The burning issue (pun intended) for many electronic cigarette vapers is where to vape at work. If your colleague next to you starting using an e-cigarette what would you say? E-cigarettes have been proven to help tobacco smokers quit – so should we be forcing them to vape outside with tobacco smokers? Does this action enforce old habits for the ex-smoker? Our friends over at E-Cig Review have suggested that mixing with tobacco smokers is indeed a negative re-enforcement of older habits associated with smoking which could potentially trigger cigarette cravings.
Some UK employers have already taken a stand. Standard Life were one of the first large companies to ban its employers from smoking electronic cigarettes at work. Pro-smoking organisation Forest said: “It is utterly crazy. A lot of smokers use them (electronic cigarettes) to help them to cut down on smoking, or to try to quit.
Smoking tobacco indoors is banned under the Public Health Act 2006 however electronic cigarettes are not covered in this category. This leaves companies with a dilemma. If the use of electronic cigarettes is lawful then how should companies handle the situation?
There is an argument that electronic cigarettes could cause distractions in the work place. Huge plumes of vaper rising up behind a laptop would almost certainly distract attention, as well as the scented smell of a cookie and cream e-liquid providing potential sensory distractions. All of these reason can be counterproductive for your business and would therefore give you good grounds to ban vaping in the office.
The questions facing business owner’s are do you want to seem unsupportive of your staff’s efforts to quit smoking? After all a healthier workforce is almost certainly a more productive workforce. It has been suggested that employers should consider an area within the office to allow vapers to take a break. This could also be applied outside the office – but away from the tobacco smokers. Although this has financial implementations, we are lucky enough to live in a smoke free working environment.
We are also lucky enough to live in an age where tobacco smokers are finding a healthier alternative to cigarettes. A business needed to consider its image in light of its employer’s comforts and more specifically; their health. In 2016 what better way to demonstrate your companies vision into the future than by providing a specific vaping area, ideal for vapers to take a break without disrupting other employers.
If you do not decide to take this route, then ensure your employees are clear about the rules and regulations that the company holds on smoking and vaping. By being clear and upfront, your employees will appreciate your honestly as a company and will be able to suggest alternatives.