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E-smoking policies

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Question:

What policies should I implement for e-cigarettes? 

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Answer:

Although electronic cigarettes have been available globally for more than a decade, many facilities have yet to update their smoking policies to include e-cigarettes. Yet there are a couple of reasons to do so.

From a health point of view, there still are emissions from e-cigarettes, and carcinogens in the vapors haven’t been proven to be safe.

There’s also the sanitation piece; you have to make sure everyone is washing their hands after they smoke. It’s a liability— just like making sure everyone washes their hands after using their cellphones, which is why we restrict cellphones from the kitchen. 

If you’re going to implement a policy, you’ll have more success if you explain the reasoning to your employees. It’s also important to make sure your written procedures are consistent with your guidelines and what you are telling people. If you don’t have an e-cigarette clause in your policies, it’s an opportunity for employees to challenge you.

Once you have it in your protocol, you have written documentation as backup because litigation occurs when our actions aren’t consistent with our policies. 

-Lynne Eddy
Associate Professor,
Business Management
The Culinary Institute of America

 

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