They are not covered by the 2006 Health Act smoking ban because they are not “smoked”.
Employers have a statutory and common law duty to protect the health and safety of their employees and there appears to still be uncertainty surrounding the safety of e-cigarettes, even though they give off vapour and not smoke.
Legally, employees are perfectly free to use e-cigarettes indoors; however, some employers still choose to ban them.
The dismissal of an employee for breach of an employer’s smoking policy (including a ban on e-cigarettes) is potentially fair, provided that the policy is clear and it is applied consistently and without exception, that includes visitors, contractors and other third parties.
Sarah Rushton (firstname.lastname@example.org)
This is intended for general information only and should not be considered as giving advice in relation to any individual case nor be taken as applying to any particular case. No liability is accepted for any such use of the information.