Why More Employers Need to Educate Their Employees About Vaping Policies

How does your employer feel about vaping? Do they allow you to vape throughout the workday? Have they provided you with clear instructions with regards to when and where you can vape?

There are millions of Americans who vape today, but unfortunately, it seems as though many employers haven’t taken the time to lay out clear vaping guidelines for their employees. Some of them are probably not quite sure what to tell employees, while others might not realize that it would benefit them and their employees to put guidelines into place.

But regardless of the reason, there are an alarming number of people who don’t know the policies that their employers have when it comes to vaping. According to a recent study that was conducted at the University of Alabama, which surveyed more than 300 smokers and vapers about everything from vaping to smoking cessation, more than 10 percent of people didn’t have a clue when they were asked to talk about their employers’ vaping guidelines.

And unfortunately, many of those that did know about the policies that have put into place said that employers simply clumped smoking and vaping together and told employees that the same policies would govern both, even though they’re very different.

The researchers behind the University of Alabama study responded to all of this information by encouraging employers to create specific vaping policies that tell employees more about their stance on vaping. Additionally, in a report published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, the researchers said “organizations should not consider smoking and vaping to be the same when setting policy.”

Here is why all of this is so important to you if you vape…

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What Employers Should Tell Employees About Vaping

Employer Vaping Policies

Are employees allowed to vape during business hours? Do they need to vape in a specific area? Are there time limits on how long an employee can vape? These all sound like simple enough questions, but the truth is that far too many employers are unable to answer them. And worse, many haven’t even considered trying to answer them and create policies for them.

When employees don’t have guidelines to tell them what to do when it comes to vaping, they are left to guess on their own, and this can create conflict within organizations and, in some cases, it can even get employees reprimanded. Some companies have allowed confusion to seep in by not telling employees about when, where, and how to vape.

Most people would be more than willing to follow the rules that have been established for vaping during the workday, even if they don’t necessarily agree with them. But if there are no rules in place, then they don’t know what they’re supposed to do. So employers should create policies, tell vapers the specific rules they need to follow, and then enforce them as necessary.

Why Specific Vaping Policies Are Needed

While companies should create vaping policies for their companies, one problem that many employees have is that their employers simply take their smoking policies and try to apply them to vaping. They designate the same areas that are used for smoking for vaping, and they give vapers the same allotted time to vape as they do for smokers to smoke.

Employers should not take this approach to creating vaping policies. Many companies may not realize that some people turn to vaping to try and quit smoking. And if this is the case, these people don’t want to be surrounded by smokers when they vape during the day. So companies should either consider creating areas designated for vaping or relax the policies they may have against vaping elsewhere on company property.

Many vapers also don’t need the 10 or 15 minutes it can often take smokers to go outside on a break. If a vaper only takes one or two drags from an e-cigarette at a time, he or she can often vape within just a minute or two. So companies may want to consider creating separate policies for smokers and vapers as far as taking breaks during the day.

In general, it’s just never a good idea to clump smoking and vaping into the same category. So employers need to take the time to differentiate the two so that they can create fair policies for those who fit into one category or the other.

How These Policies Can Benefit Vapers

As we mentioned earlier, there are many people who vape and don’t have a clue how their employer feels about it. They don’t know if they’re allowed to take breaks to vape during the day, and they also don’t always know if they’re allowed to vape wherever they want to.

When you couple these concerns with the fact that there’s still a lot of misunderstanding that surrounds vaping—many employers might not even know what their employees are doing when they see them outside vaping—you get a recipe for disaster. There are many employers who are probably reprimanding their employees for vaping without even realizing that those employees don’t know what they’re doing wrong.

By establishing some clear boundaries, employers can let employees know exactly what is expected of them when they vape. They can also create healthy discussions within the workplace about vaping. Who knows? Those employees who vape may be able to shed some much-needed light on vaping and show their employers that there’s nothing to be concerned about.

How These Policies Can Also Benefit Employers

At the end of the day, employers want their employees to be as productive as they can possibly be. They want them to work efficiently, and they want them to devote as much time as they can to putting in work. It doesn’t matter if the employer is a grocery store owner or a newspaper editor. That employer is looking for employees who will spend time doing their jobs.

When an employer fails to put a vaping policy into place, they fail to set their employees up for success. They have likely created rules and regulations for all kinds of other things in the workplace, and vaping should be no different. People who vape want to know what is expected of them, but as the University of Alabama study shows, too many people don’t know what the vaping policies at companies even are. This is not a good sign.

If you are an employee at a company who vapes, ask your employer what their policy on vaping is. And if you are an employer, come up with a vaping policy that works for you and your employees. It will help both of you in the long run and give you an advantage over many of the other companies that are out there.

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One thought on “Why More Employers Need to Educate Their Employees About Vaping Policies

  1. Koua Thao says:

    I do it all the time when no-one is around. I haven’t been spoke to about it , but when i brought it up i was told that I gotta go outside to vape. Well if o gotta keep things constantly flowing they’ll have to write me up cause if I’m going outside for anything, it’s to go home for the day. Oh by the way, chewing tobacco can be done during your shift. Half of the management dip on the daily. Bullshit right?

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