While vapers love to enjoy their favorite vape products in the privacy of their own home, it's not always an option for vapers on the go. Sometimes, discreetly vaping in public is the only option, but that's often easier said than done. Since this is a common problem, stealth vaping techniques have popped up among the vaping community.
For beginners, stealth vaping is likely a confusing term. Below, we'll talk about what stealth vaping specifically is, how to successfully do it, and when you should and should not try it at all. If you're interested in more comfortably vaping in public without drawing unwanted attention, then keep reading.
What Is Stealth Vaping?
Stealth vaping just means "vaping without anyone else noticing." Generally, stealth vaping requires a small, discreet vaping device (like a disposable vape), and it requires using vaping techniques that produce little to no visible vapor. If you're hoping to stealth vape with a box mod or a high-powered dry herb vape, you won't have much success.
Figure 1 Woman putting Firefly 2+ in jacket pocket. Stealth vaping requires a vaporizer that can be easily concealed and traveled with.
Ideally, you'll stealth vape where vaping is allowed but where you don't want to draw attention to yourself. You may also want to stealth vape if other THC options aren't available. For example, if you don't like edibles or tinctures, then stealth vaping may be your only option for daily dosing.
How to Stealth Vape
Stealth vaping isn't necessarily hard, but you'll want to make sure that you have the appropriate equipment and techniques to successfully stealth vape. Stealth vaping is different from how to vape normally, so take a look at the following steps!
Step 1: Get a Discreet Vaporizer
You'll need a vaporizer that you can easily conceal or that won't otherwise draw unwanted attention. This might be a pod vape or a small, draw-fire disposable vape. You can consider larger options if you think you can use it without being too obvious about it.
Step 2: Cover Any Visible Lights
Most vaporizers have some kind of LED light that indicates the device is powered on. These lights need to be completely covered during stealth vaping or it might catch someone's eye, especially if you're vaping in low-light conditions. If you're looking for a stealth vape to buy, consider a device that doesn't light up (or has easily covered lights) during vaping.
Step 3: Take Small Puffs
Finally, stealth vaping requires you to take smaller puffs than what you might be used to. Even if you have the perfect little device with no lights, it won't matter if you're ripping huge vapor clouds from your device. Be patient, take small puffs, and blow vapor down and away from you.
If you're stealth vaping with a dry herb vape, you'll want to be sure to grab a device that focuses on performance and flavor rather than raw vapor production (like the Firefly 2+).
Stealth Vaping at Work
Stealth vaping is a popular technique used for those that want to vape at work. However, no kind of vaping is worth risking your job over. If vaping is not allowed inside your work building, wait until you have a chance to move outside or to an approved vaping area.
Figure 2 Woman in yellow sweater in kitchen holding Firefly 2+. While it may be appropriate to stealth vape at work, if vaping is not allowed, you should stick to enjoying it at home.
Even if you're appropriately vaping, you might not want your co-workers to know that you vape at all. Using stealth vaping techniques in an appropriate area can make sure you're getting the THC or CBD you need to comfortably work without drawing the prying eyes of your coworkers.
When Is Stealth Vaping Acceptable?
Generally, if you're in an area that allows traditional smoking, you can also vape. This depends on what you're vaping, though. For example, even if you can vape nicotine-infused e-liquids or CBD-infused oils, local or state ordinances may prohibit vaping any kind of THC in public at all.
We encourage THC and dry herb vapers to stealth vape to avoid nosey co-workers or passing strangers in areas where they can legally do so. Even if it's legal, many vapers want their habit kept private, which is the perfect time to stealth vape!
Here are some common situations where you may want to consider stealth vaping:
- When visiting family or friends who are not vape or cannabis-friendly
- While in an approved vaping/smoking area but you want to keep your vaping habit private
- When you're in a casual but unfamiliar setting.
The Dangers of Stealth Vaping
Stealth vaping starts to present dangers when it's performed in areas where vaping is strictly prohibited. While this isn't an exhaustive list, these are common areas that vaping is legally prohibited. You should not risk stealth vaping in these areas:
- Airports and airplanes
- Bus stops and busses
- Train stations and trains
- Most enclosed, public areas
If you get caught vaping in a store, you may just get kicked out. However, if you get caught vaping on an airplane, there are serious consequences. It can be a fine of up to $4,000, and you can be arrested and removed from the flight.
Figure 3 Travelers at an airport. You should never vape on a plane and should only vape in airports with legal, dedicated vaping spaces.
It is not worth trying to stealth vape in areas where it's not allowed. If you're unsure, be sure to check state laws or country-wide laws about how vaping is regulated.
Stealth Vaping Techniques
There are some specific techniques you can follow for expert stealth vaping besides taking small hits from a small vape. These techniques are good for all vaping types, including dry herb vaping.
Hold in the Vapor
Try holding in a small puff of vapor longer the next time you want to stealth vape. Holding the vapor in gives it a chance to condensate more inside you, which means you'll exhale less vapor. An added bonus is that you'll absorb more cannabinoids and terpenes this way, too!
Exhale Through the Nose
You can also try exhaling through the nose to eliminate some vapor. Your sinus cavities will help the vapor condensate more, and then the vapor will be forced downward. Both of these factors help the vapor to be thinner and less noticeable when exhaled.
Pucker Your Lips
Puckering or pursing your lips is an easy strategy to eliminate vapor. When you exhale, instead of just blowing, pucker your lips to bottleneck the exiting vapor. This will limit how quickly the vapor can leave your mouth, so a lot of it will dissipate very quickly once it's out in the open. Some vapor will end up condensing in your mouth, which means you'll blow out less, too.
Blow into a Shirt or Napkin
If you can discreetly blow into a shirt or a napkin, then do it! Both materials filter and trap vapor in their fibers, which means little to no vapor is visible to onlookers. This is a very easy and extremely effective technique, just as long as you don't draw attention to yourself by blowing into your shirt or napkin.
Make Sure Your Vape Is Clean
Since this style of vaping will be flavor-focused, making sure that your vape is clean is extremely important. You'll want to think about how to clean vape coils if you're using an e-liquid or concentrate vape, and you'll want to consider how to clean the heating chamber of a dry herb vape.
What Is Zero Vaping?
Zero vaping is a variety of stealth vaping that has recently begun to gain steam. Zero vaping means that zero vapor is produced, so when you exhale, no visible puffs or clouds are seen at all. This is the pinnacle of stealth vaping, and as long as you hide your vaporizer, you won't draw any unneeded attention from the vapor!
It can be difficult to get used to zero vaping at first. Most vapers are used to thicker vapor clouds or seeing visible vapor as a sign that their device is working properly. It can be challenging to get e-liquid or oil vapes to a zero-vaping state, and most of these devices require significant tweaking to deliver decent hits with no vapor.
Dry herb vapes are an ideal choice for zero vaping (especially convection vapes). It's a lot easier to tell that you're getting a hit because you'll be able to taste it, and most dry herb vapes are already lighter on the vapor production side.
How to Zero Vape
Stealth vaping is usually pretty easy to pick up on, and most vapers will be comfortably stealth vaping within a few hits. Zero vaping, on the other hand, takes time to get the technique down. Remember, you aren't just trying to conceal your vapor. You want to produce no vapor at all. Here are some common strategies to zero vape:
Take Tiny, Repeated Hits
The purpose of this technique is to dilute your draw with as much air as possible to eliminate visible vapor. This will take some practice to do comfortably, but almost any vaper will get the hang of it after some practice! Take a look at the following steps:
- Take a tiny pull from your vape.
- Inhale air slightly (do not exhale).
- Take another tiny pull from your vape.
- Inhale air slightly again (you still should not have exhaled yet)
- Repeat this process until your lungs feel full and hold your breath in, giving vapor time to mix with the oxygen in your lungs and dissipate.
- Pucker or purse your lips and exhale slowly. If successful, you shouldn't see any vapor.
- If you do see vapor, take smaller hits and try to inhale more air before exhaling.
Puff and Hold One Small Hit
This technique is similar to the stealth vaping technique we discussed earlier in this article. However, the difference will be to take a smaller hit and hold the hit in for five seconds or longer. When you exhale, be sure to purse or pucker your lips and breathe out slowly. If you still see vapor, take a smaller hit and try to hold it longer.
Why Vape Like This?
Whether you're stealth or zero vaping, there's a lot of reasons vapors would want to be more discreet. Aside from trying to avoid unwanted attention, there's a lot of other reasons someone would want to try to stealth vape or zero vape:
Reduce Vapor Output
You may be in an area where you can comfortably vape at will, but you don't necessarily want to fill a room up with your vapor. Stealth or zero vaping is a considerate way to enjoy your favorite substances without forcing those around you to endure giant, puffy clouds.
Many vapers prefer to enjoy the flavor of what they're vaping instead of just focusing on gigantic clouds of vapor. Flavor chasers is the term used to describe vaping enthusiasts who enjoy picking out different tasting notes of their favorite oils or dry herbs. If you want the best flavor, it actually serves you better to avoid creating large plumes of vapor.
It's the same idea as to why you would want to sip on a glass of wine instead of chugging the whole bottle at once. Sipping wine means you take your time, enjoy the flavor, and can easily stop if you get comfortably inebriated. Chugging the bottle means you barely enjoy it, you might get too drunk, and you end up wasting wine that pours down the sides of your mouth.
Giant plumes of vapor means that there are cannabinoids and terpenes that are getting exhaled without you absorbing them. This is especially true with dry herb vaping, where big vapor clouds mean you're missing out on everything you're exhaling. Think of the giant vapor clouds as the wine that you're spilling without getting a chance to drink it.
A More Controlled High
As we just mentioned, stealth and zero vaping is an extremely controlled process. This means it's very easy to control how high you're getting, which is important if you can't afford to get really stoned. You'll need to be more patient, but it's a great way to make sure you don't vape too much.
The Firefly 2+, Stealth Vaping, and Zero Vaping
Both stealth and zero vaping are best achieved with dry herb vaporizers that have a focus on quality flavor instead of vapor production. If this sounds like the kind of vaping you're interested in, then the Firefly 2+ should be on your shopping list. It uses dual convection technology to provide on-demand, flavorful vapor that is naturally low in vapor production already.
Vapers interested in trying to stealth vaping or zero vaping will have an easy time with the techniques when using the Firefly 2+.