For quite some time now, the subject of vaping has been one of the most controversial and hotly debated in the UK. While there’s no disputing the fact that the e-cigarette revolution is alive and kicking, there’s still much confusion and disagreement on the supposed benefits (or lack thereof) of such devices. In particular, disputes as to how vaping should be handled in the workplace are heating up by the day.
Specifically, business owners and managers are struggling to reach a consensus with regard to how those who choose to use electronic cigarettes should be treated at work. In most instances, workplaces routinely allow tobacco smokers to take cigarette breaks throughout the day, which must be taken in a designated area away from other employees. This is something that tends to be agreed on as fair and proactive by most, but it seems the same cannot be said for the idea of ‘vaping’ breaks for users of e-cigarettes.
According to the results of a new study, the majority of the British public disagree with Public Health England’s plan to give vapers preferential treatment over tobacco smokers when it comes to breaks at work. Not only do 76% feel that e-cigarette smokers should not be allowed extra ‘vape breaks’, but over half of all respondents feel that no special ‘vaping area’ should be provided. This, despite the somewhat contradictory finding that almost two thirds of respondents would feel annoyed if someone vaped at their desk.
The study which was conducted on behalf of E-cig review site ecigreviewsite.co.uk (provides impartial reviews of e cigarette products in the UK) has revealed that an overwhelming majority feel that e-cigarette smokers should not be given extra breaks at work. But the data produced does little other than confirm exactly how much confusion there remains with regard to e-cigarettes and their use in general. More than two thirds (61%) believe that vaping should still be classed as smoking, while just under two thirds of respondents (60%) believe that e-cigarettes are an effective smoking cessation tool. The government is making strong attempts to ensure that vaping is classified entirely different to smoking in the workplace, but this isn’t a view that is shared by the public.
In so many instances, those who use e-cigarettes do so specifically for the purposes of cutting down or quitting traditional smoking. As such, to force them to use such devices in close proximity to groups of tobacco smokers could prove to be highly counterproductive. Not only this, but the dangers of second-hand smoke are well-documented and should not necessarily be forced on those using e-cigarettes, critics argue.
So while it’s clear that concrete rules and legislation on the use of e-cigarettes is important, grouping vapers together with tobacco smokers doesn’t appear to be a fair or viable option.
A spokesman for the E-cig review site commented on the results:
“E-cigarettes are often used as part of a ‘stop smoking’ strategy or plan, so it’s interesting to see that the majority of the public don’t see vaping in this way,”
“I believe that grouping e-cigarette users in with real cigarette smokers confuses the message that e-cigarettes are usually a step towards quitting completely, rather than an alternative to smoking tobacco cigarettes,”
“Instead of making e-cigarette smokers outcasts in the workplace, we feel that employers should instead encourage and support by providing appropriate provisions such as a separate vaping area away from traditional cigarette smokers.”