Perceptions regarding electronic cigarettes largely vary depending on different factors. In a workplace environment, for instance, the reaction of the workers will depend on the workplace itself.
In the United Kingdom, a law was passed in 2006 prohibiting the use of cigars, cigarettes, and smoking pipes in any confined space in order to prevent the spread of harmful second hand smoke. This legislation was instrumental in the action of a number of companies that have actually taken it upon themselves to come up with internal rules banning the use of e-cigs in the office, or other parts of the workplace. The insurance company Standard Life is one of them.
Confusion arises from this scenario. After all, electronic cigarettes do not produce smoke. So is it proper to ban it using that legislation as a legal basis? The prohibition of e-cigs in these companies using this legislation as a basis seems to imply that an e-cig smoker is no different from a regular cigarette smoker.
Many employees and office workers take a break by puffing a cigarette or two. This helps them relax and, in the long run, increase their productivity. They would argue that the company banning e-cigs in the workplace is also a way of preventing them from relaxing and taking a much needed break, ultimately reducing their productivity.
Many e-cig smokers claim that they are using e-cigs as a way to quit smoking, but if their employer is banning their use in their workplace, that means they are not getting the support they need to quit smoking entirely. For them, it is also tantamount to convincing them to simply go back to using normal cigarettes, which are decidedly more harmful.
Clearly, using the 2006 legislation to justify company rules against e-cigs is not going to fly. Therefore, there is a need for these companies to look into other solutions or legal basis to justify their imposing these rules.