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Nick A  
#1 Posted : 07 June 2014 08:46:43(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Nick A

Is there a robust H&S case for them not being in the workplace?
Ciaran Delaney  
#2 Posted : 07 June 2014 09:03:40(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Ciaran Delaney

Hi Nick,

None that I have seen yet and I haven't seen any epidemiological research yet on side effects of same.

However, the HSE in Ireland (UK equivalent of NHS) has banned them from hospitals and public transport companies have also done so in regard to their fleets.

Regards
hopeful  
#3 Posted : 09 June 2014 09:31:00(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
hopeful

This has been discussed many times so may be worth a search of the forums as during the discussions many reasons for not allowing these have been given, although to my memory the most valid was where there were risks of fire or explosion and all electric/battery items were restricted anyway
BJC  
#4 Posted : 09 June 2014 22:39:02(UTC)
Rank: Guest
Guest

Not by a rational person.
bob youel  
#5 Posted : 10 June 2014 09:45:40(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
bob youel

Yes

There's lots of very good stuff out there [both legal and professionally researched] that leads a professional to err to caution as we would err to caution for other areas

The argument by smokers and the like that e-cigs may be safer than tobacco cigs to the user may stand but that does not make them safe nor especially healthy for the user or anybody else close by
L McCartney  
#6 Posted : 10 June 2014 13:42:36(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
L McCartney

We don't allow them in the office (or customers homes) - even the nicotine free ones - as although they are regarded as 'safer' than cigarettes they do give off a vapour.

The nicotine ones are 'fueled' by very strong smelling liquid (bit like concentrated aromatherapy) and filling and/or smoking these in an office leaves a very highly perfumed smell which affects those with respiratory problems e.g. asthma (we've tried it).
L McCartney  
#7 Posted : 10 June 2014 13:45:49(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
L McCartney

should read nicotine free
Stern  
#8 Posted : 19 June 2014 16:34:42(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Stern

I use a vapouriser (ecig) and it makes no smell. Come to think of it, i've never come across one which produces a smell and i've tried a few as well as various flavours of e-liquid!? Not sure who came up with that one!
Furthermore, the isolated stories of ecigs bursting into flames were actually centred around when they were left on charge, not when they were in use.

Anyway, i work for a construction company and we have recently formally banned them on our sites for the following reasons:

1) From a distance it can appear that somebody is smoking (especially with the disposable ecigs which look just like real cigarettes). This looks unprofessional.

2) Similar to the above, if we've got 99 guys on site chuffing on ecigs then spotting the one guy smoking a real one will be tricky.

3) And finally there is also the distraction element (somebody operating 20 tonnes of machine whilst fiddling with an ecig!) This is the same reason we also ban mobiles.

The issue we are now facing however is that we will need dedicated "vaping" areas as people using ecigs/vapourisers won't want to (and shouldn't be made to) stand with proper smokers.
Lummy  
#9 Posted : 10 July 2014 10:07:31(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Lummy

They should be banned from the workplace as when the smoker exhales, anyone else can still inhale the smoke that comes our of the smokers lungs. this is one of the reasons we have banned them it our workplace As someone else has mentioned, it looks unprofessional.
firesafety101  
#10 Posted : 10 July 2014 10:39:49(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
firesafety101

I have heard that the nicotine is carried by anti freeze ? That should keep you warm in winter.
bob youel  
#11 Posted : 10 July 2014 11:52:56(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
bob youel

Yep in many cases the nicotine is carried into the user by anti freeze and other such substances via formal suppliers and as for those who fill them themselves nobody knows just what is in them as the carrier agent

Try an experiment; -
put a number of e-cigs users in a small office and see how long it takes for the office to smell and vapour to gather - not long I can assure you as I have seen it done; so much for the 'nothing wrong with the vapour argument'
Ron Hunter  
#12 Posted : 10 July 2014 12:25:38(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Ron Hunter

Nonsense. The carrier is propylene glycol, an everday food industry product. Anti-freeze is ethylene glycol.

Not that long since we had the big hoohah about using talcum powder because someone suggested the chemical make up of talc was "similar" to asbestos.........................
BJC  
#13 Posted : 10 July 2014 14:46:06(UTC)
Rank: Guest
Guest

Let me see what is the greater hazard to peoples health Smoke or an Inhaler - tricky it may be used as a weapon however I think encouraging people away from ciggies is the bigger picture.
firesafety101  
#14 Posted : 10 July 2014 20:43:33(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
firesafety101

My mother in law uses one and it has got her off cigarettes, they were slowly killing her and she almost had both legs amputated.

She now has the blasted eciggy in hand then mouth all the time, at least when a cigarette went out it was finished but these things just go on and on and on and on and ..............
bob youel  
#15 Posted : 11 July 2014 06:46:25(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
bob youel

Ron
I received my information from medical experts??? However I will double check


Think of a cig with lots of small bullets that can kill U and then think of an e-gig with one bullet that can kill U = both kill its just that one does it with one and not numerous bullets and that sums it up

And how is it we still think that nicotine is OK - its an horrendous drug so all smokers must be druggies!!!!
achrn  
#16 Posted : 11 July 2014 09:10:46(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
achrn

BJC wrote:
Let me see what is the greater hazard to peoples health Smoke or an Inhaler - tricky it may be used as a weapon however I think encouraging people away from ciggies is the bigger picture.


How about this one:

What's the greatest hazard to people's health, breathing in unspecified unknown uncontrolled vapour from a e-cig, or not doing that?

Unless you're going to find decent peer-reviewed research that shows breathing in second-had e-cig vapour is actually better for you than breathing in clean air, your argument is bogus. The choice of what to allow in the workplace isn't one between real cigs or e-cigs, it's between e-cigs and nothing.
chris42  
#17 Posted : 11 July 2014 09:11:23(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
chris42

The thing is, putting aside what I do for a living, I don't want to breath in whatever it is these things exude. It is great people want to give up smoking, but I don't see why it should affect me or even mildly concern me as I don't know exactly what it is I'm being exposed to.

While I'm at it air fresheners do not freshen air, they pump out more chemicals, which I would also prefer not to breath in. The stuff just makes me sneeze, similar to a lot of scents and perfumes people wear. Someone had sprayed themselves with something in on of our offices the other day. I walked in and felt like I was choking and gasping for air. Someone else in the office laughed and said they had given up trying to dissuade the culprit who was no longer in the room as they had gone home.

I'm sorry, but I do find all these people quite inconsiderate.

I'm probably in the minority though

Chris
firesafety101  
#18 Posted : 11 July 2014 09:33:59(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
firesafety101

As it's Friday ----- what about walking into a bathroom immediately after someone else has been and downloaded?

They are unable to notice any difference to the air/fragrence but by golly you will :-)
stevedm  
#19 Posted : 11 July 2014 12:56:38(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
stevedm

Nick A wrote:
Is there a robust H&S case for them not being in the workplace?


Is this still going?.....

Is there a robust case to allow employees to put toxics into there mouths and lungs at work? With the increased focus on occupational health and wellbeing of staff...why would you allow the practice?

Those who wish to stop smoking should enter into a proper cessation program which is what we should be advocating....
colinreeves  
#20 Posted : 11 July 2014 14:00:17(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
colinreeves

Interesting that the majority of posters are against e-cigs, but do not back up their personal opinions. How about a quote from the NHS as a starter:
Are e-cigarettes safe?
We don’t really know until they have been thoroughly assessed and monitored in a large population over time. However, compared with regular cigarettes, they are certainly the lesser of two evils.
http://www.nhs.uk/news/2...garettes-and-vaping.aspx

Lot of other good comments on this section of the NHS website - but the clear message is "we do not yet know" so surely the jury should be out, not already made up their mind.

Too much certainty shown in these posts - look for hard evidence first.


achrn  
#21 Posted : 11 July 2014 14:27:59(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
achrn

colinreeves wrote:
Interesting that the majority of posters are against e-cigs, but do not back up their personal opinions. How about a quote from the NHS as a starter:
Are e-cigarettes safe?
We don’t really know until they have been thoroughly assessed and monitored in a large population over time. However, compared with regular cigarettes, they are certainly the lesser of two evils.
http://www.nhs.uk/news/2...garettes-and-vaping.aspx


As I said - this argument is bogus. The choice of what to allow in the workplace isn't one between real cigs or e-cigs, it's between e-cigs and nothing.

Not breathing in unspecified vapours is less hazardous than breathing in unspecified vapours, in my opinion. It's precisely because there is no hard evidence that the vapours are harmless that I don't want to breathe them in.
firesafety101  
#22 Posted : 11 July 2014 15:30:54(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
firesafety101

What happens to the nicotine inhaled by the user? Does some of it get exhaled into our shared airspace to be inhaled by the unsuspecting non smoker?

L McCartney  
#23 Posted : 11 July 2014 15:45:22(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
L McCartney

It's true that there is not enough evidence that these are unsafe or safe to the person who is 'smoking' them.
They are considered more safe than tobacco cigarettes.

to the passive 'smoker' they do pose problems as they do smell and can trigger asthma in my experience - my bosses secondary business is distribution of these. It's a similar smell to aromatherapy oils - strong perfume.

Even people who have no breathing difficulties more than noticed the smell from them and actually had them sneezing, dry throats etc - which the cynics might say happens anyway - but I observed over a period of time.

You can see the vapour given off and if you can smell it you are inhaling it. When they are being re-filled the perfume smell is quite overpowering

I have heard that some people are being able to quit smoking tobacco by using these so there may be a case for using them as a cessation method when more details are known. Quite a few people I know when they try to stop smoking miss the action of having something in their hand - this might assist with that.

I think its a personal choice what people want to inhale so long as there is no passive 'smoking'.
Ron Hunter  
#24 Posted : 11 July 2014 16:27:42(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Ron Hunter

So product providing an alternative to a Cat 1 carcinogen (from first AND passive smoking) "smells a bit". No more offensive that sitting next to a steaming cup of coffee or hot chocolate (yuck!) or a heavy-use Lynx etc. wearer (double yuck).

This whilst the majority of the population in the Western World spend their entire lives in a persistent and increasing fog of Cat 1 carconigenic vehicle diesel exhaust.

Odd sense of priority by some.
achrn  
#25 Posted : 11 July 2014 16:50:00(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
achrn

Ron Hunter wrote:
So product providing an alternative to a Cat 1 carcinogen


I don't know why this straw man is so persistent.

It is NOT an alternative to a cat 1 carcinogen. The alternative to e-cig vapour is no e-cig vapour. If you ban e-cigs in the workplace you don't get class 1 carcinogen, you just get no e-cig vapour. If you ban e-cigs in the workplace you don't get real cigarettes instead.

The 'alternative' or 'lesser harm' argument is utterly, utterly bogus.

Do the proponents of e-cigs really think "you should allow this thing, because an alternative that's illegal would be worse" is really a coherent and compelling argument?

We must allow people to get plastered on gin at lunchtime because if they used heroin that would be more harmful?
John M  
#26 Posted : 11 July 2014 17:45:34(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
John M

Ron Hunter wrote:
This whilst the majority of the population in the Western World spend their entire lives in a persistent and increasing fog of Cat 1 carconigenic vehicle diesel exhaust.

Odd sense of priority by some.



Yes, this is much more of a concern to me - a non smoker.

If only I had the power to remove all the offending plant from construction sites.

If the punter wishes to have a fag, e cig or a pint at night I have no truck with that.

We must get real and leave the medical issues to the medical profession.

We are safety bods - no more than that.

Jon


achrn  
#27 Posted : 14 July 2014 10:39:04(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
achrn

John M wrote:

We are safety bods - no more than that.


Oh, I'm sorry, I thought it was a forum about Occupational Safety AND HEALTH.
hopeful  
#28 Posted : 14 July 2014 15:15:24(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
hopeful

Sadly some of the responses don't appear to be considered and have an approach of 'it must be harmful' rather than looking at the meagre facts that are in the public domain. I believe that they should not be in the workplace because when staff have used them I have found it very disconcerting to see a plume of 'smoke' coming from the desk opposite. To claim that the they all give off a vapour that people can inhale which will do harm or may do harm is a general statement as they are different. Ones I have seen only use food grade additives and nicotine and the vapour is water and there is no perfume to them, unless you have them put up your nose. Nicotine is, apparently, not the harmful constituent of cigarettes but the addictive one and inhaling nicotine is not going to increase risk of cancer as it isn't a carcinogen - whether this is true or not is another matter but it is better than the cigarettes.
Personally I feel if we continue with some of the tones and approaches in some responses we will perpetuate the 'elf and safety' view, we need to step back and make a considered judgement and actually perhaps not get drawn into the argument about whether they are dangerous or not until the facts are clear.
Ron Hunter  
#29 Posted : 14 July 2014 15:25:42(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Ron Hunter

achrn wrote:

I don't know why this straw man is so persistent............We must allow people to get plastered on gin at lunchtime because if they used heroin that would be more harmful?


Just to be clear: I'm not promoting e-cig use in the workplace. I'm suggesting that we in health and safety need to maintain a proper sense of perspective.
stevedm  
#30 Posted : 14 July 2014 16:52:37(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
stevedm

I am really quite sickened when I see some comments on here...especially when there isn't a day goes by that one of my colleagues or I attend a PT with COPD as a result of smoking.

Yes there needs to be more research, however just by stopping smoking you could improve the workforce health and fitness...cessation of smoking should be the target of all...this is just a distraction by those who still want to smoke and stick two fingers up at the system..

http://www.medicalnewsto....com/articles/277336.php
http://media.jamanetwork...ing-reduced-consumption/

jumponthebandwagon  
#31 Posted : 15 July 2014 12:54:40(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
jumponthebandwagon

The first thing you need to consider is what is your aim in relation to an e-cig policy?. I think that your policy aim should be to reduce harm to everybody in your organisation.

The average smoking rate in the UK is about 20%, which means that on average 10% of your colleagues will die a slow, painful and early death due to smoking. If you put in a policy that encourages your smoking colleagues to switch to vaping and that policy is successful it will save more lives than any other health & Safety policy or initiative.

E-cigs are a massive employee health prize which should not be lightly dismissed.

If you treat them as cigarettes you reduce the chances of persuading a smoker to switch and increase the chances of an early death.

Are e-cigs safe?....., nothing is safe, the dose makes the poison, studies so far show insignificant effects on bystanders, ASH have said -

"- ASH supports enhanced regulation to ensure the safety and reliability of electronic cigarettes
and to prevent their promotion to non-smokers and children.
- However, in the absence of evidence of significant harm to bystanders, ASH does not support
the inclusion of electronic cigarettes in smokefree laws which would completely prohibit their
use in enclosed public places."

I do not think you would go far wrong in adopting ASH's point of view, please bear in mind that ASH are an organisation with a passionate hatred of the tobacco industry and can in no way be seen as anything other than a very independent organisation with respect to e-cigs.

There were a few topics mentioned in this thread that are worthy of further analysis.

One poster recommended that we should encourage smokers to use traditional stop smoking services, that is fair enough and if it works that is great for the individual smoker involved. However stop smoking services have an appalling success rate of about 5%, in the last 5 years e-cigs have created 3 times the number of ex smokers that the stop smoking services managed in a decade ( and at zero cost to the tax payer ). Putting smokers off e-cigs and encouraging them to use traditional NRT may turn out to be very deadly advice.

One poster mentioned that the symptoms of Asthma may be worsened, the most recent research showed a marked improvement in Asthma symptoms. It is also worth noting that the principal ingredient in e-cigs is also present in asthma inhalers.

Many people appear to push for a complete ban in the workplace, unless you employ draconian measures such a ban is completely unenforceable, e-cig vapour dissipates very quickly and leaves no lingering odour. An e-cig ban is as achievable as a ban on people sucking the end of their pens.

My advice would be adopt a pragmatic approach, my organisation bans smoking completely on site but allows vaping in any external area ( I did push for a more permissive policy but HR were concerned about company image ). This has led to quite a number of hardened smokers who have switched and will almost certainly have saved lives, not sure I would be able to say that if we had simply treated them like real cigarettes and banned them.
stonecold  
#32 Posted : 15 July 2014 13:05:19(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
stonecold

jumponthebandwagon wrote:

E-cigs are a massive employee health prize which should not be lightly dismissed.

Are e-cigs safe?....., nothing is safe

Some of the absolute garbage that is written on this forum never ceases to amaze me.

Im not surpised that the H and S industry has such a poor and sometime laughable reputation.
jumponthebandwagon  
#33 Posted : 15 July 2014 13:14:03(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
jumponthebandwagon

stonecold wrote:
jumponthebandwagon wrote:

E-cigs are a massive employee health prize which should not be lightly dismissed.

Are e-cigs safe?....., nothing is safe

Some of the absolute garbage that is written on this forum never ceases to amaze me.

Im not surpised that the H and S industry has such a poor and sometime laughable reputation.


John Britton, Professor at the Royal College of Physicians says ""Nicotine itself is not a particularly hazardous drug," "It's something on a par with the effects you get from caffeine."
"If all the smokers in Britain stopped smoking cigarettes and started smoking e-cigarettes we would save 5 million deaths in people who are alive today. It's a massive potential public health prize."

I would rather grab that potential prize rather than dismiss it and leave my smoking friends and colleagues to die, but if you agree with a "quit or die" approach that is your decision which I respect.
achrn  
#34 Posted : 15 July 2014 15:35:34(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
achrn

jumponthebandwagon wrote:

Many people appear to push for a complete ban in the workplace, unless you employ draconian measures such a ban is completely unenforceable, e-cig vapour dissipates very quickly and leaves no lingering odour. An e-cig ban is as achievable as a ban on people sucking the end of their pens.


This is plainly not true. It's no less enforceable than a ban on smoking was before the statutory ban. We've had a ban on smoking in the workplace since the company was founded early 1970s.


jumponthebandwagon  
#35 Posted : 15 July 2014 15:53:10(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
jumponthebandwagon

The point I was trying to make is that if a smoker in your workplace sneaked off to a store room, toilets or similar for a sneaky one, it is almost impossible not to notice that someone has been smoking - horrible smell, ash, dog ends etc.

If a vaper does the same thing, no one would be any the wiser - no residual smell, no ash, no dog ends, no lingering odour on their clothes. Unless you place all your employees under close and continual observation, the enforcement of a vaping ban is basically impossible.
Ellis  
#36 Posted : 15 July 2014 17:04:26(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Ellis

Electronic Cigarettes are treated in the same manner as real cigarettes in our company, as is difficult for anyone to provide accurate advice, as e cigs are unregulated and therefore cause and effect has not been assessed.
An employee raised a concern that we were not assisting him in giving up by forcing him to use his e cig in the smoking shelter with smokers, we recommended that he seek an alternative type of NRT whilst at work.

I think that many businesses are now treating e cigs the same as actual cigarettes because of the potential smell, nicotine vapour, unknown health risks and the perception issue that smoking is acceptable in the workplace. Make a company decision, document it and stick to it.

coybuckman  
#37 Posted : 15 July 2014 18:39:01(UTC)
Rank: New forum user
coybuckman

For a forum populated by so-called health and safety professionals, the level of ignorance shown in this thread is quite astonishing. I'm personally glad that burning people at the stake is no longer legal. May I suggest to those who would have been at home in Salem, that instead of flinging your arms around aimlessly, that you actually read the vast amount of research that has been done on ecigs. You may come to a different conclusion.
leadbelly  
#38 Posted : 15 July 2014 19:13:23(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
leadbelly

coybuckman

Would you care to enlighten us?

LB
SamJen1973  
#39 Posted : 16 July 2014 10:04:21(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
SamJen1973

Our policy on e-cigarettes is the same as for "real" cigarettes - not to be used in the workplace and not to be used when supporting our service users (my company provides care/support for disabled people).

Myself and HR colleagues agreed on the above position for a few reasons, including:

Public perception - could look like staff member is smoking a cigarette
Infection control - hand to mouth cross-contamination risk when providing the support to service users.
Also the fact that they are unregulated and the quality/contents of them can vary depending who it was purchased from.

We do not expect our 'vaping' staff to use the smoking area, instead we agree a separate area for them to use.

I think making staff go outside to use them can also be helpful. From my experience, those using e-cigarettes are constantly puffing on them (far more regularly than they ever would with a cigarette). Therefore, they become a smoking replacement aid, rather than a smoking cessation aid. Therefore, having staff at work use them in the same way they would have used cigarettes (ie having to go outside) can help to wean them off the e-cigarettes after they have served their purpose of weaning off real cigarettes.

I'm sure many of you will disagree with this approach...but we're happy with it.
coybuckman  
#40 Posted : 17 July 2014 09:18:39(UTC)
Rank: New forum user
coybuckman

In reply to lead belly.

Apologies for the delay in replying, bogged down with work.

It doesn't take much effort to search for the information. However to start your search, you can try this one:

https://www.gov.uk/gover...7/Ecigarettes_report.pdf

The research is out their, but so is the misrepresentation of said research. The EU did this recently.

Process you need to take.

1. search for original, un-edited versions of the research, they are out there.
2. read it.
3. ignore the myths, hearsay from the 'man in the pub'.

Sorry if I don't do the full search for you, but like most vapers, we are sick of the Mail on Sunday mentality.
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