A lot of people who vape are adults who live alone or only with other reasonably sane adults. So there's not a whole lot of need to be neurotically safe about locking up the nicotine e-liquid or battery safety. But if you spend time around children, pets, or dependents then it's important to know how to be extra super responsible about your vaping gear and habits.
THE NEED TO VAPE RESPONSIBLY
Vaping responsibly can be a necessity for all sorts of reasons. Maybe you're a vaping parent or grandparent, or a pet owner. Maybe you sometimes babysit a niece or nephew, or the child of a friend. Or petsit a friend's dog when they're out of town. Or you're going home to visit family where children and pets could be around any corner. Whatever the reason, you know it's time to be careful about vaping around the time you suddenly can't bring yourself to curse. So around children, grandparents, and adorable pets.
THE USUAL SMOKE BREAK RULES
The first and best protocol to follow is the usual smoke-break rules. A lot of the current population doesn't really understand the difference between a cigarette and e-cigs (with or without nicotine). They will expect you to treat vaping with the same embarrassed courtesy as you would smoking a cigarette. So for best results, try not to vape visibly around anyone who hasn't given the green light already.
If you vape nicotine, be incredibly careful to keep your e-liquid, device, and spare tanks out of sight and out of the hands of anyone else. Exposure to concentrated nicotine juice can be harmful. And in general, be careful to direct your clouds with the same careful down-wind courtesy you would with cigarette smoke -- nicotine or no nicotine -- because it will help others not to worry and will come off as very polite.
PUT YOUR E-LIQUID UNDER LOCK AND KEY
No matter what is or is not in your e-liquid, don't let anyone else handle it unless supervised and/or they are a responsible adult. Drinking basic e-liquid will make anyone sick -- about as sick as drinking the same amount of pure cooking oil. But even a trace of nicotine content can be poisonous, especially to small children, pets, and the already infirmed. Cannabis e-liquid is less dangerous but can cause an unpleasant overdose reaction in addition to an upset stomach from drinking the oil.
So just in case, make sure your e-liquid is under lock and key. Keep the bottles securely child-locked and out of sight/out of reach when spending any time near children or pets. Remember that your e-liquid smells delicious and tastes slightly sweet, therefore is an undue temptation for smaller life forms that don't know better.
ONLY VAPE VG NEAR SENSITIVE INDIVIDUALS
If you're going to vape near other people, one of the most polite and responsible things you can do is limit your vape to VG-only blends. About one in ten people have or can develop an allergic reaction to PG that includes itching and rashes, trouble breathing, headache, sore throat, and coughing. Naturally, these symptoms are most often seen in vapers, but those exposed to second-hand vape or PG e-liquid can also show symptoms.
So even if you don't have a PG allergy, it's polite to make sure you're not exposing anyone else to an unexpected allergic reaction by introducing PG to their environment. So if you expect to vape or do vape maintenance around others and need to be responsible about it, try to travel with VG-only e-liquid flavors.
TURN YOUR VAPE OFF WHEN NOT IN USE
By far the most dangerous thing about a vape rig is the fact that it gets hot. Most vapes are designed so that it's nearly impossible to pocket-press the button. But your vape might not be so safe in the hands or mouths of others. Small children and pets can both seriously hurt themselves by accidentally (or on purpose without realizing the consequences) pushing the button until the vape gets burning-hot to the touch.
The lights that tend to come on, indicating that your vape is firing, probably don't help.
The most responsible thing to do, therefore, is to turn off your vape any time you're not using it. Press the button five times, switch it off at the bottom, or however your individual vape rig powers down. This can allow you to still vape quickly on the go, when you get a moment, but will keep little fingers and furry mouths safe just in case your vape slips from a pocket.
REMOVE BATTERIES BETWEEN USES
And if you're not going to vape for some time, go to the effort of removing the batteries if possible. Mod-box vapers and those who use pens with removable batteries should always make sure their vape devices are incapable of 'firing' any time the device is fully put away. If you're packing it up for the day, take the batteries out. If you're going to sleep for the night, take the batteries out.
This ensures that even if you are babysitting the reincarnation of the home-alone kid, they will not be able to somehow steal, turn on, and hurt themselves with your vape.
At the same time that you're removing the batteries, make sure your e-liquid is locked up tight as well.
BE HONEST WHEN ASKED "WHAT'S THAT?" AND "WHY DO YOU...?"
If you're being super vape-responsible because of kids -- your own or someone else's -- then be prepared to be asked what the vape is and why you vape. Kids are endlessly curious and they are always ready to learn more about (and mimic) anything new and interesting that they see.
Just like cigarette smokers before us, vapers need to have a good, responsible explanation to give children who ask about the habit. Your answer will also genuinely depend on why you vape, what you vape, and to a certain extent the child's parent's attitudes on vape.
If you vape nicotine or cannabis, be prepared to have the 'This is my medicine' conversation. Any child old enough to ask about vape is old enough to hear that your e-liquid is like prescription medicine that no one else should take.
You might also consider explaining that a vape rig is like driving a car or using the stove. Something you have to be old enough to do safely.
VAPING RESPONSIBLY WHEN NEEDS MUST
Vapers come from all walks of life, from parents to pet-sitters, proud aunts and uncles to courteous vacationers. Whatever the reason, these tips should leave you well-equipped to be your most responsible vaping self, for just a few minutes, a weekend, a summer, or for the next 18 years.