E-cigarettes, or electronic cigarettes, are skyrocketing in popularity among many tobacco users. These battery-powered devices enable users to inhale a nicotine-infused vapor, and they do not require the use of fire or produce smoke, ash or carbon monoxide. Although the health effects of e-cigarettes are not as well-established as traditional cigarettes, many tobacco users believe that e-cigarettes are not as physically offensive or disruptive as regular cigarettes. However, employers are free to ban or restrict the use of e-cigarettes at work and on company property in the same manner as regular tobacco products.
Employers have a number of legitimate points of concern to further justify restrictions on the use of e-cigarettes. Many e-cigarette products resemble traditional cigarettes, and employers may want to prevent even the appearance of employee tobacco use at work. Employees who witness others smoking e-cigarettes may mistake them for traditional cigarettes, leading to confusion over company policy and possible infractions of said policy. Finally, state and local governments are quickly implementing laws restricting the use of e-cigarettes.