There is a lot of confusion regarding vaping at workplaces because there are no clear rules. Yet, many states like California, Washington, New York, and Massachusetts have bans on e-cigarettes.
Other states like Oregon, Montana, and Rhode Island have their own laws and bans when it comes to vaping at workplaces. Almost 13 states have banned vaping at work, including outdoors and indoors.
You must be mindful of the state rules to understand whether you can vape at work. Many companies may still prohibit vaping at workplaces even if the state has no comprehensive law.
In a state that does not have specific laws against vaping, the company may not cover it in its non-smoking policy. But they may have rules regarding smoking indoors; you need to be mindful of that if you do not want to be reprimanded.
In extreme cases, you may be fired if your employer catches you vaping because it would be considered a breach of regulations.
Can You Vape at Work?
It is only safe to vape at work if your employer has given the employees permission to smoke in a designated area in the workplace. Or, you would have to get permission for vaping for medical reasons, like medical marijuana or CBD.
In that case, you would have to provide the documents to your employer citing your medical history and that you are seeking alternative therapy under a licensed therapist.
If you live in any of the states that do not have a comprehensive ban on vaping, you can smoke at work, but only if your employer allows it. If you’re unsure, ask your superior or clear it with HR if you can step outside for a smoke. Please specify that you are carrying an e-cigarette and check the policies regarding using them or any similar devices at work.
Bonus Read: Things Your Boss Can’t Legally Do
Is it Illegal to Vape at Work in The US?
Smoking inside the workplace’s premises, especially in an enclosed indoor area, is illegal in almost every state. However, the rules about vaping are still unclear, which creates a degree of confusion.
Vaporizers and electronic cigarettes are not covered by anti-smoking legislation in most states. So technically, it’s not illegal to use them if you reside in one of these states. But you still need to follow the rules if your employers have any specific rules against them and ensure you abide by them.
Is Vaping to be Allowed in Workplaces?
Taking a smoke break is a form of relief for many employees, but there is a reason why smoking is banned from indoor workspaces. Non-smokers complain about passive smoking, and they are right to do so because they are also exposed to tobacco smoke when someone else smokes in the vicinity.
The same is true for e-cigarettes and similar devices like vaping pens. They also release toxic chemicals in the form of aerosols. It can be a cause of concern for others, especially those with asthma and similar respiratory problems.
Moreover, many believed that vaping would result in a decline in the productivity of the employees. Moreover, having a fire or smoke in specific workplaces that involve chemicals could be dangerous.
It is vital to have clear policies around the issue of vaping that should be backed with data as well. But surveys show more than 63% of employees voting against smoking or vaping at work.
Will Vaping at Work Land You in Trouble?
Yes, if your company prohibits smoking and vaping at work or prohibits them unless you are in a designated smoking area. You should respect those rules and abide by them. If not, your employer could list it as a breach of conduct and reprimand you.
You could be asked to show cause and deal with other repercussions if caught again. It could also go on your employee report. You may see some of your over-confident coworkers trying to smoke and break the rules but try to avoid following their example.
They will face repercussions if caught, and so will you. Even if you feel no one is watching you, CCTV cameras may record your actions. So it is better to stay away from such activities. If you are new to work, consult the employee handbook or speak to HR about the rules, or you may face disciplinary action. Repeatedly breaking a non-smoking or non-vaping policy may result in you getting fired.
Also Read: Does Getting Fired Go On Your Record?
Can Vaping at The Workplace Cause Any Damage?
Yes, smoking and vaping at work can cause damage if one isn’t careful.
In some industries- those that deal in combustible items or chemical products- smoking and vaping inside the premises can cause substantial damage if one is not careful. That is why there are rules about not smoking and vaping or only doing so in designated smoke zones.
Even a spark or any aerosol from vaping pens that mixes with chemical fumes could lead to a dangerous situation within seconds.
On the other hand, the side effects of vaping can cause more damage, even to non-smokers. Those who do not smoke can be sensitive to tobacco and its substitutes. Moreover, vaporizers, e-cigarettes, and vape pens have several other toxins that are released into the air. They can cause heart issues and respiratory illnesses.
When one vapes inside the premises, the quality of indoor air deteriorates. The toxins circulate in the air and can be health hazards over time. Besides, these devices run on batteries, which may sometimes explode, releasing nicotine into the air. Hence, it would be best to be mindful about using these devices at work and injuring anyone else. You may be asked to pay compensation as well.
Should Employers Allow Vaping at Work?
The well-being of the employees is a priority for any employer. Many jobs, especially those involving children and pets, do not allow vaping at all, no matter the state regulations. Some workplaces have more relaxed policies, especially if it has a small and intimate team and the work environment is more laid back.
However, as a general rule, no employer explicitly encourages vaping. And as an employee, you should always wait till you are outside the premises if you want to vape or smoke. Even if your employer has not banned vaping and smoking outright in the workplace, you should be considerate about causing any discomfort to your coworkers.
Many employees choose to vape at work because they do not have to leave their desks and go for smoke breaks. Nowadays, they try to be discreet with cleverly designed vape pens so they do not look like vaping. And yet, the fact remains that they do, and if they are caught, they may be severely reprimanded and even fired.
Hence, do not try to vape at work if your employer prohibits it. Only do so if there are designated areas for vaping, and be mindful if your coworkers are okay with it. It would be best if you also tried to refrain from it for your own sake and try healthier options for relaxing at work.