Smoking inside public places like offices, shopping centres, and pubs has been illegal since 2007. However, there have been many changes in how people smoke since that time. With the introduction of vaping, many studies have uncovered the effects of thirdhand vape smoke.
If vape smoke smells are lingering in your workplace, surfaces used often will require specialised cleaning to remove the toxins present. ICE Cleaning is a professional cleaning company specialising in smoke odour removal from cigarettes and vaping devices.
Read on to learn more about how e-cigarettes could be affecting your workplace and how you can deter indoor vaping.
Do e-cigarettes produce thirdhand smoke?
A 2015 study found that up to 100 puffs from e-cigarettes containing various nicotine concentrations leave significant traces of chemicals on surfaces.Three of the four experiments showed this increase in the substance, concluding that a risk of thirdhand exposure to nicotine was present.
Other studies since then have produced similar results, proving that e-cigarettes and other vaping devices produce thirdhand smoke like regular cigarettes.
Evidence from a 2020 study discovered that thirdhand exposure to vape smoke is very likely to have a negative impact on children, pregnant individuals, and other high-risk people like asthmatics.
Are e-cigarettes dangerous in offices?
Although studies regarding e-cigarettes are still ongoing, social surveys have been conducted in workplaces where vaping indoors is allowed. As well as health concerns, most non-smoking employees find that seeing others vaping at their desks makes them feel less productive.
Any high-risk people in the workplace like pregnant individuals and asthmatics may be at risk of having a reaction to vape smoke. This could trigger asthma attacks or stress in pregnant people concerned about the health and development of their baby.
Nicotine traces are already proven to be left behind when people vape, which might be dangerous to those with a nicotine allergy. There is also a chance that nicotine could touch the skin of a non-vaper, causing skin irritation.
How to prevent vaping indoors
The current UK law regarding smoking does not apply to vaping or other e-cigarette devices, meaning that it is legal for your employees to vape in the office.
However, you can prohibit it at work as you see fit. The Health and Safety Executive advises that all employers consider the wider risk posed by e-cigarettes according to the latest studies.
As an employer, you are free to openly prohibit vaping in the workplace, enforcing it through the employee contract and handbook you provide. However, if you would like to discourage its use without banning it, there are some things you can do:
- Make stop-smoking support more apparent at work with posters and emails
- Offer private smoking cessation services to your employees
- Make your employees aware of how they can quit smoking with the NHS
- Provide on-site stop-smoking support during or after work
- Work closely with smoker and non-smoker employees to create a new smoke-free policy
- Inform your employees of when dedicated smoke breaks are allowed and where they should do it
Remaining encouraging and condemning workplace bullying concerning vaping is integral to helping your employees stop vaping. A non-judgmental approach is more helpful than one that outright prohibits vaping and could help abolish smoking in your workplace.
If you think thirdhand e-cigarette smoke is damaging your workplace, ICE Cleaning’s technicians can step in, and restore your office. They will arrive on-site at your earliest convenience to decontaminate your home and scrub the air of any lingering smoke particles.
If you would like to see their other cleaning services, you can look at their website here.
Read Also: Create More Space In Your Office