E-cigs in the Workplace

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2014-07-10 18:25:20

On an international level, the electronic cigarette has undoubtedly been gaining popularity. More and more people have been joining the elite club of vapers by converting to e-cigarettes in Australia. Initially introduced to the Chinese market in 2004 by the pharmacist Hon Lik, the e-cig was released to international markets in 2005 to 2006. Presently, there are many manufacturers and vendors of the device and its different components worldwide. The device has been becoming more popular and now the concern of quite a number of persons is whether or not it is acceptable for the e-cig to be allowed in the workplace.

smoking at workThere have been numerous debates being sparked around the globe as countries such as Australia seek to place a ban on the use of the e-cigarette. In Los Angeles, California, the use of the e-cigarettes in public places such as the restaurants and bars has been prohibited. The cry for more studies to be done on the safety of these devices has been heard and in December of 2013, the WHO released a paper that indicated that the electronic cigarette is less harmful than the traditional tobacco cigarette. Similarly, the Journal of Public Health Policy conducted a study which also indicated that the e-cigarette is safer than the tobacco cigarette.

Despite the studies showing that the e-cig is safer than the traditional cigarette however, there has been controversy on whether or not the device should be allowed in the workplace. The e-cig, when being smoked, releases a vapour that is seemingly harmless to bystanders. There has been concern about the level of toxicity of the vapour. The bans are becoming more wide spread as companies and governments continue to group the e-cig in with the tobacco products that have been proven to be quite harmful; simply because there is nicotine contained in the e-cig. 


Many e-cig supporters have been quick to point out however that the e-cig cannot be just included in the general ban on cigarettes in the workplace due to the nicotine content; this considering the fact that nicotine patches, gums and lozenges are accepted. In fact, quite a few companies have been giving these products away as part of their campaigns for smoking cessation. Despite the fact that there has been no evidence supporting the notion that e-cigs cause cancer, more and more companies and countries as well have been leaning towards the idea of banning the use of the device in public areas.

white cig in the hend
In the defence of their bans, companies are stating that non-vapers are bound to complain because the vapour which appears very much like smoke will raise an alarm. This ban is there justified to be an effort to keep all individuals happy. Since there is already a ban on traditional cigarettes, the assumption is that it will be easy to adhere to the probation on e-cig usage in the workplace. The e-cig is odourless and inhaling the exhaust and fumes of vehicles is much more dangerous; revisions and continued studies may need to be done to get the e-cigarette approved. 

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