Employment Law Blog

News, trends and analysis in employment law and HR

Sep 18, 2013

Use of E-Cigarettes in the workplace

Q&ADrug and Alcohol 

Q: One of our employees in Seattle asked this morning, "Are we allowed to smoke e-cigarettes in the office? My officemate does not mind."

A: E-cigarettes, the common name for nicotine delivery devices, are not yet FDA approved. They do not produce smoke but water vapor which contains trace amounts of nicotine. The use of these devices is often referred to as “vaping.” For the past several years, e-cigarettes have been prohibited in public places in King County, pursuant to a regulation passed by the King County Board of Health. The definition of “public places” is the same as the Washington state Clean Air Act, and includes the workplace. So for employers in Seattle, the use of e-cigarettes would be prohibited under the law and your handbook, just like conventional cigarette smoking.

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