New Framework for use of E Cigarettes in the Workplace

Advance Notice – Public Health England’s New Framework for Use of E Cigarettes in the Workplace and Public Spaces

Public Health England (PHE) have advised us that they will launch a new framework in early July to help businesses understand the safe use of e-cigarettes (vaping) in the workplace and public spaces.

2.8 million people are now regularly using e- cigarettes, the vast majority being ex-smokers using them as a safer alternative. Although the long term impacts have yet to be evaluated a detailed PHE study published last year concluded that vaping was at least 95% less harmful than cigarette smoking which is a major risk factor for many diseases ranging from the well-known associations with cancer or heart disease, to less well known health impacts such as increased risk of back pain.

The PHE framework will recommend 5 simple principles:

  1. Distinguishing clearly between vaping and smoking (in for example workplace policies)
  2. Protecting Bystanders (reducing passive exposure)
  3. Protecting Children and Young People (recognising the fine balance between making it easier for adults to switch from smoking to using e-cigarettes but without encouraging children to start either)
  4. Supporting smokers to stop – The National Institute for Clinical Excellence has confirmed the evidence base that shows smoking cessation support is effective and organisations can help their employees understand how to access such
  5. Promoting Compliance with Smoke Free laws and policies -especially ensuring the clear distinction between vaping and smoking

PHE have set an ambition to secure a tobacco free generation by 2025 and they describe e-cigarettes as the potential game changer to enable this