Will My E-Cig Set Off My Smoke Alarm?

smoke alarmOne of the major questions posed by vapers old and new is whether or not vaping can actually set off a smoke alarm. There appears to be a lot of debate about whether or not this is actually possible, and it seems that even experts don’t have a definitive answer. While many people believe that vapor cannot trigger a smoke alarm, there have been several cases where it definitely has – including one incident where an airline passenger caused an emergency landing by vaping in the toilets mid-flight.

Of course, if you blow clouds straight into a smoke alarm it’s definitely going to go off, but modern fire alarms are supposed to have been designed specially to avoid the possibility of a false alarm, and even if they detect a small amount of cigarette smoke, never mind vapor clouds, they still shouldn’t be set off. The confusion seems to arise because some types of alarms are a lot more sensitive to vapor than others.

Which Kinds Of Smoke Alarm Are Most Vulnerable To Vapor?

There are numerous types of fire alarm, and some can be set off more easily than others:

  • Ionisation – these alarms are sensitive to even small smoke particles. They use two radioactive plates which are electrically charged, and when the smoke particles go into the alarm the electricity between those plates is disrupted thus triggering the alarm.
  • Optical – an optical alarm works through beaming infrared light. As the particles of smoke come into the alarm, they scatter the infrared light onto a detector which then triggers the smoke alarm.
  • Heat – these are usually found in kitchens. As they respond to heat instead of smoke, they probably won’t detect vapor.

The type of alarm that is most likely to be triggered by vapor is the optical variety, although ionisation alarms may also be vulnerable to clouds.

What Are The Chances Of Triggered An Alarm With My E-Cig?

In reality, there are very few reports of e-cigs actually setting off smoke alarms since they have been designed for detecting smoke instead of vapor. Also, since vapor dissipates more quickly than smoke. That said, flavorings and PG may create bigger particles, and fog machines, which also contain PG, have been known to trigger fire alarms. Therefore, although the chances are small, it isn’t impossible.

Can I Vape In Hotel Rooms?

There are variations in hotel policies surrounding vaping. While some forbid it completely, others have no specific policy in place. However, hotel alarm systems are often more sensitive than those found in workplaces or houses, and some vapers have found that their vaping has triggered the smoke detectors resulting in an unwanted fine. Therefore, if you’re planning on vaping in a hotel room, you should take note of the location of the room’s smoke alarm and always vape as far as possible away from it. If you’re going to cloud chase, make sure you do it by an open window.vaping in hotel room

Do E-Cigs Set Off Airplane Smoke Detectors?

Airplane fire alarms are very sensitive and most airlines forbid the use of e-cigs during flights. You should definitely refrain from vaping on an airplane since the consequences can be severe. You are likely to have your e-cigarette confiscated and will almost certainly be fined. In some cases, you could even be put on the no-fly list or be imprisoned.

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What Should I Know About Vaping In The Workplace?

If you’ve just quit smoking and you’re sitting at work desperate for your next nicotine fix, the rules relating to vaping in your workplace are probably uppermost on your mind. While the regulations surrounding smoking are pretty cut and dried these days, when it comes to using e-cigs at work, the rules can be a little more up in the air. While some companies embrace the use of vaping devices at your desk, others treat vapers in exactly the same way as their cigarette smoking counterparts.

So, where do you stand when it comes to having a quick puff in your workplace? Are you allowed to indulge in the comfort of your office, or is there a dedicated area set aside for vapers? Are you given an extra vape break, or are you consigned to the outdoor shelter with the tobacco smokers? This article is designed to help you to navigate the minefield of the dos and don’ts regarding worktime vaping.vaping in workplace

What Are The Current Workplace Vaping Guidelines?

At the moment, there is a lot of confusion regarding vaping at work since e-cigs are currently outside the legislation surrounding smoke-free environments  that regulate the way in which employers treat their smoking employees. This is because the specific criteria of the legislation requires the substance to actually be burned, and when vaping no combustion takes place, meaning that e-cigs are exempt from the rulings.

This means that at the present time, vaping rules are down to the employer’s own discretion, and company bosses are entitled to decide whether or not they will allow their workers to vape at work. There have been concerns raised, however, that if employers prevent workers from using e-cigs in the workplace it is possible that they may be hindering those who are using vapes as a method to quit tobacco, and this problem may actually be exacerbated by vapers being sent out into tobacco smoking shelters to vape.

It has therefore been suggested that employers may possibly want to think about providing a separate vaping area outside the office as well as a tobacco smoking area if they don’t agree to vaping indoors.

How Should I Approach Vaping In My Workplace?


There are several dos and don’ts relating to vaping in the workplace:


  • Ask your boss for all of the relevant information regarding the company’s e-cigarette use policy, preferably in writing.
  • Ask your employer for improved facilities for vapers if you find that there is a lack of a suitable vaping shelter, however be understanding, polite and reasonable.
  • Discuss the situation with your colleagues and always be respectful if you are permitted to use e-cigs inside the office, avoiding vaping close to anyone that is unhappy with the situation.
  • If you are not a vaper, try to be tolerant and understanding of those who are, trying to reach an agreement that is agreeable to everyone concerned.


  • Never stealth vape. If you are forbidden from vaping inside the office, you must respect that..
  • Avoid blowing any clouds indoors if you are allowed to vape inside.
  • Avoid vaping any highly scented or flavoured e-liquids when using your e-cig indoors. A neutral e-juice with no lingering odour is the best choice.


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