As the popularity and presence of electronic cigarettes increases, rules surrounding them are beginning to surface. Some companies have decided to not allow their use while employees are working, while some have flat-out banned their use on company property.
Since the product is still relatively new, a large part of the population has never heard of them, much less know how they work. Say you are the vice president of a company and one day, you witness an employee smoking at their desk. Your first reaction might be curiosity, anger, or distress. Perhaps you're very busy and all you know is that someone who works for you is smoking inside. You may decide that this is unacceptable and not allow smoking - or vaping - or whatever they referred to it as, is not to be tolerated.
The point of this story is to highlight that the electronic cigarette industry has a lot of teaching to do. Education is a key factor in maintaining the success of this product, and its use in the workplace. If the vice president already knew about e-cigs, then having his employee use one might not be a big deal. He would know that they produce no smoke, no smell, and no second-hand smoke. He would realize that his employee craves nicotine to function, and will get it one way or the other. If she goes outside to smoke that's less time that she can spend working.
Although this scenario may seem a bit exaggerated, it is a common occurrence in many offices around the country. Of course, not every company is like this. One of our customers works as an assistant to the CEO. She feels lucky to work for someone who listened to her and took the time to understand what e-cigs are all about. Beginning in January, the company's insurance provider will be adding an extra 10% to the insurance plans of employees who use tobacco. To aid their employees, they've decided to help those who use tobacco find another way to get their nicotine fix. The company has begun a new program to help smokers in not having to pay the additional fee. The CEO has decided to buy a V4L starter kit for any employee who wants to make the switch from smoking traditional cigarettes to vaping e-cigarettes. The company will hold weekly support group meetings which will be mandatory for those that sign up for a kit.
This company is carving a trail that hopefully others will follow. They are setting an excellent example for thousands of other companies who have employees that smoke and vape. Their acceptance of vaping is a refreshing reminder that the electronic cigarette industry has good news to share, and that we should remain optimistic about the future!
I want to know, are you allowed to vape at work? Are there any restrictions on when or where you can use your e-cig? Let me know in the comment section below.