In the past, the topic of e-cigarettes has come up on the Forum... specifically, whether employees would be allowed to use them in areas that would otherwise be non-smoking.

I noticed the North Dakota Employment Law Letter covered the new non-smoking law in that state, and that the law specifically included a ban on e-cigarettes. Has the issue been raised with anyone here? I've had one employee talk about it in a semi-joking manner, but she's historically the type to really push the rules and I dread the day she takes one out of her purse in the lunchroom.


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  • We received a couple of questions on this topic. We provide bus transportation for employees and using them on the bus came up as well as smoking them in buildings. Our stance is to treat them like regular cigarettes. They are to only be smoked outside in designated smoking areas.

    We are based in Nevada, but have locations in California, New Mexico, and the Washington DC area. The policy is the same everywhere. **==
  • Interestingly enough, we have not had this issue come up. Witrh 40 locations in four states we usually face every issue. (knock on wood)
  • One thing that wasn't clear in the Employment Law Letter article... What is the rationale for treating e-cigs the same as regular cigs? I'm in favor of anything that gets people to quit smoking, and we have a lot of smoke-break abuse here, but I don't know how I would logically explain to an employee that their e-cig is not okay. (And I'm not a big fan of "just because".) I'm not that familiar with e-cigs, but it seems like it would be the same as someone sucking on sunflower seeds instead of Skoal.

    I know I'm spending a lot of time obsessing about a question I haven't even been asked, but it's what I do... :)
  • Frank -

    The question first came up in August 2011, and came up again in February 2012. Both our legal department and medical department weighed in on this issue. The Medical Director stated that, "...research indicates there could be some issues with using this product in close proximity to other people. The concern being there are chemicals within the gases that could be harmful to other[s]." Our Chief Counsel commented that they have not been proven safe therefore should be treated like other cigarettes.

    I hope this helps. **==
  • [URL]http://bit.ly/180rLbS[/URL]

    In case anyone is still wrestling with this issue, [I]South Carolina Employment Law Letter[/I] editor Reggie Gay has written a piece about [B]e-cigarettes[/B] that was picked up and published in today's [I]HR Hero Line[/I] electronic newsletter. Hope this helps.
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