Most of us know that lighting up an old-school cigarette in the office would be a no-go – but what about vaping at work? Vaping produces a light and fluffy vapor – not smoke, so vaping indoors shouldn’t be a problem… right?
As it turns out, vaping in the workplace is a more complicated topic than you might expect. There are state laws to review, workplace regulations to contend with, and some basic rules of courtesy to keep in mind. But if you really want to be able to vape while at work, you most likely have options – you need to know what they are.
If you want to know if you can vape in the workplace, there are three basic questions you’ll have to answer first:
- Is vaping allowed indoors in your state?
- What are your employer’s policies on vaping?
- Will vaping indoors be an issue for any of your colleagues?
Every state, workplace, and work team is different. What’s acceptable at a small, family-owned office in Alabama might not fly at a large corporation based in New York. But with a little bit of research and some reasonable, old-fashioned consideration for your colleagues, you can figure out when and where you can enjoy your vape during the workday.
Can you vape indoors in your state?
Unfortunately for vapers in many states, legislators aren’t quite sure how to regulate vaping. So, many state lawmakers end up simply lumping vaping in with smoking, treating them both the same under the law (even though we know that smoking and vaping are two totally different things). But even if you don’t necessarily agree with state vaping laws, you still have to follow them, especially at work.
As of December 31, 2021, 17 U.S. states, one territory, and the U.S. capital have made it illegal to vape (and smoke) indoors, including in private workplaces, restaurants, and bars:
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Dakota
- District of Columbia
- Puerto Rico
In the state of Alaska, indoor vaping is also prohibited. However, every Alaskan municipality can stage a voter referendum to exclude their jurisdiction from the law if desired.
So, if your state has banned indoor vaping, then you have your answer: no vaping inside the workplace. But if your state isn’t included on the list above, then you can address the following questions on our list.
Does your employer have workplace policies for vaping (or smoking)?
The best rule of thumb for workplace vaping is simply to ask your employer what their policies are. More than likely, the employee handbook references smoking indoors, and you can generally assume that those rules will also apply to vaping.
Depending on your employer, vapers might be able to use a designated “smoker lounge” indoors. Or, there may be a specific area of the outdoor property where vaping is permitted.
Once you have a better grasp of workplace rules for vaping, we also recommend that you ask about vape breaks. For example, if you step away from your desk for a few quick moments to vape, are you required to be off the clock? Or does vaping fall under the smoke break policies at your work?
Above all, don’t hesitate to ask questions. It’s the only way to truly know whether or not you’re staying within work expectations and the best option for avoiding any potential issues.
Will indoor vaping be bothersome to any of your colleagues?
Let’s say that you work somewhere where vaping indoors – maybe even in your office space or at your cubicle – is permitted. Does that mean you can feel free to power up your vape anytime you want?
Being considerate is always a good idea, even if you can technically vape at work. Even though you and your fellow vapers might love the latest dessert-flavored e-liquids, your coworkers might not enjoy being in a space that is constantly filling with the strong scent of sugary-sweet treats. Secondhand vapor can be seen as a distraction at work or even a serious annoyance. Do you want to be the employee that doesn’t seem to care about their colleagues’ needs or preferences?
Odds are, if your employer doesn’t have a policy prohibiting vaping, it’s only a matter of time before they figure out some guidelines. Ultimately, vaping policies are intended to avoid any potential legal issues and ensure that the workplace is somewhere where staff can be comfortable and productive.
How to Vape at Work
So, you live in a state where vaping indoors is prohibited, or your employer has a clear no-vaping-indoors policy in place. Or, maybe you just want to ensure you’re courteous to your non-vaping coworkers. Whatever the case, not being able to vape indoors doesn’t automatically mean that you have to leave your beloved vape at home.
Vaping in the vast majority of workplaces falls under the same regulations as smoking. And even though that can be a pain point for many vapers, it can sometimes come in handy. For example, your workplace might have a designated outdoor smoking area and rules that allow 15-minute smoke breaks throughout the day.
Even though you’re vaping and not smoking, you can likely still use the same perks. That means that you could potentially have several “vape breaks” to look forward to as a way to break up a long work day.
Here are a few handy tips if you plan to vape while at work.
Have a compact, convenient vape on hand for workday vape sessions.
Even if you love vaping with your ultra-deluxe, feature-packed vape mod, it might be easier to use something a little simpler while you’re at work. You don’t want to spend several minutes of a short vape break fiddling with various settings, and you definitely don’t want to carry a heavy vape in your pocket or purse all day.
It can be helpful to have a vape device for on-the-go use that delivers an excellent experience with no effort required. Depending on your personal preferences, that might mean stocking up on disposable vapes or even investing in a compact vape pen.
Consider a pod vape for ease of use.
If you’re working with your standard vape at work, you might also need to pack some extra e-liquid. But the last thing you want is to end up with a messy e-liquid spill – so, what’s a vaper to do?
One option is to use a pod-style vape, precisely one with pre-filled e-juice cartridges. That way, you don’t have to deal with refills – you can power it on and start vaping!
Make sure your vape is fully-charged and properly stored.
It’s a huge disappointment to realize that your vape battery is dead right before you’re about to start a relaxing vape session. So, keep a vape charger nearby and make it a habit to plug your device in whenever the battery begins to run low.
You also want to ensure that no harm comes to your vape at work or during your daily commute. A well-made vape case can protect your vape from dings, drops, and damage.
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