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Jamie Lawrence


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More than half of companies have no e-cigarette policy


Over half (58%) of UK businesses haven’t introduced a policy on the use of e-cigarettes, with 53% unconcerned over ‘vaping’ among staff.

This is according to a new survey from employee health risk company PMI Health Group.

How many people 'vape' in the UK?

The total number of e-cigarette smokers in the UK has climbed from 700,000 to two million in the past two years, according to anti-tobacco charity Ash.

The BMA has taken a position critical of the current regulatory environment around e-cigarettes.

According to BMA public health medicine committee co-chair Richard Jarvis, “These devices directly undermine the effects and intentions of existing legislation including the ban on smoking in enclosed public spaces.”

In the wake of the BMA stance, the BBC has banned e-cigarettes in all its buildings, following similar moves by insurer Standard Life and machinery firm JCB.

Many employers are unsure what policy to implement because e-cigarettes are still relatively new and their effect on the health of the smoker and passive recipients is not widely known or agreed upon.

This leaves employees in a state of limbo – with detractors arguing that companies are prioritising smokers over non-smokers.

Oliver Kershaw from the E-Cigarette Forum told HRZone:

"Employers obviously have to take this issue seriously, but I hope they think carefully about the needs of both their non-smoking and their "vaping" staff members. Many smokers are using e-cigarettes to quit smoking, and it's well understood that social support is extremely critical for successful cessation. If a company's vaping policy forces these individuals outside where tobacco smoking is taking place they run the risk of fatally undermining their employee's success.

"The principal objection to indoor e-cigarette use is that there may be negative health effects on others. There is no reason whatsoever to believe that any significant environmental pollution is created by vaping products. All the available research shows that exhaled vapor contains trivial amounts of compounds, quantities that are unlikely to be harmful to the direct user, let alone passively."

Want more information?

Read our article, written by an employment lawyer, on the risks involved with vaping policies and what employers should be thinking about.

Over three-quarters (79%) of companies that have introduced vaping policies prohibit their use in all enclosed working environments – essentially mirroring the law around cigarette smoking.

Of those businesses that haven’t implemented a vaping policy, 57% allow staff to vape at designed locations, while 43% allow staff to vape any time, in any workplace location.

As more and more people swap cigarettes for e-cigarettes, pressure will increasingly pile on employers to get off the fence.

One Response

  1. Vapourising what, exactly?

    Does this mean that I can do meth in half the workplaces? C'mon everybody, hack the temp-adjustable eCig with Bluelight's advice and let's get high (actually I think the kiddies call it 'floating'). Tip:add some flavour essence to mask the faint odour.

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Jamie Lawrence

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