Are Your Workers Vaping?

Have you included e-cigarettes in your smoking policy? The federal government is discouraging vaping at work for a number of safety reasons. These reasons include a recent federal study that found a number of hazardous chemicals in the flavorings in e-cigarettes.

The results of a BLR® human resources poll show that one-half of respondents (50%) say that their organization has not addressed e-cigarettes in its smoking policy, and close to a one-third of respondents (31%) say they haven’t thought about it.

Smoking in the Workplace

Although there is no federal smoking ban for private employers, 47 states have laws limiting smoking in public places, including workplaces; 40 states and the District of Columbia restrict smoking in private-sector workplaces; and all 50 states restrict smoking in government buildings. Local jurisdictions also have banned smoking in public indoor areas, often including restaurants and bars.

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In states where smoking is confined to designated smoking areas, nonsmokers cannot be required to enter such an area. Beyond the law, many employers have banned smoking entirely in their facilities.

E-Cigarettes in the Workplace

Smoking bans in several states and municipalities have been extended to include the use of battery-powered “e-cigarettes” indoors. An employer may include these products in its no-smoking policy even though employees may argue that they are not “smoking.” However, they may be generating vapors containing nicotine and other substances.

NIOSH Wants Vapor-Free Workplaces

In a bulletin released in April 2015, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) called on employers to make workplaces tobacco and e-cigarette free. At a minimum, NIOSH suggests that workplaces be smoke-free, including free of air-borne emissions from e-cigarettes in all indoor areas, areas immediately outside the building entrances and air intakes, and in all work vehicles. puts everything you need at your fingertips, including practical RCRA, CAA, CWA, hazardous waste regulatory analysis and activity, news, and compliance tools. Try it at no cost or risk and get a FREE report.

NIH Warns Against Flavorings in E-cigarettes

A report recently released by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) addressed the potential danger of chemicals found in the flavorings of e-cigarettes. The report looked to see if the chemical diacetyl (implicated in so-called “popcorn lung disease”) and two other high-priority flavoring chemicals, 2,3-pentanedione (a structurally-related replacement for diacetyl) and acetoin, are present in a sample of flavored e-cigarettes.

Note. NIOSH has determined that 2,3-pentanedione causes lung damage in rats and has established inhalation exposure limits for adult workers for diacetyl and 2,3-pentanedione.

The researchers selected 51 types of flavored e-cigarettes sold by leading e-cigarette brands and analyzed them for diacetyl, 2,3-pentanedione, and acetoin. They found at least one chemical in 47 of the 51 flavors tested.

According to the report, due to the associations between diacetyl and severe respiratory diseases observed in workers, urgent action should be taken to evaluate this potentially widespread exposure via electronic cigarettes.

1 thought on “Are Your Workers Vaping?”

  1. In some Industrial, fabrication and maintenance shops’, there are common airborne particulates and vapors that are worse than those given off by smoking regular or vapor tabaco products. These particulate and vapor by products are either not regulated or enforced

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