‘E-cigarettes’ Spark Workplace Smoking Row

blog-publish-date

02 Jan 2013

blog-read-duration

London 4 December 2012 – The rise in popularity of ‘electronic cigarettes’ has fuelled workplace smoking rows according to HR and health & safety expert, Croner . Over the last few months Croner, part of global information services business Wolters Kluwer, has seen a substantial rise in calls to its advice lines from employers concerned about the use of e-cigarettes at work. E-cigarettes are an increasingly being used by smokers who view them as the ‘healthier’ alternative to traditional cigarettes or tobacco*. Basil Long, senior legal adviser at Croner, says: “From a legal perspective as e-cigarettes are not ‘lit’ then there is no reason why they cannot be used within the workplace. This may be acceptable for some employers, but the ones calling our advisory service are concerned about the use of e-cigarettes and wonder if they can either discipline an employee for ‘smoking’ at work or ban it altogether. “The majority of workplace smoking policies do not specifically define smoking, and in the absence of any specific definition, a court of law would defer to the Health Act 2006 which define smoking as ‘lit tobacco or anything lit that contains tobacco, or of any other lit substance in a form in which it could be smoked’.  As a result it would not be safe to rely on such a policy to discipline employees using e-cigarettes in the workplace. Therefore employers wishing to ban the use of e-cigarettes will need to amend their policy.   “A workplace smoking policy can normally be adapted very easily to extend the definition of smoking to include the use of e-cigarettes, however as with any other changes to employment policies, care needs to be taken to ensure the change is effective and not challenged by employees.”

- Ends –

Notes to Editors * Wikipedia provides a definition of e-cigarettes here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_cigarette  

Free to Download Employer Resources

  • How To Guide: Helping Employees with the EU Settlement Scheme

    FREE DOWNLOAD

    How To Guide: Helping Employees with ...

    Read more
  • Sample Risk Assessment Template

    FREE DOWNLOAD

    Sample Risk Assessment Template

    Read more
  • Upcoming Employment Law Changes - 2019/20

    FREE DOWNLOAD

    Upcoming Employment Law Changes - 201...

    Read more
  • Tribunal Claims Continue to Rocket

    BLOG

    Tribunal Claims Continue to Rocket

    The statistics continue to show that claims are increasing dollowing the removal...

    Read more
  • Bank Holidays: Legal Requirement or Not?

    BLOG

    Bank Holidays: Legal Requirement or N...

    Do you need to give your staff days off on bank holidays? Do you have to pay the...

    Read more
  • Fires at The Ivy, Ocado and Tesla… Is Your Business Next?

    BLOG

    Fires at The Ivy, Ocado and Tesla… Is...

    The following incidents took place at the sites of major businesses in the UK be...

    Read more
  • Solicitors Benevolent Association

    CASE STUDY

    Solicitors Benevolent Association

    “The reason for using Croner was the high-profile track record and the credibili

    Read more
  • John Taylor Hospice

    CASE STUDY

    John Taylor Hospice

    “A large number of the queries are around employment law and rights in areas suc

    Read more
  • Motorsport Industry Association

    CASE STUDY

    Motorsport Industry Association

    “I’m so happy with the service Croner provide, I’d be hard pressed to find a fau

    Read more

Ready to focus on what you do best?

Get your free consultation and speak to an expert today.