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Smoking out the law on e-cigarettes in the workplace

by on
in The Legal Workplace Blog

29 states, plus the District of Columbia, have laws prohibiting anyone from smoking in the workplace. Like similar bans in other states, Ohio's statewide workplace ban applies to "smoking," which means "inhaling, exhaling, burning, or carrying any lighted cigar, cigarette, pipe, or other lighted smoking device for burning tobacco or any other plant."

Electronic cigarettes do not burn tobacco. Instead, they use a heating element to vaporize a liquid solution that includes a concentration of nicotine. Because these vaporizing devices do not contain tobacco, they are not prohibited by workplace smoking laws.

According to the Zanesville Times Recorder, e-cigarettes will be coming to your workplace, and will test the limit of your anti-smoking policy:

As vaporing becomes more prevalent, it’s quickly evolving into a controversial workplace issue. Employers will be faced with the challenge of contemplating the pros and cons of e-cigarettes for their workplaces and will need to consider adapting a policy that reflects their position

Proponents of e-cigarettes in the workplace argue that there exists no proof of any associated health risks, and that they improve employee productivity by eliminating the need of smoke breaks during the workday.

Opponents argue that these devices contain nicotine and detectable levels of known carcinogens and toxic chemicals, and that prohibiting their use in the workplace eliminates the risk of any complaints from nonsmoking co-workers, customers or others annoyed by the vapors.

There are no laws requiring that you allow e-cigarettes in your workplace. Laws that prohibit smoking in the workplace are a floor, not a ceiling. You are free to ban these devices in your workplace, and should consider doing so.

Companies should review their smoke-free workplace policies specifically to prohibit e-cigarettes, and to indicate employees using e-cigarettes are considered smokers for purposes of any wellness or smoking-cessation initiatives.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Rob February 22, 2014 at 8:57 am

Thanks for that article. This is worth reading:
Latest studies co-authored by Maciej Goniewicz, a cancer researcher in the Department of Health Behaviour at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, New York – ”The exposure to nicotine is lower when compared to exposure from tobacco smoke. And we also know that nicotine is relatively safer when compared to other dangerous toxicants in tobacco smoke” . Even more encouraging is the fact that electronic cigarettes did not generate detectable levels of carbon monoxide or any of the 11 volatile organic compounds, which included benzene, toluene, chlorobenzene, ethylbenzene, xylene, styrene, naphthalene, 1,2-dichlorobenzene, 1,3-dichlorobenzene, and 1,4-dichlorobenzene.
Regards,
http://vapourplanet.co.uk

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E-liquid October 11, 2013 at 7:10 am

One of the main pros is that e-cigarettes create nicotine-filled vapor, which is much “cleaner” than tobacco smoke. It doesn’t contain any of the many toxic chemicals and carcinogens that are found in tobacco smoke and are linked to lung/throat and many other cancers.
http://www.e-liquidforum.com/

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Sarah Kaufman August 23, 2013 at 10:18 am

Get zero cost trial of electrical cigarette now. With anything turning out to be stated, millions of men and gals near the planet smoke cigarettes, which prompted the invention inside smokeless cigarettes. Because with the commencing smokeless cigarettes are generally plagued with issues. In all of the actuality, they most probably launched to swiftly.
vapor cigarette
Thanks

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