In the last few years, there has been a huge rise in the number of people using e-cigarettes. Some of these people have replaced smoking tobacco with vaping, whilst others simply enjoy vaping and do it as studies show that it is a healthier option than smoking.
Difficult Decision to Make
Due to the fact that this creates water vapour from e-liquids, available from places like VIP, instead of harmful smoke, it has meant that employers have had to think about their approach. Whilst it seems to be healthier, it can still be anti-social and there has not been enough research carried out to truly know the effects. Employers will need to decide on their approach to e-cigarettes as they fall outside of the scope of smoke-free legislation.
Vaping in the Workplace
Some employers will happily let their employees use their e-cigarettes in the workplace as they support their efforts to stop smoking, but this can be problematic because it could be irritating to those around them plus some employees may argue that cigarettes should be allowed too. If you decide to ban the use of e-cigarettes in the workplace, this could make it difficult for somebody to quit cigarettes and particularly if they have to use the outside smoking areas to vape.
As you can clearly see, it is a difficult decision to make and ultimately it will come down to your own preference. It is important to encourage employees to stop smoking as they will need support if they are to succeed. One possible solution is to introduce an area that is separate from those smoking where employees can vape. In this case, you will need to make it clear in the rules that all employees maintain the same amount of break time as colleagues who do not smoke and those that smoke so that it is fair. Any employee, whether a smoker, non-smoker or e-cigarette user, who takes excessive breaks will face disciplinary action, as well as those that smoke or use an e-cigarette in a prohibited area.
The rise of e-cigarettes has made it challenging for employers to come up with a fair solution for their employees. Whilst the use of an e-cigarette should be encouraged as it is healthier than smoking, it can still be problematic as you must also consider your employees that smoke and those that do not. Ultimately, it will come down to your own personal preference but it is important that the rules and regulation are clear to all.