Vapes are so popular these days simply because they are considered a safer and better alternative to cigarettes. They are also cheaper. If a smoker spends $180-220 on a pack of cigarettes, they only have to spend $30-60 on vapes and they’ll pay no more than $60/month for the e-liquid or e-juice, according to The Amsterdam.
There are currently no legal restrictions on the use of e-cigarettes. It’s up to business owners and building managers to impose some rules. However, in order to keep the workplace air quality clean, there are some unwritten rules that employees need to follow.
The Importance of Indoor Air Quality
Numerous studies suggest that indoor air is more polluted than outdoor air. It isn’t surprising at all, actually. In enclosed spaces such as buildings and offices, toxic compounds from VOCs, cleaners, artificial products, and other debris could not escape easily. As a result, the indoor air becomes polluted. Making it worse is poor ventilation.
Even e-cigarettes release harmful chemicals that pollute the air. According to this study, a large number of people using e-cigarettes and poor ventilation can result in poor ventilation in buildings.
Secondhand vapor is the vapor (aerosol) released by an e-cigarette smoker. Similar to secondhand smoke, it lingers in the air long enough to be inhaled by other people (non-smokers). While the vapor coming from e-cigarettes does not contain carbon monoxide, it still contains a small number of harmful chemicals. Still, when a lot of your employees use vape inside the office or building, all these toxic compounds can add up, which can harm the health of non-vape users.
Consider designating a vaping area
Just as you want to designate a specific area for smoking (which is basically outside your building premises), you also want to assign a space for vaping. The use of e-cigarettes can be distracting for other people. They may also not like the smell of the vapor. Worse, some employees could have a bad reaction to a chemical byproduct of the vapor released by e-cigarette users. Additionally, it comes with some safety risks as e-cigarettes also contain ignition and heating elements.
Instill proper ventilation
Proper ventilation keeps the air healthy and fresh indoors. It’s the most important factor affecting indoor air quality. Without ventilation, you can expect dangerous levels of air pollutants inside your building. For instance, carbon monoxide can build up to deadly levels. Ventilating a building involves installing fans, exhaust fans, opening windows from time to time to let the fresh air in, and maintaining the HVAC system (cleaning or changing filters).
Use air scrubbers
Besides proper ventilation, you can use air-cleaning devices like air scrubbers. They are useful tools for cleaning and deodorizing indoor spaces that have significant levels of air pollutants like dust, mold, and chemical fumes.
Promote a clean air policy
It’s important for your employees to be aware of the importance of keeping indoor air clean. Consider sending them fact sheets or articles about indoor air pollution and what they can do to help eliminate it. Be sure to incorporate the cons of using e-cigarettes. Many people are unaware of the fact that it can contribute to pollution too. If you choose to be clear about vaping restrictions inside the office, let them know. Yes, you can ban vaping inside your workplace. But it can be demotivating for some employees, particularly those who are trying to quit smoking by finding a ‘safer’ alternative. It’s best to help your employees understand how it impacts air quality by raising awareness and following these unwritten rules.