Electronic cigarettes (a.k.a., e-cigarettes or e-cigs) are a growing trend in the US, including in the workplace. When it comes to these vaporized devices, there are a lot of questions:
- Are they actually healthier than regular cigarettes?
- Assuming they are healthier than plain cigarettes, are they still harmful?
- What about second-hand vapor? Is that a problem?
- Are there laws around these devices?
- Does allowing workers to use e-cigs at their workspaces make them more productive since
they need fewer smoke breaks?
These are just a few examples of what an employer might ask itself when deciding whether to allow an employee to use an e-cigarette in the workplace. And the law is still struggling to catch up to this trend.
To help an employer stay on top of this popular topic, XpertHR has created many documents to help:
- State Electronic Cigarette Laws – Chart;
- Acceptable Use of Electronic Cigarettes Policy;
- Hot Topic: E-Cigarettes;
- Manage E-Cigarettes in the Workplace; and
- How to Formulate an Effective E-Cigarette Policy in the Workplace.
In addition, there are numerous FAQs available to answer many nagging questions that an employer may have:
- What are e-cigarettes?
- What is vaping?
- Do e-cigarettes contain nicotine?
- Are e-cigarettes considered a tobacco product?
- Are e-cigarettes an effective smoking cessation tool?
- Is secondhand vapor from an e-cigarette unhealthy?
Considerations of E-Cigarettes in the Workplace
- Do e-cigarettes cause any smells that might affect other employees in the workplace?
- If an employee gets sick from secondhand vapor from an e-cigarette and the employer
permits vaping in the workplace, could the sickened employee successfully sue?
- Are there liability risks for an employer in allowing the use of e-cigarettes in the workplace?
- Is e-cigarette use protected by state laws prohibiting discrimination against employees for
engaging in legal off duty activities?
- If an employer has a policy allowing vaping in the workplace and not smoking, how should it
address smokers’ complaints that the policy is unfair?
- May an employer ban e-cigarettes and vaping in the workplace?
- May an employer treat e-cigarette use like regular cigarette smoking?
- Is an employer required to reasonably accommodate an employee who claims to be addicted
to nicotine by allowing the employee to vape at work?
Deciding what to do when it comes to e-cigarettes might be a challenge, but having this information at your fingertips should help snuff out some of the difficulties.