Acceptable Use of Electronic Cigarettes Policy
Author: Stefan H. Black, FordHarrison, LLP
When to Use
Electronic cigarettes ("E-cigarettes") are a smokeless alternative to traditional cigarettes. Rather than burning tobacco, e-cigarettes use a battery to heat a flavored liquid, which becomes a vapor that the user inhales. As the use of e-cigarettes (known as vaping) has increased in recent years, so too have employees' demands to be allowed to vape while at work.
Some state and local governments prohibit the use of e-cigarettes in the workplace. Before implementing this policy, employers should consult an attorney to determine whether vaping at work is lawful in the city(ies) and state(s) in which they are operating.
Unless operating in a city or state that restricts the use of e-cigarettes, an employer generally has the right to choose whether to allow employees to vape at work. An employer should therefore determine whether it wishes to allow vaping at work and then develop, implement and enforce a policy that promotes the employer's decision. A written and published policy is the best means by which to manage employee expectations regarding the use of e-cigarettes in the workplace.
This policy is intended to serve as a guide for an employer wishing to allow the use of e-cigarettes in the workplace. An employer that wishes to ban e-cigarettes might consider incorporating this ban into its current smoking policy.