By: Attorney Anne-Marie Storey
An electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) is a battery operated device that creates an inhaled dose of a vaporized liquid, often containing nicotine.
No smoke is emitted from the device.
An e-cigarette is not considered a drug or medical device by the FDA. However, they are included within the DOT’s prohibition against smoking on airplanes. For employers, the question is whether e-cigarettes are included within the company’s smoking policy.
Maine’s Workplace Smoking Act of 1985 has specific requirements about smoking in the workplace but may not cover e-cigarettes based the definition of smoking, which is “carrying or having in one’s possession a lighted cigarette, cigar, pipe or other object giving off or containing any substance giving off tobacco smoke.”
Regardless, employers would be wise to assess the role of e-cigarettes as they relate to the smoking policy in general and make any expectations of limitations or use clear to employees.