Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Vaping Electronic Cigarettes Gets Green Light in Some Offices

Vaping Electronic Cigarettes Gets Green Light in Some Offices

Forget a foosball table. Vaping an e-cigarette at your desk is the new workplace benefit of choice.

Just eight years after their introduction in the U.S., e-cigarette devices have expanded to a nearly $2 billion industry. Last week, the FDA took the first steps to extend its authority from traditional tobacco products to the new devices. Meanwhile, employees are using e-cigarettes and, in the absence of firm federal guidelines, some managers are making their own determinations about whether to allow them in the office.

Cheryl Dooley, CEO of the Ebsco Spring Company in Tulsa, Oklahoma, bought her 28 smoking employees $100 vaping devices and allows them to be used in the company building. She did it after switching to a nicotine vaporizer helped her kick a 40-year, one- to two-pack a day habit that led to a blood clot forming in her lung.

"Every smoker wants to quit," she said, and if she could switch from traditional cigarettes to ones that use a battery-powered atomizer to steam liquid nicotine into an inhalable gas, she wanted her employees to benefit, too. "They're like family to me."

She's also seen an uptick in productivity.

"Nobody's sneaking out," she said. "The office people are always at their desk." The previously high-traffic "Smoke Hole," a covered picnic bench area set aside as a designated smoking area, is largely empty.

Read More