RTÉ Prime Time has published a report which shows that Ireland's Department of Health have examined current research on the harms of electronic cigarettes and have concluded that the evidence was not strong enough for them to include e-cigarettes on the workplace smoking ban.
The Department have instead decided to offer the choice to business and premises owners on whether they would like to allow e-cigarettes inside or not. This will be seen as good news by many businesses across Ireland, as an increasing number of office managers are viewing e-cigarettes as a route to not only cut down on the lost working hours of smoking, but also to improve productivity through a happier workforce no longer reliant on set smoking breaks.
For example, viewers of 2013’s BBC Three fly-on-the-wall documentary ‘The Call Centre’ may remember an episode where boss Nev Wilshire encouraged and even incentivised staff smokers to switch to electronic cigarettes.
The Centre for Economics and Business Research claimed in 2014 that on average, "Over a working week, smoking breaks cost businesses £25.91 per smoker in lost time that would otherwise be used productively."
In August, Public Health England, one of the most influential public health bodies, stated that e-cigarettes were at least 95% less harmful than smoking tobacco and recommended that they be considered as part of a programme to eliminate tobacco smoking. PHE are also behind yearly stop smoking campaign - ‘Stoptober’, which last year led to a quarter of a million people kicking cigarettes.
We would love to hear what you think - are you allowed to ‘vape’ in the office, or do you like smokers have to head outside? Let us know in the comments!