With the possibility of incurring a £200 fine, it is clear that smoking in any enclosed workplace, public building, or on public transport remains strictly illegal.

However, with more individuals turning to vaping as an alternative to traditional cigarettes, a common question arises: Do the same rules apply to vaping?

The answer is nuanced. E-cigarettes do not fall under the same laws as smoking tobacco, but this does not mean that vapers are free to indulge wherever they please. David Phillips from Vape Superstore emphasises the importance of understanding both legal rights and company policies to avoid conflicts at work.

Company Policy

Phillips advises employees to become well-acquainted with their employer’s specific policies regarding vaping. “Understand where vaping is permitted, if at all, and if there are any designated vaping areas,” he says. Violating these policies could lead to disciplinary actions ranging from warnings to fines, or even termination, depending on the severity and frequency of the infractions.

Local Regulations

Local laws and regulations can vary significantly. “Research local laws and regulations regarding vaping in public places, including workplaces,” Phillips recommends. Some jurisdictions may impose restrictions on indoor vaping or in certain workplace types, making it crucial for employees to be informed about their legal standing.

Safety Considerations

Safety is another critical factor. Vaping devices, which often utilise lithium-ion batteries and heating elements, can pose fire risks if mishandled. Employers may impose fines for creating safety hazards in the workplace, so responsible usage of vaping devices is essential.

Professionalism and Productivity

The perception of vaping in the workplace is also an important consideration. “Avoid disruptions to your work environment caused by vaping,” Phillips advises. Excessive breaks or vaping in non-designated areas can be seen as unprofessional and may disrupt productivity. Such behavior could lead to fines or other penalties from employers seeking to maintain a professional and efficient work environment.

Smoking at Work

While the legal framework for smoking and vaping differs, the potential financial consequences for smoking at work are clear. Employees caught smoking in the workplace could face fines up to £200, or up to £50 in Scotland. Although these fines do not apply to e-cigarettes, the decision to allow vaping on the premises is ultimately up to the employer, who may impose similar penalties.

Vape Superstore’s comments underscore the importance of awareness regarding the legal and professional implications of vaping at work. By staying informed and respectful of both laws and company policies, employees can enjoy vaping without risking fines or disciplinary action.

 

 

 

 

Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.