Employers Debate Whether to Allow E-Cigarettes in the Workplace

Companies are struggling with the question of whether to allow employees to use e-cigarettes in the workplace, according to The Wall Street Journal. Employers want to encourage workers to quit smoking regular cigarettes, but are unsure about the benefits of letting employees use e-cigarettes, or “vape,” in the office.

Major corporations are taking a variety of approaches to e-cigarettes. Exxon Mobil allows vaping in smoking areas. CVS Caremark does not allow employees to use regular or e-cigarettes at its corporate campuses. While Starbucks bans e-cigarettes for both employees and customers, McDonald’s allows them. UPS requires employees who use e-cigarettes or regular cigarettes to pay higher health insurance premiums.

While 24 states and the District of Columbia ban workplace smoking, only New Jersey, Utah and North Dakota have added e-cigarettes to the laws, the article notes. Most of the 100 cities that ban e-cigarettes where regular cigarettes are already banned have not addressed the issue of vaping in the workplace.

The issue is complicated by the debate over the safety of e-cigarettes. While scientists largely agree that e-cigarettes produce fewer toxins than regular cigarettes, many public health officials and advocacy groups say secondhand vapor from the devices is a pollutant, and its health effects are not known.

The Food and Drug Administration may release recommendations about possible restrictions on the sale and marketing of e-cigarettes in the next few weeks.

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    January 19, 2014 at 2:04 AM

    Do you folks ever read a single study that does not come from UC Riverside? There is no “second hand vapor” from ecigs. They do not produce any pollutants either that has been well documented by many studies including the Drexl U. study, The IVAQS study and others.I’d be happy to provide links if I thought you’d allow them. 🙂

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