Stealth Vaping: How to Become a Vaping Ninja

Now, more than ever, is the time to learn about stealth vaping. Ian teaches us how to vape casually without causing a big scene.


Now, more than ever, is the time to learn about stealth vaping. Vapers worldwide are under threat from the FDA vape regulations in America and Article 20 of the TPD bill in Europe, turning a harmless pursuit into a contentious act. Vaping bans are being put into place in bars, shops and even vaping in public is under threat, despite growing scientific and medical evidence showing that vaping is 95% safer than smoking cigarettes.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll look at covert vaping techniques, the most effective equipment for stealth vapes, the best stealth e-juice, as well looking at stealth vaping at work, stealth vaping on planes and other key places. It’s not about breaking the law, but working within it, while exercising our right to vape in a safe, unobtrusive manner.

What Is Stealth Vaping?

Put simply, it’s a way of minimising the evidence of vaping, to avoid hassle or inconvenience. The main focus is to reduce the visibility of vapour clouds, but other factors come into play, such as the size of your vape set-up and the aroma of your e-liquid.

Why Should You Stealth Vape?

Hand to Vape

There are various reasons to vape covertly, and with vaping becoming ever-more popular, the spotlight is being turned upon us more and more.

Public Opinion – The crackdown on vaping in Europe and America has damaged public opinion of vaping. Despite being many times safer than smoking tobacco, many ill-informed people now believe vaping is a threat to public health. Stealth vaping techniques can help us avoid altercations with people who believe the misinformation spouted by anti-vaping advocates.

Subtle Vaping – Maybe you just want to be discreet about your vaping. Blowing huge clouds can be inappropriate and attract unwanted attention. Most experienced vapers are used to being quizzed about our vape gear when out in public, and sometimes we just want to get on with our day!

Avoid Temptation – More seriously, some workplaces make vapers share the same space as smokers. This is a direct conflict with one of the main benefits of vaping, forcing us to inhale dangerous secondhand tobacco smoke and contend with peer pressure. This is particularly serious when it comes to new vapers, who need to avoid temptation in those delicate early months. If you can vape unnoticed, far away from smokers, this can help a lot when it comes to kicking the habit.

Respectful – Vaping can be distracting in certain situations, such as cinemas or restaurants. No one wants to see a huge plume of vapour cover the screen when watching the latest Hollywood blockbuster. However, if you can vape without anyone noticing, you’ll get your nicotine hit without anyone taking offence.

Smoke Alarms – It isn’t just about hiding your stealth vape from other people. It’s widely known that vaping can set off certain types of smoke alarms. Stealth vaping reduces the risk of this happening by minimising the production of vapour.

Right To Vape – An unfortunate side effect of the current swathe of legislation is the proliferation of vaping bans for no justifiable reason. Stealth e-cig vapour dissipates quickly, and unlike cigarettes, there is no risk from secondhand vapour or fire, so there comes a point when our personal right to vape takes precedence over such irrational restrictions. This doesn’t mean breaking the law, but merely staying under the radar.

Spurious Restrictions – A common response from places that have implemented vaping bans is that “they look like normal cigarettes” and therefore can’t be told apart by staff and encourages smokers. Many vapers feel this is a flimsy excuse, and the mere fact that an item resembles something else does not justify an outright ban.

Second-hand Vapour – A common complaint from non-vapers is about second-hand vapour. Despite an official report from the UK government showing there is practically zero risk, it can be useful to reduce, or even eradicate, any visible signs of vapour in certain situations to avoid unwanted hassle.

Is It Acceptable?


This is a complex issue. Blowing vapour can be distracting and create an unwanted aroma, but if these issues are minimised to the point where they go unnoticed then it’s difficult to justify denying yourself a harmless pleasure. Let’s look at the three main situations where stealth vapes might be needed.

Vaping At Work – Many workplaces are implementing vaping bans, without considering the wealth of scientific evidence out there. If it puts your job at risk then obviously it’s best avoided. But at the same time, if a low-key nicotine hit helps you get through stressful situations surely this make you a more effective employee?

Vaping In Public – States such as California have enacted sweeping bans on vaping in public, putting it on a par with smoking. It’s hard to defend these laws, when there’s a wealth of evidence proving that vaping is many times safer. Many vapers believe that so long as it isn’t directly affecting people, such restrictions are far too severe and stealth vaping can be justified in such situations.

Vaping On Planes – Vaping is prohibited on most airlines so even if you use stealth vaping techniques to ensure zero noticeable vape exhale, you are taking a major risk. Although there are very few reports of people being fined and prosecuted, it is not unheard of. At the same time, we understand how difficult it can be going without nicotine on long haul flights.

Best Stealth Vapes


Juul Vape Kit – If you’re a fully signed-up sub ohm vaper, you’ll need to adjust your expectations. The huge plumes of vapour produced by those set-ups are not suitable for stealth vaping. Put that bulky Smok Xcube II with its flashing lights back in the box, you need a discreet stealth vape. We recommend the Juul, especially to those that still miss the intensity of a smoke. The Juul is one of the smallest and most sophisticated vapes on the market. It has high nicotine content and it packs a real punch. For more info check out our Juul review.

Stealth Vape Juice – The other key element in a stealth vape set-up is the e-liquid. VG is the main culprit when it comes to those thick plumes of vapour, so the lower the better. Try for at least 50/50 PG/VG ratio but more PG will provide better stealth. Maximum PG juice can be harsh on the throat, so aim to balance the VG and PG levels until you find the sweet spot. The Clear Steam juice range by Jac Vapour is designed to produce little or no visible vapour, making it ideal for stealth vaping. If you normally vape at high wattages, it should help to use e-juice with a higher nicotine level than usual, to compensate for the reduced vape inhale and provide an equivalent throat hit. See below for information about the best stealth flavours. Check out our recommended 50/50 blends on our best e-liquid page

Stealth Vaping Techniques


Now you have the optimum stealth e-cig set-up it’s time to learn some techniques to ensure your vaping goes unnoticed.

The Deep Inhale – This is one of the most common and most effective stealth vaping techniques. Using your plus-ohm set-up with a high PG juice, inhale deeply and hold the vapour in your lungs for a few seconds before exhaling. You’ll notice the vapour is dramatically reduced, while still giving you a satisfying nicotine hit.

The Second Inhale – A twist on the deep inhale, this technique involves, you guess it, taking a second inhalation of air after your initial draw and holding it in for as long as possible. This helps dilute the vapour, making it even less noticeable when you breathe out.

The Swallow – Deep inhale then swallow the vapour and hold it in. Then exhale through your nose. Vapour production should be minimal, if not invisible. These techniques ensure more of the vapour is absorbed by your lungs, while simultaneously diluting it with oxygen.

Shirt Blow – Most of us have done this already. It’s very simple: take a quick vape inhale then blow the resulting vapour down your shirt. The fabric of your clothes will absorb some of the vapour and it’s far less visible than blowing a plume of vapour into the air. However, it isn’t foolproof; take too hard a draw and you’ll end up with clouds billowing out of your clothing. Not a good look.

Napkin Blow – Similar to the shirt blow, with this technique you exhale the vapour into a paper towel. The material will absorb much of the aroma and clouds.

Tweak Your Juice – This is one for the DIY juice-makers out there. High-PG juice is best for stealth vaping but if you’re allergic or simply prefer VG, try adding distilled water into your max VG mix. Water produces zero vapour, so this will dilute the cloud production. But be careful, water can get extremely hot when vaping so don’t add more than 10%.

Juice Aroma

Dream Smoke E-Liquid Flavors

It isn’t just about the clouds, a major tell-tale sign that someone is vaping is the smell the flavored e-liquid produces. An extreme solution is to vape unflavoured juice, but that removes one of the most pleasurable aspects. There are some aromas that are more obvious than others so here are the best flavours for stealth vaping.


Citrus – It’s always a smart option to go for fresh clean flavours like lemon, orange and lime. They blend well in most situations, often passing for cleaning products.

Menthol – Similar to citrus, this aroma can easily pass unnoticed in an office or public space. Despite having a strong sensation when vaped, the aroma dissipates quickly before it reaches the air and in most cases can pass for mints or chewing gum.

Creams – Most creams have a gentle, light smell which doesn’t dominate the surrounding area. So long as you vape a simple, subtle cream flavour, it shouldn’t stand out.


Tobacco – This flavour is best avoided for obvious reasons. Smoking tobacco indoors is widely banned and it isn’t an aroma naturally encountered. Even the faintest hint of tobacco can raise red flags.

Cakes & Pastries – While they might be a pleasure to vape, these flavours have a distinct aroma that stands out a mile. Donuts, cakes and pastries have thick heavy smells, and commonly-added flavourings such as cinnamon can be easily-detected.

Strawberry – Strawberry flavouring has an unusual make-up. While some people can’t taste it at all, to others it can linger around for a while. The addition of sweeteners such as ethyl maltol makes things worse, leaving a sweet sugary aroma in the air long after vaping.



While stealth vaping can be useful in many situations it’s vital you exercise caution. Vaping in some situations, such as when working at a school or hospital, is entirely banned and you risk losing your job, or worse. Covertly vaping on planes is a sensitive issue, and although some vapers manage to do so successfully, it should be stressed that you’re taking a major risk and could potentially end up with a criminal record.


It’s clear that stealth vaping is a useful and easy skill to learn. Reducing the amount of vapour exhaled and choosing suitable flavouring can transform your vape into something as discreet as an old school nicotine inhaler. However, be aware of the law, and don’t use this knowledge to put your livelihood or freedom at risk. The aim is to allow you to surreptitiously vape while being considerate to those around you. Like the old saying goes, if a tree falls and nobody is around, does it make a sound? Not when the tree is a plus-ohm vape with zero clouds.

Ian Jones
Ian is a UK-based journalist, with 10+ years writing for media outlets such as Vice, MSN and the Daily Mirror. He specialises in pop culture and lifestyle journalism, focusing on vaping, food, fashion and technology. He takes frivolous things seriously so you don't have to.

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Good article. I’ve been stealth vaping since I started nearly two years ago due to work and travel situations and just a desire to not inconvenience others by creating a fog about me. When traveling by air, always request a window seat. Flight crews have much more to be concerned about than watching for an inconspicuous vaper.


So selfish and weak. You put your “needs” before others.


“Spurious Restrictions – A common response from places that have implemented vaping bans is that “they look like normal cigarettes” and therefore can’t be told apart by staff and encourages smokers. Many vapers feel this is a flimsy excuse, and the mere fact that an item resembles something else does not justify an outright ban”

Toy guns resemble real ones, sometimes very closely, but noone is running around pulling them off the shelves of dollar stores across America out of fear of confusion with real weapons…

flimsy excuse indeed…

Norbert Zillatron

Mostly agree. Except for one thing: “dangerous secondhand tobacco smoke”
SHS may be annoying. But nowhere near as “dangerous” as the ANTZ propaganda claims.

Norbert Zillatron

My basic stealth juice is 90% PG with 10% vodka (80 proof).

And: No, you can’t get drunk from these minuscule total amounts. 😉

Maximus Vapourium #Swag

If you want to vape in a place that you shouldn’t try and go into the toilet. Filling the inside of a toilet roll with… toilet roll, really reduces the amount of vapour that is produced. The rest can be removed with a few swift swishes of the arm.


Gauze pads do the same thing! A little more expensive (and a waste of good medical supplies) but they are super absorbant, so if you do it right, almost no vapor makes it through.

Minumus Vapourium #fuckedup

Should have mentioned that you have to blow the vapour through the toilet roll… Just doing those steps and vaping as normal has a 99% chance of making absolutely no difference whatsoever.


Good tip – I’m sure some enterprising vape manufacturer will create a portable one soon enough!


I don’t think guiding people on how to vape in places they aren’t supposed to is good for our cause. Even though most people reading this article are vapors and understand how much better for you it is versus smoking, that doesn’t mean everyone does. I think as a community, especially in the current atmosphere, we would be well advised to be as respectful as possible of the rules (no matter how dumb they may be). We aren’t going to win people over by breaking the rules. Just my two cents..