E-cigarettes & Vaping
Vaping - a modern day burning issue
The use of E-cigarette/vaping devices has become increasingly popular as the chosen way to give up smoking. These personal vaporizers are battery operated and produce a vapour rather than smoke, therefore they fall outside of the smoke free legislation we have in place. Some employers will have updated their smoking policy and included these devices - allowing or disallowing their use in the workplace, however judging from the number of queries JACS has received regarding these products for many employers it falls under the 'not really sure' bracket. Employers may wish to have clear rules about the use of E-cigarettes/vaping and with this in mind below is a checklist of things to consider:
Checklist when developing a policy
- Employers who already have a policy in place regarding smoking and/or drugs and alcohol may wish to just add a paragraph to cover e-cigarettes/vaping and communicate this to employees;
- Employers may wish to be supportive of the use of such devices as these are used by some employees as part of their plan to give up smoking; OR
- Whether to completely ban E-cigarette/vaping devices throughout the workplace, including company vehicles or attending client premises;
- Consider whether employees are to be restricted on the use of vaping/E-cigarette ie as part of their plan to give up smoking, or whether this would be a permanent arrangement;
- Be aware of the perception that clients/customers may have as some of these products are very similar to look at as real cigarettes;
- Think about other members of staff who do not smoke and are concerned about E-cigarettes/vaping and the lack of available data around potential health risks;
- If employees have access to a designated smoking area, it is worth considering having a similar area for those employees using such devices;
- Is the policy to extend to others attending the workplace ie contractors or clients?
- If allowing employees to use E-cigarettes at their desks would breaks for smoking still be extended to these employees?
- Consider including a statement that would cover social functions;
- A statement about the 're-charging' of such devices;
- Possible consequences of breaking the policy.