12 March 2014
Should E-Cigarettes be Banned from the Workplace?
One can’t walk down a high street in any town or city these days without seeing retailers selling E-Cigarettes. They are becoming almost as common as mobile phone shops.
Recently, the TUC has suggested that because the long term effects of the fumes given off by E-Cigarettes are unknown, employers should not be allowing what can potentially be a harmful substance be used in the workplace. The COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) Regulations apply.
It is illegal to allow smoking of tobacco in the workplace. Unfortunately, there are no Regulations in place in relation to E-Cigarettes, other than relating to their sale and licensing. Even the European Union Legislation won’t come into effect until 2016.
The worry is that, although the health effects are relatively unknown, E-Cigarettes do contain carcinogens and toxins, albeit at lower levels than tobacco products.
Why should a worker have to breathe in chemicals given out by the E-Cigarette of a fellow worker within the workplace? Employers should, therefore, be conscious of the potential risks, and not simply sit back and wait for legislation.
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