Stealth vaping is the act of vaping in a discreet manner. Using small vapes that put out medium-size vapor at most, the user can regulate the exhaled-puff size to be barely visible. This form of vaping works best with concealable devices that have low power and have a tight MTL draw, often called stealth vapes.
Stealth vaping is what you do when you don’t want to draw unwanted attention to yourself. Since vapor in small quantities barely has a faint aroma, there’s no noxious odor to contend with, which makes stealth vaping so possible. That said, stealth vaping can still produce visible vapor. It’s not wise to do it in spaces where vaping is banned. New laws spring up frequently that place public vaping in the same category as smoking cigarettes, and some places that forbid vaping—like on an airplane—could land you in deep trouble with the law if you’re caught.
Common places where vaping is banned:
Other establishments are on a case-by-case basis. In general, the easiest indicator is to look for “no smoking” signs. The FDA has deemed vape products as tobacco products, and vapor is rarely viewed by the law to be different from smoking. If you get the urge to vape, always ask what the rules are.
Some people treat stealth vaping like an art form! This requires a certain boldness from the user, as well as a few simple steps:
Step one: Get an ultraportable vape kit like a pod vape. These devices are small enough to fit in the 5th pocket of jeans. They come in various small forms and often look like little highlighters, flash drives, or even key fobs. And as a rule of thumb, the smaller the device is, the less vapor it will put out. Low vapor with a discreet form factor is what you’ll need.
Step two: Cover your LED lights. Most ultraportable vape kits have a small LED light that turns on while your drawing on the device. Typically, this light is small enough to cover with your finger when you take a hit. If you don’t conceal the light, what you’re doing will become more obvious to others — especially in low-lighting situations.
Step three: Take short puffs. Up to a few seconds. The longer you draw on the device, the larger the cloud will be. Although small devices don’t put out a lot of vapor, a long puff will put out more than a short one. When you go to exhale the vapor, it’s best to purse your lips and blow a tight stream of vapor downward and away from any onlookers. Remember, stealth vaping is discreet, not invisible.
Zero vaping is a type of stealth vaping where the user takes a hit but exhales no vapor. Zero vaping is the ultimate in clandestine vaping. It’s like turning your vape device into a nicotine inhaler! This style became popularized more recently with people zero vaping the JUUL, and it should only be attempted with similar devices that are small and concealable. Attempting to zero vape on bigger and more powerful device like a sub ohm tank will likely result in an embarrassing coughing fit, followed by vapor jumping out of your face. Not stealthy at all.
Those that have mastered this technique can vape sitting next to someone who’s clueless to what’s happening. While zero vaping refers to the lack of vapor exhaled, adding stealth vaping methods with it is like sleight of hand. Using an ultraportable, the device is totally concealed in the palm. Sounds get muted and lights are covered. The hand is held naturally to the mouth—as if pondering a thought. Secretive hits are taken when the opportunity presents itself.
Still, like all forms of vaping, even zero vaping is not wise where vaping is banned. Although no vapor will be seen leaving the mouth, the noise of the coil activating could potentially draw attention, and a wisp of vapor may be seen from an uncovered airhole on the device. Since the public is hip to what vaping is, even if largely being misguided about the specifics, you can be spotted and reported.
Stealth vaping is easy. Zero vaping takes practice. There will be a little breath-holding here. This will change your normal vaping and inhaling technique, and it may take some getting used to.
There are two ways to zero a vape and they’re best used with beginner starter kits. Both require a hit for just a couple seconds, but those attempting for the first time should try the shortest puffs. They also both begin as an MTL draw where vapor is first held in the mouth for a moment before going to the lungs.
If some vapor still leaves your mouth, try a shorter hit, a longer duration of holding your breath, or taking deeper breaths. If your nicotine level is too high and you don’t like the feeling, stop attempting it and resume your normal ways of vaping. Vaping should always feel good to the user. But if you really need zero vaping to work for you, but the nic hit is too high, try a lower nicotine level.
A good portion of the public sees vaping as another form of smoking. In spite of Public Health England stating that vaping is about 95% safer than smoking, there’s often a negative social impact when users openly exhale vapor. Even though second-hand vapor has been shown to be non-toxic, sometimes a vaper can be hassled for vaping—even in a place where it’s okay to do it! Of course, some use stealth vaping as a means of evading rules and laws, but for others it can be a simple matter of privacy.