I’ve found old reference that one of the makings of a gentleman is the ability to site near the fireplace, puffing a pipe, as long as it’s not a clay pipe. A long pipe seems to be associated with a verger-like gentleman, I have no idea why! Winston Churchill-as a near relation to the Duke of Marlborough he was certainly a gentlemen-smoking a cigar.
The question is should a gentleman smoke an e-cigarette?
Certainly in the old days if someone smoked cigarettes rather than cigars or pipes they were not considered a gentleman. This would explain why a particular site which hopes to appeal to gentlefolk markets e-pipes and e-cigars. Weirdly the site wishes to appeal to cowboys as well. As far as can recall, cowboys were not known for being gentlemen.
Nowadays though there is something quaint and maybe even steam punk-like about the word “gentlemen”, but it should really apply to someone upper class and maybe related to nobility, if not royalty.
There are, naturally enough certain brands that market themselves towards gentlemen, but you have to ask is that advertising? One seems to marketing e-cigarette pens. I’m not so sure if this is the sort of thing associated with a gentleman.
Certainly in the old days if someone smoked cigarettes rather than cigars or pipes they were not considered a gentleman. One e-pipe is marketed as a gentleman’s pipe. It is made of mahogany, it appears.
There are even kits-similar to starter kits-purported to be of use for gentlemen
As well as brands marketing themselves towards gentlemen, gentleman’s website also feature articles about e-cigarette use. Now that celebrity gentlemen have started using e-cigarettes, websites are beginning to pick up on this.
I’ve seen an article in which a supposed gentleman goes outside to smoke an e-cigarette. This would seem to me to be well-mannered. He may be able to smoke indoors, but it is probably better to ask if he do it outside. It is always considered gentlemanly behaviour to ask before lighting up in any case. And to put it away if the e-cig seems unwanted.
Nancy Mitford referred to some words being U and non-U. It was mainly a spoof article, but it could be thought that the everyday person, the "non-U person" would call it an e-cig, while the gentleman ("U") would call it an electronic cigarette.
There is another problem with the e-cigarette. A gentleman should go out of his way to like the cigarette of a lady. However with an electronic cigarette there is no need-a lady would just switch it off. Decades of tradition gone down the tube, what a shame…
This poses the question though, what do male e-cigarette users look like anyhow? Do they have moustaches? Derbies or top hats maybe or perhaps canes? Do they frequent gentleman’s clubs or do they look like you or I?
There is an old adage that if you have to tell someone you’re a gentleman, you aren’t one. Not sure what that means about people who write articles about gentlemen...