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Vaping Inside? Here’s How It Affects Your Surroundings

July 27, 2023

Being a conscious vape user can go a long way to keeping your home free of the unflattering smells or hazards of smoking. 

You may already know how cigarette smoking can affect others through second-smoking, unpleasant lingering odours and staining of walls and fabrics. 

But does vaping have the same effects? 

This guide covers how vaping may impact your surroundings, including how fast it dissipates and whether it leaves a long-lasting smell. 

What Does Vaping Do to Your Surroundings?

Many consider vaping to be a more discreet alternative to traditional cigarette smoking. Despite many believing it’s “harmless water vapour” that doesn’t affect our surroundings, that isn’t true. One study found that e-cigarette emissions are a source of indoor air pollution due to the toxins and nicotine, albeit at lower levels than cigarette emissions. 

That said, second-hand aerosol from vaping is expected to have lower risks compared to second-hand smokefrom cigarettes. Though this can vary depending on the number of chemicals in the specific vape aerosol, vaping contains fewer chemicals than cigarette smoke. 

However, the health effects of exposure to vapour are still being studied. In addition, vaping produces large clouds that can temporarily obscure vision, especially if someone is standing nearby. By vaping outdoors or inside with the windows open, you prevent trapping vape aerosols inside. 

How Long Do Vapour Particles Stay in the Air?

According to a 2018 study, vapour particles will evaporate within seconds after exhaling, transferring to vapour volatile organic compounds

Traditional cigarettes are primarily non- or semi-volatile particles. These are much more stable than that of e-cigarettes and take minutes to remove, depending on the room’s ventilation rate.

While particle concentrations were in the same order of magnitude, with e-cigarettes, particle concentration took seconds to return to background levels. For traditional cigarettes, this took 30-45 minutes and depended on the ventilation rate of the room.

Does Vaping Inside Stain Walls?

If you’ve ever smoked cigarettes, you may know that traditional tobacco can stain furnishings and walls, leaving a nasty shade of brown. 

Fortunately, vaping doesn’t have the same effect. Vaping can leave residue on your walls since it attracts dirt, particularly if the vapour contains high vegetable glycerin (VG) levels. 

Since VG is a thick, viscous liquid, it easily sticks onto walls, leaving behind a sticky residue that can trap airborne particles, causing staining over time. 

That said, staining takes a while to build up, and you can clean these stains with a wet cloth. You can reduce staining by opening your window to provide proper ventilation, preventing the vapour from sticking around in your home. 

It’s important to note that some e-liquids contain artificial colour, which also stains surfaces. Look for vape pens with a leak-proof design to reduce the risk of accidental spills that could stain your home or furniture. 

Will Vaping Inside Leave a Long-Lasting Smell?

Vaping inside can leave a slight smell, but it’s faint and doesn’t last long compared to its combustible counterpart. As a result, it’s less likely to stick to surfaces the same way that cigarette smoke will. 

Good ventilation in your home will allow the lingering smells to be removed by fresh air from the outdoors. However, with enough indoor vaping without ventilation, the smell may begin to stick around. 

If you want to prevent smells from lingering or if you have someone in your home sensitive to odour or vapour, you may want to ensure windows are open while vaping. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does Vape Smell Linger in a Room?

Depending on various factors, the smell of your vape can leave the room in a few seconds, several minutes, or linger long-term. Some factors affecting this include the ventilation in the space and how often you vape. 

If you vape a lot using potent e-liquids with little ventilation, with time, the smell could cling to your carpets, curtains, and more. The smell dissipates much faster if the window is open than in a room without ventilation. 


The discrete nature of vapes is one of the primary reasons many people choose to vape, especially over other alternatives. 

While vaping aerosols contain fewer chemicals and seem to pose less threat, they can still affect indoor air quality and even stain walls. Thus it’s important to ensure proper ventilation by opening your windows or turning a fan on to push the vapour out. 

Whether you prefer vaping indoors or out, RELX has something for every vaper. Browse our selection of vape devices today!

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