ACAS Encourages Employers To Make Vaping Guidelines For The Workplace
ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) are encouraging employers to make clear guidelines for vaping in the workplace in their recently published article ‘E-cigarettes and vaping in the workplace’.
As many adults are now choosing to use e-cigarettes as an alternative to smoking, it is important that workplaces do what they can to help employees remain smoke free.
Key Points From The Article
An e-cigarette does not fall under the smoke free guidelines that traditional cigarettes do, so it is at the discretion of management whether to allow vaping in the workplace and where e-cigarette use is allowed.
Some of their employees may be using an e-cigarette as part of a stop smoking plan, and as these people are choosing to make a healthier lifestyle choice, the support of their employer could go a long way to helping them remain successfully smoke free.
The article makes the recommendation that, where vaping is allowed in the workplace, employees should make management aware if they are vapers and request approval to use their device in the workplace.
It is also raised that those e-cigarette users who are forced to use their device in a designed smoking area, along with other traditional cigarette smokers, are being put at a disadvantage by being forced to be around the cigarette smoke that they are trying to quit.
Recommendations From ACAS
Giving up smoking can be difficult, and having the support of those they work with could greatly help people in a successful quit. There will be workplaces where vaping may not be appropriate, for example in retail outlets where the customers can see, and it is important that while employers work to support their employees in their healthier lifestyle choice, this should not be expected to be detrimental to business.
In cases like this, the recommendation is that a designated ‘vaping area’ is identified, preferably in a different location to the ‘smoking area’, meaning users are not subjected to being around other smokers whilst trying to quit the habit.
The article also identifies the need for employers to produce clear guidelines for vaping, which can easily be added to pre-existing smoking or drugs and alcohol policies, avoiding confusion among employees.
While it is identified as important to support those employees who are e-cigarette users, it is also important to consider those non-vapers who share the working space. For this reason, they suggest discussing this with all members of staff, for example in a staff meeting, so that an arrangement that best suits everyone involved can be reached.
This also includes break times, those who take smoking or vaping breaks are still entitled to the same amount of break time as those who do not take these breaks, and so vaping or smoking breaks should be taken out of the allotted lunch break time to avoid unequal break times amongst colleagues.
How Can Your Workplace Support Vapers?
The suggestions and the guidelines in the article cover a range of different workplace scenarios for ways in which employers can support vapers in the workplace. If you would like to better support those e-cigarette users under your employ, or those smokers who are considering making the switch to a healthier lifestyle you could consider making researching or even reaching out to your local stop smoking services, who could provide you with materials such as leaflets that can be passed on to staff; you would then also be able to support employees in contacting these clinics themselves.
Communication is key; speak to your employees and discuss their needs, whether they are a vaper, smoker, or neither, to help identify the best way in which you can support each and every member of your team.
The best way to support your employees in a successful stop smoking attempt is to understand that they will find it difficult at times, and that situations like being forced to use a smoking area for their vaping breaks could make it much harder for them to remain smoke free, and to do all you can to help remove these difficult scenarios.
If you are interested in learning more about e-cigarettes and how they can be used as a stop smoking aid, pop in to your local Evapo store and speak to a member of our team, or head over to our website and blog for lots more helpful information.