In recent months, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has been working to crack down on unregulated digital cigarettes. The problem is though all of this is still in its infancy. Although digital cigarettes are not yet defined as tobacco products by the federal government, many cities, states and municipalities are beginning to impose various restrictions and bans.

All while the FDA is working to set up governing rules, e-cigarette sales are sharply increasing—in some instances tripling over a two-year period.

Since most workplaces in the U.S. have become smoke-free facilities in recent years, the increase in people turning to digital cigarettes has led employers and management into new territory – specifically, how do they deal with employees who want to vape at work or while on a break.

First thing’s first, employers should create a digital cigarette policy. This policy should first cover whether e-cigarettes should be banned, allowed in smoking areas, allowed in approved areas (outside of any regular smoking areas) or whether they should be allowed inside the workplace. Regardless of how employers decide to handle digital cigs, it is important to create a written policy (or update an existing smoking policy). This way, if there are ever any questions or concerns, the company has the answers in writing.

It is typical for employers to set down rules for cellphone use, social networking and any other activities/ conduct that could interfere with an employee’s ability to do their job.

Pros and Cons of Workplace Bans

Before making a decision to limit or ban digital cigarette usage, employers should weigh the pros and cons of doing so. Chances are, as the employer, you could very well face opposition from both sides. On one hand, you’ll face angering those that wish to vape and on the other, you’ll face employees that will be bothered by the electric devices. In addition, for those who wish to vape, you could damage employee morale and productivity.

Unfortunately, you will never be able to please everyone.

For those who are pro e-cigarette, an employee who is able to vape at their desk will be able to be more productive than those who have to leave their workspace to take physical smoke breaks.

Making the decision to address the usage of digital cigarettes will by no means be easy or quick. However, by taking the steps to create a policy can help make your workplace more inviting and productive.

For more tips on establishing a policy, we invite you to check out our article Vaping in the Office – Should it be Allowed?, or continue browsing our site to learn more about these revolutionary devices.