Your questions answered; What rules apply to e-cigarette smoking in the workplace?

By Portner Press on October 22nd, 2019
  1. Work Health & Safety Act
  2. Workplace health & safety regulations

One of our employees is an ex-smoker and is now smoking an electronic cigarette instead of tobacco cigarettes.

He claims that e-cigarettes contain no harmful products and do not emit smoke, but I understand that some of the brands available of these devices do contain nicotine (I am not sure at what concentration).

Do the same restrictions apply to e-cigarette smokers as those that apply to tobacco smokers? We are based in Victoria.

You have an obligation under health and safety legislation to do everything reasonably practicable to provide a safe place of work. The sale, use and possession of e-cigarette products which contain nicotine are banned in Victoria.

Further, e-cigarettes are subject to the same restrictions as smoking and are prohibited from being used in all smoke-free areas, including enclosed workplaces and outdoor dining areas.

In this respect, employees who use e-cigarettes should be subject to the same restrictions in your workplace as tobacco smokers.

However, please note that there may also be a potential issue with discrimination if the worker is using the e-cigarette to assist with a disability (such as a nicotine addiction).

Where this is the case, you would be required to accommodate their use of e-cigarettes.

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