11 Jun 2014

Employment

Wales is considering restrictions on the use of e-cigarettes- what does your smoking policy currently say about vaping?

The Welsh Government has announced that they are to consider future restrictions on the use of e-cigarettes within confined areas. Currently, the use of e-cigarettes or “vaping” falls outside of the Smoke Free Premises (Wales) Regulations 2007, meaning it is not an offence to “vape” indoors.

Whilst e-cigarettes may have had a positive influence on moving people away from tobacco, their long term health impact remains unknown and the risk that they “normalise” the act of smoking or that they are seen as a “health-risk free” alternative has caused concern.

E-cigarettes utilise a battery pack to heat an element, therefore introducing a new potential health and safety risk to the workplace.

Most businesses with have had smoking policies for many years and with the introduction of anti-smoking legislation these will invariably have been tightened up.  Most policies will not have been updated to consider “vaping”.

Many employers prohibit or limit smoking breaks due to the impact of productivity. However, “vaping” may not have been considered.

Whether vaping individuals should have to stand with other smokers in the same designated area is also controversial and may be considered unfair on those who have moved to vaping in order to give up smoking tobacco.

Careful consideration needs to be given to these issues and guidance issued to staff.

For more information please contact David Lewis: lewisd@hevans.com

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