Are Electronic Cigarettes Legal at work?

An Electronic cigarette or e cigarette does not contain tobacco or produce passive smoke. Passive smoke generated from tobacco cigarettes and cigars is the prime concern of the smoking ban because non-smokers are forced to inhale tobacco smoke without choice.

The electronic cigarette is not governed by the smoking ban or restricted by tobacco laws due to the cigarette construction and contents. The electric cigarette is also not subject to the high tobacco tax rates. Loss of tobacco tax revenue is a concern of governments worldwide and loss if profits for the pharmaceutical industry and tobacco empires as more smokers switch to electronic cigarettes.

In terms of the law, it is perfectly legal to ‘smoke’ or vape (See Glossary) electronic cigarettes in nightclubs, restaurants, cinemas, bingo halls, bowling alleys, buses and just about anywhere.

Laws Governing Electronic Cigarettes

  • UK – no restrictions imposed on the usage of electronic cigarettes
  • Health Act 2006 Exempt

Smoking at Work

Tobacco smoking in the workplace is restricted and the law enforced by the Health Act which bans customers, members of staff, consultants and visitors from smoking in public places and on their premises.

The Health Act does not affect the use of electronic cigarettes. Using an e cigarette is not classified as ‘Smoking’ as nothing is burned, but is termed ‘Vaping’ (SeeGlossary) just like a regular nicotine inhaler with the added benefit of the ability to inhale a realistic cigarette tasting, visible vapor . Legally, you are permitted to use an electronic cigarette in the workplace including work vehicles and offices. However, if you are not allowed to consume food or drink in your work area and depending on your type of occupation, your employer may not approve the use of electronic cigarettes while working or carrying out certain tasks. You should check the Terms and Conditions of your employment and if appropriate, ask permission first. For example, if a work collegue is pregnant, she may object to you using an electronic cigarette in her presence

The Electronic Cigeratte

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