Can you prevent staff and visitors ‘smoking’ electronic cigarettes on your premises? Apparently not, according to the Health Act 2006, which defines smoking as “being in possession of lit tobacco, or of anything lit which contains tobacco, or any other lit substance in a form in which it could be smoked.” So now you know.
Although e-cigarettes release nicotine when they’re inhaled, they don’t contain tobacco (neither, of course, are they actually on fire) so, technically, people can drag away on them to their heart’s content at work and in public places, without falling foul of the smoking ban.
However, while this satisfies the letter of the law, some employers may feel it goes against the spirit of it. If so, you’re perfectly entitled to update your smoking policy to prohibit “smoking or simulated smoking using electronic cigarettes or other means”.
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