When the UK smoking ban came into effect on 1st July 2007 it became illegal to smoke indoors or inside any enclosed public spaces. The smoking ban signalled an end to smoking in the office. If you want to smoke cigarettes during working hours by law you have to go outside to a designated smoking area or an outdoor space away from the office.
34 million working days are lost in Britain every year due to office smoking breaks. Employees who smoke spend time away from their desks outside taking a smoking break, this time spent out of the office can add up over the course of a working day. The average smoker takes a 15 minute smoking break four times a day, which adds up to a whole year over their working life. Time spent out of the office can have an impact on productivity and the amount of work completed by employees. For employers it can be a difficult situation, how do you regulate the amount of smoking breaks an employee takes during the day and the time they spend away from the office? It is an issue which can cause much debate in the work place. Non-smokers may feel frustrated that their smoking colleagues are taking more breaks than them and consequently doing less work. Could electronic cigarettes be the answer?
E-cigarettes are not affected by the smoking ban as they don’t contain tobacco and there are no second hand smoking dangers associated with them. This means that legally you could vape in the office. If employers encouraged the use of electronic cigarettes at work, it is likely that rather than allow you to vape at your desk businesses would opt to have a designated indoor vaping space or break room. Employees who wanted to use an e-cigarette could vape in the specified vaping space without distracting anyone else. Even if you still had to leave your desk to vape, the time saved by not having to go outside and away from the building to smoke would mean an increase in productivity for businesses and an increase in profit. It could also reduce the frustration and debate felt between smoking and non-smoking colleagues.
With the number of people using electronic cigarettes increasing, vaping could prove to be an alternative to smoking cigarettes during working hours.
Would you vape indoors at work? Do you think e-cigarettes offer businesses a solution to the issue of time and money lost through outdoor smoking breaks?