Should Companies Allow Vaping in the Workplace?

young man vaping from an e-cigarette at his workplace

Just twenty years ago, cigarettes were still legal indoors and it was almost a requirement in corporate America in preceding eras. Now, workplaces have no-smoking policies or designated outdoor smoking areas. In recent years, using a vapor pen in the workplace has been the solution to this problem. The question now is whether they are really safe and whether employees can be trusted to use them responsibly?

What is Vaping?

A Vapor pen is basically a mechanism that consists of a cartridge and a battery. When it’s on, the pen heats up the liquid that is housed in the cartridge; this produces an aerosol vapor, which the user inhales or “vapes.”  The ingredients of the liquid vary but generally include nicotine (some are nicotine free),  propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin to vaporize the nicotine, additives, and flavoring.

Is it Still Dangerous?

Studies have found that vaping actually worsened indoor air quality by increasing the amount of nicotine, particulate matter, PAHs, and aluminum. These compounds have been linked to lung and cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other health problems.

Higher Productivity

Employers in favor of allowing vaping argue that permitting vape pens increases productivity and decreases absenteeism. Former tobacco smokers need not leave the premises for cigarette breaks and will take fewer sick days.

Drug Use

Employers need to be aware of an increasing trend of employees using vape pens to smoke marijuana at work.  This growing trend can be attributed to the fact that the vapor does not have the telltale marijuana smell.  Employers are within their rights to discipline these employees for violating any anti-drug policy but monitoring and detecting drug use is much more difficult when vape pens are allowed in the workplace.

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