There’s been a lot of buzz about electronic cigarettes in the workplace. It can be a topic as controversial as smoking itself, as some employers allow them to be used freely, and others deem them no different than traditional cigarettes; citing more research is needed before they can be allowed. As e-cigarettes gain popularity, many employers are seeing them as an ideal compromise to traditional cigarettes, which have long been an issue in the workplace. Here’s what you need to know about e-smoking at work, and how to handle the situation if your work environment is new to the whole electronic cigarette thing.
In many circumstances, employers see e-cigarettes as a great alternative to tobacco. They are fine with employees using them at their discretion, knowing they carry no smell, no second smoke, and the vapor basically dissipates into the air without a trace. In many places, it allows smokers to enjoy their e-cigs as they work, without the constant interruption of cigarette breaks, or coming back into the workplace smelling foul and creating an additional disturbance for others.
However, not all places of work are as tolerant, seeing e-cigs as too new to be allowed casually. In these cases, employees typically have to use them under the same rules that apply to traditional cigarettes: outdoors, in a designated location.
If your workplace is on the fence about e-smoking, here are some tips to provide your boss with to help them understand more about electronic cigarettes.
-Everyone involved should be educated on what e-cigarettes are, what they look like, and how to distinguish their appearance from traditional cigarettes. Awareness is key.
-Employers as well as e-smoking employees should be knowledgeable and understanding that these products require proper disposal in regards to electronic cigarette batteries, as they are considered to be electronic waste. Batteries do last a long time, so there would not be a heavy influx of batteries getting disposed of, however.
-Some areas have restrictions regarding smoking in the workplace, including some local governments, 29 states and the District of Columbia. While these laws do not apply to e-cigs, some places are stricter than others in regards to it.
Above all, if your employer is interested in allowing e-cigarettes in the workplace, just a minimal amount of research will be necessary. The most important step towards tolerance is awareness, and for employers, boosting productivity can be a very big motivator!