You are on page 1of 6

Electronic Cigarettes (E-cigarettes)

Produced by: Health, Safety & Wellbeing Team, Human Resources & Organisational Development Services, Resources Directorate March 2013 March 2014 Date approved and agreed: Review date: Date amended:

If you need this document in a different format please telephone 01942 827549 (internal 2549) or 01942 827186 (minicom)

Electronic Cigarettes

Page 1

Contents 1. 2. 3. 4. Policy Scope & Objective ........................................................................................... 3 Responsibility ............................................................................................................. 3 References ................................................................................................................. 3 Policy Guidance ......................................................................................................... 3

4.1. Introduction................................................................................................................. 3 4.2. What are Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes)?............................................................ 4 4.3. Wigan Council policy guidance................................................................................... 4 4.4. Service users and general public ............................................................................... 4 4.5. Summary .................................................................................................................... 5 5. Audit ........................................................................................................................... 6

Electronic Cigarettes

Page 2

1. Policy Scope & Objective This policy is relevant to Wigan Council employees and those with responsibility for management of Wigan Council establishments To provide information to employees and others, including agency staff, in relation to use of electronic cigarettes and nicotine devices that resemble cigarettes To help ensure that promotion of the health and wellbeing of staff and service users, including children and young people, is treated with the utmost importance in line with associated Wigan Council policies and strategies To help ensure compliance with all associated legislation

2. Responsibility Responsibility for correct implementation of this policy is delegated to all Wigan Council employees including managers, staff or others identified in the text. 3. References Wigan Council Smoke Free Policy and Guidance E-cigarettes in public places and workplaces, briefing from the BMA Occupational Medicine Committee and the Board of Science (March 2012) NHS - Ashton, Leigh and Wigan Stop Smoking Service

http://www.alwpct.nhs.uk/your-health/self-care/smoking 4. Policy Guidance 4.1. Introduction 4.1.1 Wigan Council actively promotes the health and wellbeing of employees; as such the Council will take a positive lead in promotion of smoking cessation and will act to discourage any form of smoking. Wigan Council has a duty to ensure that reasonable steps are taken to protect the health and wellbeing of staff, as well as service users, from the health hazards associated with smoking but will encourage the use of recognised, regulated smoking cessation aids. Electronic cigarettes are not currently recognised as a smoking cessation aid in the United Kingdom by health providers including NHS and, as yet, there is no medical evidence to demonstrate that they are completely safe to users. In view of this, Wigan Council will act to restrict the use of electronic cigarettes or nicotine devices that resemble cigarettes within Council owned or managed establishments and Council vehicles. The advice set out in this policy guidance has been provided in support of Wigan Council policies and strategies for the

Electronic Cigarettes

Page 3

promotion of the health and wellbeing of staff and service users, including children and young people. (Ref: Workplace Wellbeing Charter). 4.2. What are Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes)? Ecigarettes are battery operated devices that vaporize a liquid solution consisting of ingredients that include nicotine. Unlike conventional cigarettes, an electronic cigarette generates no smoke. After the user inhales on the device, it is the residual vapour that is exhaled into the surrounding air. The exhaled vapour can be seen and the tip of the e-cigarette usually has a light emitting diode (LED) which lights when the user inhales, resembling a real cigarette. As no smoke is generated, use of electronic cigarettes is not covered under UK Smoke Free legislation. However, E-cigarettes produce emissions that can be seen and smelled, and presumably contain nicotine, carcinogens and other substances; as yet, there has been no systematic study of emissions so potential of harm from second-hand vapour is currently not known. Electronic cigarettes are sold as a smokeless alternative to traditional cigarettes, however they are not marketed or recognised as a nicotine addiction or smoking cessation treatment.

4.3. Wigan Council policy guidance Legally, electronic cigarettes are not banned under UK law. However, all employees should be mindful of the following: Regardless of legal requirements, employers have the right to set their own policies in relation to use of electronic cigarettes. The advice set out in this guidance is in support of Wigan Council policy that will be introduced at a local level within Council Directorates. At present, electronic alternatives to cigarettes are still in the main unregulated, in terms of both use and manufacture. The health consequences of using such a device is not entirely known. In support of the associated Wigan Council health and wellbeing strategy, including Wigan Council Smoke Free Policy, employees, including agency staff, are not permitted to use electronic cigarettes whilst on duty at work. 4.4. Service users and general public 4.4.1 Permission for service users to use electronic cigarettes in Adult Services establishments will be at the discretion of People Directorate senior management.

Electronic Cigarettes

Page 4

4.4.2 If adult service users request to use an electronic cigarette within residential or day service accommodation then Council establishment managers should be mindful that use of the device might present discomfort or nuisance smell to other people from the vapour produced. In view of this, a designated ventilated area, away from other service users should be provided for service users who wish to use the device indoors. 4.4.3 It is not recommended that service users or public are permitted to use electronic cigarettes within Council recreational buildings that are provided for public use or functions. 4.4.4 Use of electronic cigarettes must not be permitted in any Council or Leisure operated building that caters for children or is frequented by children and young people. 4.5. Summary 4.5.1 E-cigarettes are not regulated as a tobacco product or as a medicine in the UK and there is no peer reviewed evidence that they are a safe and effective nicotine replacement therapy. E-cigarettes have been found to contain harmful substances including carcinogens, and concerns have been raised about their safety. 4.5.2 The use of e-cigarettes may undermine smoking prevention and cessation by reinforcing the normalcy of cigarette use in public and workplaces. Of particular concern is how these devices closely resemble cigarettes, in terms of appearance and nomenclature, as well as features such as flavouring and styling that are potentially highly attractive to children. 4.5.3 Given the uncertainties of potential health implications and longer term objectives of Wigan Council health and wellbeing strategies, Wigan Council employees are prohibited from using artificial smoking devices, including electronic cigarettes, whilst on duty at work. Any employee found to be in breach of the requirements outlined in this policy guidance may be subject to Wigan Council disciplinary procedures. 4.5.4 Wigan Council will encourage the use of alternative recognised, regulated smoking cessation aids and support is offered by the NHS - Ashton, Leigh and Wigan Stop Smoking Service: http://www.alwpct.nhs.uk/your-health/self-care/smoking

Electronic Cigarettes

Page 5

5. Audit This policy may be subject to an in-house audit at any time by Wigan Council to ensure standards are being met and maintained.

Electronic Cigarettes

Page 6