women, and those with pre-existing health conditions. Nearly 800 non-smoking Canadians die from secondhand smoke exposure annually.
Vapour from e-cigarettes, while not entirely harmless, contains far fewer harmful chemicals and dissipates more quickly. However, there are still several precautions you should take if you decide to vape indoors so your indoor air quality is maintained as much as possible.
Ventilation Is Key for Indoor Vaping
Proper ventilation is important when vaping indoors to disperse vapour and minimize the risk of residue buildup (as well as other people’s exposure to secondhand vapour). We recommend that you:
- Open the windows in the room where you’re vaping
- Run your central HVAC system
- Use a fan to keep air circulating
- Use an air purifier
Following these steps will prevent vape smoke from lingering inside the space. It also reduces the risk of the oils in your e-liquid staining furniture, fabrics, or surfaces over time.
Proper Indoor Vaping Etiquette
Considering the preferences of housemates or guests before vaping indoors is important to maintain a comfortable and respectful environment for everyone. Communicating with others about vaping habits and rules ensures that everyone's preferences are respected and helps you avoid misunderstandings.
Respect shared spaces and avoid vaping in restricted areas. If you live with other people who don’t vape or have them visiting, we recommend only using your vape in designated spaces so that others can enjoy being there as well.
We also recommend asking for permission before you start vaping in someone else’s home. Following your host’s rules shows respect and makes you a good ambassador of the broader community at large.
Legal Considerations for Vaping Indoors
While vaping in your home isn’t illegal in any Canadian provinces or territories, that doesn’t mean you can vape in any building. In fact, most parts of Canada put similar restrictions on vaping as they do on smoking—with many provinces and territories prohibiting vaping in public spaces, workplaces, and multi-unit dwellings.
The following regions ban vaping in any public or workplaces where smoking is banned:
- British Columbia
- >Nova Scotia
Vaping in schools, libraries, hospitals, malls, restaurants, indoor workplaces, and other public indoor venues is also banned in Manitoba. Alberta and Saskatchewan have no provincial legislation prohibiting vaping indoors, but many individual towns and cities have their own bylaws regulating where vaping is and isn’t allowed.
In Ontario, New Brunswick, PEI, Newfoundland and Labrador, various laws control where vaping products can be sold, but not where they can be used. The Yukon and Northwest Territories currently have no territorial legislation on vaping at all.
Making Informed Decisions about Your Vaping Practices
Knowing that you’re legally allowed to vape inside your own home is one thing—but now that you have more information, you’ll be able to make an informed decision about whether you want to, and how to do it responsibly if that’s what you choose. To learn more about how to get the most from your vaping experience, explore our other posts or contact our team at U Vape to learn more about the products and practices you’ll need.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can vaping indoors stain walls and furniture?
While vaping doesn't produce the same tar and chemicals as traditional cigarette smoke, the oils from e-liquids can potentially leave residue over time. Proper ventilation and regular cleaning can help prevent this from happening.
Does the smell of vaping linger indoors?
Vape smoke typically has a less pungent and lingering odor than cigarette smoke. However, the scent can vary based on the flavor of e-liquid used.
Can vaping indoors be harmful to pets?
While vaping is generally less harmful than cigarette smoke, it's always best to ensure good ventilation and keep pets away from direct exposure to exhaled vapour, especially if the e-liquid contains nicotine.
Does secondhand vapour carry the same health risks as secondhand smoke?
Secondhand vapour is generally considered less harmful than secondhand smoke, as it contains fewer toxic chemicals. However, it’s always best to minimize exposure, especially for children and pregnant women.
Can the moisture from vaping lead to mold growth indoors?
While vaping releases moisture into the air, the amount is typically minimal and not enough to cause mold growth. However, ensuring good ventilation is still important for preventing potential moisture buildup.