Vaping at Work: What You Should Know
It seems like every day, more and more people are picking up vapes and leaving cigarettes behind. However, there are many misconceptions regarding vaping since its long-term effects haven’t been fully discovered yet.
One misconception is that vaping is just as dangerous as smoking, even though the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has stated that “E-cigarettes have the potential to benefit adult smokers who are not pregnant if used as a complete substitute for regular cigarettes and other smoked tobacco products.” This begs whether vaping is more beneficial than cigarettes, should they be treated the same way?
One way in which the public still hasn’t made up their minds is if they should allow people to vape while at work. In today’s blog, we answer the question millions of vapers have on their minds: Can I vape at work?
We’ll look at the federal and state guidelines and tell you exactly how you can find out if you can vape while working.
Table of Contents
- Is Vaping Allowed Inside?
- Vaping at Work at the Federal Level
- Vaping at Work at the State Level
- Vaping at Work: How To Tell If You Can Vape
- Repercussions for Vaping at Work
Is Vaping Allowed Inside?
Before answering if you can vape at work, let’s first look into vaping indoor. While vaping does not leave or create ash, smoke, or tar, an excellent guideline to follow is that if smoking is prohibited in the establishment, then vaping indoors is not permitted as well. However, this is not always the case, so what it comes down to are federal and state laws, which we will look at next.
Vaping at Work at the Federal Level
As of 2020, no federal rules prohibited vaping in the workplace. Although the FDA has created many rules and regulations that have impacted the vaping industry, there are still no regulations regarding a federal law prohibiting vaping in the workplace. With that said, this does not mean that you can vape at work; you still have to consider state laws and company policies.
Vaping at Work at the State Level
When we get to the state level, things get more complicated since states have taken various actions to regulate vaping. According to Lawyers.com, these actions include: including vaping in the definition of smoking, explicitly banning vaping at work, and banning vaping in certain establishments.
Including Vaping in the Definition of Smoking
Many states have included vaping in their definition of smoking, which means that the state's rules also apply to vaping. These states include:
- District of Columbia
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
However, something to keep in mind is that just because vaping has been added to the definition of smoking, it does not mean that it is not allowed at the workplace. And they don't expressly ban vaping in the same places that smoking is forbidden. However, it would help if you tread with caution since these states tend to be extremely restrictive in vaping.
Specifically Banning Vaping at Work
In the United States, there are 16 states and two districts that have banned vaping in the workplace. In the districts of Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, there are specific smoke-free indoor laws that prohibit e-cigarettes, not only in workplaces but also in restaurants and bars. In total, the states and districts that specifically ban vaping in workplaces include:
- New Mexico
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
- New York
- Rhode Island
- New Jersey
- District of Columbia
- Puerto Rico
Banning Vaping in Certain Establishments
While some states have banned vaping in the workplace outright, others have banned vaping in certain establishments. For example, schools, playgrounds, hospitals, colleges, and childcare facilities, are some of the most common establishments where vaping is banned. If you happen to work in these institutions, you’re most likely not going to be able to vape.
Vaping at Work: How To Tell If You Can Vape
Because not all states address vaping at the state level, the first thing you should do to know if you can vape at work is to check your local government. Many municipalities have clear rules about vaping at work or have similar laws that dictate if you can vape inside institutions like schools, churches, or playgrounds. However, these rules can get murky if they change from district to district.
The best thing to do is to reach out to your supervisor or HR person and ask them personally if there are any policies against vaping in the workplace. They are the persons that have the company policy knowledge about whether you can or can not vape at work. However, since vaping is relatively new and many companies haven’t yet updated their work policies to allow or not allow vaping, it’s possible that they might not know or that they don’t have a workplace vaping policy. In most cases, they will check local and state guidelines regarding vaping to see if they can allow employees to vape and change their handbook of work policies to reflect these laws.
Repercussions for Vaping at Work
If you find out that you can not vape after talking to your supervisor or HR person, we strongly recommend that you do not vape while at work since you can be fired just for vaping, especially if state or local guidelines prohibit vaping while at work. Even if there aren’t any state or local guidelines that do not allow vaping while working, workplace policies will be deemed legal by a court or state agency.
The question of whether it is illegal to vape at work depends on your state. If your state is not on our list of states that ban vaping at the workplace, we recommend checking your local government laws. If you can’t find this information, ask your HR representative or supervisor for guidance on whether or not you can vape while at work; most of the time, they will be glad you ask and give you an answer. If you find out you can’t, refrain from vaping since it could cost you your job.
DISCLAIMER: EjuiceDB articles and blogs are meant to entertain and educate. However, we are not medical professionals and do not intend to give medical advice through them. Furthermore, Vaping products and nicotine use are only meant for persons over the age of 21.
Children, breastfeeding and pregnant women, persons with risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, or that take medications especially for depression or asthma should not use nicotine or vaping products. Always consult a licensed physician prior to use.