E-Cigs and the Workplace

e-cigs at workE-Cigs in the workplace are an interesting topic as of late – it’s a tough act to balance. Of course, for vapers, its tough because they will argue that the vapor expelled is harmless, and as it’s odorless as well as simply water, there should be no reason to ban them in the workplace. Unfortunately, it’s never that simple, is it?

With the way things are now, things don’t get done without rules in a workplace. That said, it’s virtually impossible to not have rules on vaping handed down from HR to regulate a company’s workers. Now, the argument is which way it should go; ban vapes in the workplace, or let them stay as they are not bothering anyone.

Personally, I would say that common courtesy should rule this one – if your vaping doesn’t bother anyone, there shouldn’t be an official ban. However, if someone is made comfortable by the act of smoking and wants it to stop, then I would say it makes the most sense to simply take the vaping to another room where it won’t bother them. However, I realize that those sorts of rules simply don’t fly anymore. The best, official ruling I think would be to keep E-Cigs out of the workplace – now let me explain. First and foremost, it’s a workplace. There are tons of things that you can’t do there – you need to show a certain professionalism.

What you wear, how you look, all of that is up for scrutiny in the workplace. And the act of smoking is displeasing to some, harmful or not, so it makes sense to have a rule against it to curb as many complaints as possible.

Second, it’s easier to set aside a place where people can smoke than it is to deal with people who are constantly complaining about someone who is smoking in front of them – whether it’s vaping or not. Most people who would be made uncomfortable by smoking will transfer that notion to the act, not the smell or health dangers; and that will make them feel adverse to simply seeing the act. Removing the act causes the annoyance to go away. For HR, they please more people going about it that way. And, at least when it comes to the workplace, I think pleasing the majority is the main rule.

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E-CIGS, FLAVORS, KIDS, AND MARKETING

There has been a lot of buzz around E-Cigs being marketed toward kids because of the fruity flavors they often come in. There is a lot to be said about this, for sure. Marketing any kind of smoking device, especially something that is potentially addictive, is terrible.

However, I have yet to see a reputable E-Cig retailer actually truly market toward kids. The biggest recent attack was aimed at Blu, who reportedly personal vaporizerset up TV commercials to run during times when kids would be watching the program. And according to a study by the journal Pediatrics (Here’s a news article on the whole debacle) the exposure to the commercial skyrocketed among kids between 12 and 24. However, even if that is (I’m willing to trust the study here) the case, the commercial is very poor marketing for targeting kids. There wasn’t anyone under the age of 30 in the commercial, let alone 25, which means there would be no one in the commercials for kids to relate to. At the very least, these commercials were not made to target kids. With that said, this allows younger kids to purchase them directly online get these products shipped right to them.

In addition to that, the amount of kids seeing these commercials would skyrocket simply by virtue of them appearing on television. These days, kids watch everything – there is no longer an adult only time slot or channel that would be safe from young adult eyes. If Blu or Njoy wanted any TV commercials at all, they would be seen by young adults. There’s no escaping that.

As for the flavoring issue, it’s hard to see that as a children targeting move, either, for a couple of reasons. First, fruit flavors are the easiest to produce, so of course they would be the first flavor aside from tobacco and menthol available. Second, adults love fruity flavors too. Take a look at alcohol – there are too many fruit flavored drinks to count, but they aren’t targeted at minors simply because they’re fruit flavored. That leap in logic is flawed. Adults love those flavors as much as any kids would too.

If anything needs to be done about E-Cigs and kida, it’s this. Parents need to sit down and talk with their kids. Nothing will stop a kid once they have the want to try something; it wouldn’t matter if E-Cigs are outlawed for kids under 21, they would find a way, the same way kids always found way to cigarettes. The best way to stop a kid from trying them is to talk to them and try to get them to understand why they shouldn’t. If they don’t listen to that, then no amount of advertising or lack thereof would change a thing – they’d find a way to cigarettes. And if that’s the case anyway, wouldn’t E-Cigs be the better choice?