Evidence of the benefits of electronic cigarettes is growing year after year. However, regulations concerning these devices remain hazy, and in particular in the workplace. While health risks are diminished when vaping is compared to smoking, can it be said that vaping is risk-free?
E-cigs are banned in certain states, heavily regulated on the same level as cigarettes in others; vaping remains a controversial topic, that much is obvious. Currently, there are strong differences in opinion, in particular concerning e-cig use in public spaces and in the workplace.
Vaping at work, a serious fault?
Stephen Williams, a British UN worked with years of experience, learned this the hard way. This former UN peacekeeper was fired after using his electronic cigarette at work. While he considered this usage as “a minor issue”, Optim Group, his employer, did not see it the same way. The company, which manages the Eldon Gardens janitorial services, terminated his contract despite his 22 years of army experience.
Stephen Williams, who had suffered serious medical issues, had decided to quit smoking with the help of e-cigarettes. After an altercation with a colleague, he went to a bathroom stall to vape to calm his nerves.
While he admits to being aware of the ban on smoking and vaping during work hours, anger got the best of Stephen Williams. A hard and rigorous worker, he is disappointed and does not accept this brutal firing after a single broken rule as fair.
Whatever his arguments, they were not strong enough to convince Optim Group to keep him on board.
After living for a time solely on his military pension, he found a job soon thereafter. However, this experience has been difficult for him, as he believes it to have been a gross injustice.