The electronic cigarette aka the “e-cigarette” or “vapor stick” has become one of the most popular new inventions since it debuted on shelves of department and convenience stores around 2006.
It functions as a odorless, ash and smoke free simulated cigarette. There are a wide variety of e-cigarettes out there, some require batteries, others recharge through an outlet, some have flavors, others don’t and not all contain nicotine.
There has been little heath research on the effects e-cigarettes. The World Health Organization recommends “consumers should be strongly advised not to use” e-cigs until there are further studies on side effects. Although one incentive to take up e-smoking is to help stop smoking regular cigarettes, there is no proof that e-cigarettes stop nor tame nicotine cravings. In fact, typically e-smokers only increase their nicotine habit when they switch from smoke to vapor. However, e-cigarettes contain fewer chemicals than real cigarettes. But fore warning, the FDA has detected traces of diethylene glycol in e-cigs, a poisonous hygroscopic liquid that can lead to vomiting, facial paralysis or death.
Health aside, these vapor sticks are showing up in places that banned regular cigarettes long ago. People are e-cigging while shopping, at the park, and even at the office. NPR talked to Gary Nolan, a talk show host in Columbus, Ohio who praises the e-cig and says, “I’m in a closed studio. There are no open windows. I can vape in here, while I’m on the air in fact, and people can walk in and out and not even know it, if they don’t see it in my hands.” Many employers and workers are happy that e-smoking cuts out regular smoke breaks and saves time. Yet, there’s a whole myriad of reasons as to why offices are taking a stand against vaping on the job.
“I love that my coworker who smokes e-cigs doesn’t have to leave work to smoke. It’s nice that I can find her when I need her, however, I think that it’s weird that people don’t treat e-cigs like they treat normal cigarettes. People ask you if they can smoke around you, or good people do at least, but in a work context people don’t ask about e-cigs and I think that’s rude.” Says Ellen C, an editor at Modern Luxury. Many activists share a similar sentiment. Since the product is so new, it’s difficult to determine what kind of long term side effects e-cigs have on the smoker or those exposed to the vapor. 24 states have banned e-smoking in the office and more than 100 cities have prohibited it in places where regular smoking is already forbidden.
Thinking about renting office space that allows e-smoking or prefer one that prohibits it? Check out Turnkey’s listings!