People 50+ years ago did not have the same options as today when it came to quitting smoking. Smoking was also considered to be 'cool' and permitted in workplaces; something that many health conscious, young people today would object to at a quicker rate. In sharp contrast, smokers today are presented with an array of options to curtail the self-sabotaging habit. Vaping is one of those choices and has quickly become favored all over the world. Despite the increased popularity and apparent benefits, vaping in the workplace has no consensus, and is thus causing discord between legislature, corporations and employees. Through thoughtful consideration, this article will explore whether more companies should allow employees to vape in the workplace.
It's true that companies may feel justified to ban workplace vaping because Big Brother is in their corner. Several state and local governments have explicitly addressed vaping. Utah, North Dakota and New Jersey have passed statewide laws ensuring that vapes are treated no differently than tobacco products. While many other states recognize vaping as smoking, and as such, smoking laws apply to vapes as well.
The fear of unregulated vaping is much like the fear of anything else- fear of the unknown. Study after study proves... nothing. Research regarding whether vaping is less detrimental to one's health than traditional tobacco based cigarettes is inconclusive. Employees can even be fired for vaping. The uncertainty is enough for employers to react by issuing company-wide policies that lump vapes into the same category as tobacco based cigarettes. This fear has also spread among employees; some are concerned about 'damaging, second-hand smoke' from vapes and demand vapers be relegated to the outskirts of buildings at a distance.
However, the knee-jerk reactions of those who are less informed lack credibility, as they fail to consider the clear benefits that can be gained by vaping. Benefits range from "Oh that's cool" to "Damn, that's intense...". For example, during the winter, you can keep warm and never need to step out into the cold to vape. You can also indulge in sweet flavors like chocolate donuts and cinnamon roll to satisfy your sweet tooth. Gary Nolan, a talk show host, made the switch from tobacco smoking to vaping. He saves at least 10 minutes of every hour by remaining inside instead of going outside to light up a smoke. On a serious note, in a study done in February 2017, reported by Annals of Internal Medicine, vapers were found to have a 97% reduction in acrylonitrile and nitrosamine, potent carcinogens. Actual smokers had 57% higher rates of volatile organic compounds. The American Heart Association openly said that people who switch from cigarettes to vapes, within 2-5 years, the risk of a stroke drops to that of a nonsmoker.
The numerous advantages of vaping continue to illuminate the scene, with former smokers expressing daily how vaping has helped them to quit tobacco cigarettes for good. Whatever decision employers make, the benefits of vaping far outweigh the negatives. And employers should take the time to listen to employees' struggles with quitting smoking and support them in the decision to eliminate the habit; whether it's through gum, a patch, behavioral therapy or most preferred, vaping.