To smoke or not to smoke, that is the question on E-cigarettes

E-cigarettes, personal vaporizers (PVs), and electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) are battery operated devices that mimic tobacco smoking and are often used as a replacement for cigarettes.

They produce a vapour, including flavoured aromas either with or without
nicotine, rather than traditional smoke.

So, should you allow smokers who use these devices to use them at
their place of work?

Although E-cigarettes fall outside the scope of smoke free legislation as the act of smoking requires a substance to be burnt, you can choose to allow employees to smoke them at work or ban them. This is despite the fact that they may be an aid to help smokers to stop smoking.

Some employers are willing to allow the use of such devices based on such a premis. However, what if use of the vapour emitted from such devices causes discomfort or annoyance to other colleagues?

The key point is to have clear rules. In the event you ban the use of such devices on company premises then make sure your no-smoking policy is amended accordingly. Therefore, if you do allow them perhaps consider imposing the same conditions on breaks and use of designated areas as smokers of real cigarettes.

Such a policy will also clarify what the rules are with regard to any unauthorised or excessive taking of smoking or e-smoking breaks and when they may result in disciplinary action.

A bit of thought now will prevent the difficulties which arise when companies do not anticipate problems arising and which can then undermine existing policy on smoking.

Be prepared. We may be able to help you.

For more information on this topic, contact us.