With all the controversy surrounding electronic cigarettes right now, some employers aren’t sure whether to allow it in the workplace or not. If there is a smoking area in or around the workplace, then vapers may be welcome in those areas. Yet some vapers may not want to join the crowd that is smoking tobacco cigarettes, especially if they use vaping as a method to quit smoking. Now, if electronic cigarettes are included in indoor smoking bans in your hometown then obviously you will have to step outside. If not then you might just be able to talk to management and get a vapor policy put into place. Below are some steps that you can take in order to try and make vaping possible in your workplace.
Work is Work
Don’t set yourself up to look bad in the eyes of administration for pushing to be allowed to vape while working hastily. If you push for a vapor policy in your workplace without a sound course of action you will be unprepared and therefore less credible when you make your pitch. The only thing you should be doing while working is just that, working. This will be the first thing on your Boss’s mind when they object. Being prepared to rebut the initial rejection with a sound plan is key to getting a policy pushed through.
One thing that management is going to want to avoid is conflict between employees. You can distribute and collect a short survey, and ask what your co-workers think. It’s best to keep it simple and offer yes or no questions for them to answer. Some examples are below. Use the ones that are applicable to your workplace.
Do you think e-cigs should follow the same guidelines as tobacco cigarettes in the workplace?
Would you prefer if e-cigs were used away from people who don’t smoke at all?
Would it bother you if someone used an e-cig while sitting next to you?
*There is nothing more irritating than a whiny employee. Don’t complain about current policies or lack thereof. Instead, offer a realistic solution to the problem, presented in a professional manner. If your employer doesn’t want you to vape complaining about it is the equivalent of stomping your feet while shouting “not fair”.
*Realize that some people are leery of vaping. You aren’t going to change their minds, so work with what you have to come up with a solution.
*Try talking to Human Resources or reviewing your employee manual for rules and verbiage that may help you to convince management that vaping is acceptable in the workplace.
*Suggest a specific area away from the regular break room if you get the idea that vaping at your desk or work station will be vetoed by management.
*Some employers may fear that you are using your e-cig to ingest something other than vapor and nicotine. If this is the case, offer to succumb to random drug testing.
*Keep in mind that state and local laws apply. Most current laws include age restrictions. If this is the case and you work with minors, you may have to create a sign to label an area for those who are 18 and over.
Create a Solid Proposal
*Put something in writing for your boss to consider. Start out with a brief introduction to vaping, noting that it only looks like smoke while it’s really only vapor. Ask for an area to vape in and include a policy draft (learn more below) so that your boss can see all the work has already been done for him or her.
*Discuss the benefits of vaping. Your boss might be particularly interested to know that e-cigarettes are often used when people want to quit smoking. This may have an impact on the insurance plan your boss has to pay for and may even be the start of a stop smoking campaign for the company.
*Finally, thank your boss for taking the time to read your proposal and policy. Suggest a timeline to implement the policy, giving your boss at least a few days to consider it.
Draft a Policy
Your policy needs to have strict wording so that your boss takes it seriously. It needs to include the times when vaping is allowed as well as where it can be done. Vapers should be responsible for keeping the area clean. Note that vaping can be done ONLY during designated times and only in the designated areas. Include a sign that prevents minors from being in the area if minors work in your workplace. Even if minors are allowed to vape in your area, it’s probably only a matter of time until they can’t and certainly not a good idea. Putting a full plan together will show your boss that your proposal has been thought threw and considers all employees, not just those who vape.
Hopefully this helps you get approval to vape at work. It is a privilege that every vaper wants, but not every vaper has. Seeking opinions from coworkers, presenting the facts and coming up with a fair policy are key to convincing management to let you vape. Now t’s time to get out there and work on your right to vape on the job!