In 2007 the smoking ban was implemented across the UK; businesses and the public alike have embraced the changes over the last 10 years. The e-cigarette was created back in 2003 however their popularity and the trend of ‘vaping’ have seemingly hit a peak in the last couple of years. Whilst it is an alternative to smoking and often used as a method to stop smoking, it is important to recognise that the e-cigarette is not covered by the ban.
There are factors to consider when making the decision whether or not to allow employees to use e-cigarettes on your premises.
- Will customers’ perceptions of your company be altered if they see your employees using them?
- Role models – young people who see smoking, including e-cigarettes, can mistakenly believe this to be a normal healthy adult activity and this may influence them to smoke themselves.
- Will employees be distracted by the e-cigarette and could this be dangerous when driving or operating machinery?
Ultimately the decision on whether or not to ban e-cigarettes from your premises is up to you. Guidance is available from organisations such as ASH (Action of Smoking and Health) and the HSE, although the HSE does not enforce legislation or standards for e-cigarettes. You need to weigh up the positives of encouraging employees to cut down or stop smoking to benefit their health and the negatives of their use in the workplace.
To speak to us about e-cigarettes or any other Health & Safety queries, contact our team on 01302 341 344.
By Kris Kerins BSc (Hons) PGC (Tech Mgmt) – Risk Services Adviser