How Vaping is Changing Workplace Policies

While it is standard practice to prohibit smoking in the workplace, what are employers doing about vaping in the workplace?

How Vaping is Changing Workplace Policies

According to the World Health Organization, the number of vapers around the world has increased from about seven million in 2011 to 14 million in 2018. The United States and Canada are in the top ten markets for vape products.

Although cigarette smoking is on the decline, it is responsible for claiming the lives of 480,000 Americans and 230,000 Canadians each year. According to data from the American Lung Association, U.S. employers can save nearly $6,000 per year for every employee who quits smoking.

Workplace Smoking Policies

The continued health threat of cigarette smoking paired with the rapid growth in popularity of vaping among both employees and dependents has caused workplaces to revisit their tobacco and smoking cessation policies. In the recent International Foundation survey report, Workplace Wellness Trends, we asked U.S. and Canadian organizations about their tobacco-related benefit offerings.

Almost half (45%) of organizations have a formal policy regarding vaping in the workplace, and generally it aligns with smoking policies. One-third (33%) of organizations do not have a formal vaping policy.

Here’s a breakdown of workplace smoking policies:

  • 47% limit smoking to specific designated outdoor areas
  • 27% prohibit smoking on the entire workplace campus (including parking and outdoor areas)
  • 15% permit smoking outside of the building
  • 8% have smoking policies that vary by worksite
  • 3% do not prohibit smoking anywhere.

Related Reading: Vaping in the Workplace: Do You Have a Policy?

Two-thirds (68%) of organizations offer tobacco/smoking-cessation programs to workers. Participation rates indicate that 11% of eligible workers (those with a tobacco/smoking addiction) take part in the programs. Of the organizations that track the effectiveness of the program, 70% rate the program as very or somewhat effective.

Eleven percent of organizations plan to add tobacco/smoking-cessation wellness offerings within the next two years.

For more information and to access the Workplace Wellness Trends survey report, visit www.ifebp.org/workplacewellness2019.

Workplace Wellness Trends

Anne Patterson
Social Marketing and Communications Strategist at the International Foundation

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