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Electronic Cigarettes – it’s all in the policy

Currently electronic cigarettes don’t contravene the 2007 no smoking ban and therefore can be used in the work place. The question is, “to ban or not to ban?”

E-cigarettes, which are some times called e-cigs or vapour cigarettes, are becoming increasingly popular as they offer smokers a nicotine hit, without all the harmful effects of tobacco and smoke.

As such, no toxins are inhaled and there is no harmful passive smoke which may affect others nearby.

The law surrounding the use of e- cigarettes still needs to play catch up which means that it would appear that individuals have the ‘freedom’ to smoke them quite  legally indoors, including in their place of work or in work vehicles.

The question employers needs to ask themselves is, regardless of them being legal to smoke, do you really want them in use in your work premises and vehicles?

From an insurance angle e-cigarettes also contain a heat element which heats up to produce steam, therefore they could pose a potential ignition source for fires and therefore, present a safety risk.

Taking all this into account employers need to decide if they wish extend their current no smoking policy to include the ban on use of e-cigarettes in their workplace and vehicles.

For further help with your HR policies and procedures please contact the Proaktive HR team.

By Louise Addison

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