Setting out clear guidance on the use of E-cigarettes
The emergence of E-cigarettes has set a new challenge for employers who need to ensure they have clear rules about how they might be used in the workplace.
The electronic cigarettes have become a popular replacement for many smokers, but there are some health professionals who warn they could still be damaging to health.
Smoking in the workplace was made illegal in 2007.
Now employers need to lay down their own rules with regards to the use of E-cigarettes. The European Commission has reviewed the Tobacco Products Directive and it’s expected that a new law will be passed in the UK by 2016.
However, electronic cigarettes will be classed as medicinal products in some cases, meaning banning them from the workplace altogether may not be feasible.
Until the new law is passed, employers are advised to protect themselves and their staff by implementing a few simple guidelines.
Banning E-cigarettes from public or busy areas of the workplace is recommended, with the introduction of a designated area for E-cigarette smokers, separate from any actual smoking areas already in place.
The most important thing for employers to do is to make clear to their staff and any member of the public who enter their premises, exactly what the policy is regarding E-cigarettes, so that no one will be left unsure about what is or isn’t allowed.
Please contact Jackie Cuneen if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article, or any other aspect of employment law.