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Workers banned from using e-cigarettes in the office

Sat 18th February, 2012

One of Scotland's biggest companies has banned employees from “smoking” electronic cigarettes at their desks.

Standard Life, which employs 5,500 people in Edinburgh, says users will have to go outside like regular cigarette smokers.

The decision has attracted a range of opinion. Professor John Britton, chairman of the Royal College of Physicians Tobacco Advisory Group, said that e-cigarettes had the potential to save millions of lives. He said: “The likelihood is that smoking electronic cigarettes is better than smoking tobacco.

“Electronic cigarettes have the potential to save lives. The concept of nicotine replacement is powerful and good.”

Forest said: “It is utterly crazy. A lot of smokers use them to help them to cut down on smoking, or to try to quit.

“If companies don’t want them to go outside for extended periods then allowing them to smoke an electronic cigarette at their desk seems logical.

“It is completely ridiculous to ban them. If it’s because they look from a distance like cigarettes then they are basically treating workers like children.”

Sheila Duffy, chief executive of anti-tobacco charity ASH Scotland said she supported Standard Life’s decision.

She said: “If a company wants to ban e-cigarettes in their offices that could help avoid the impression that smoking is normal or desirable thing.

“Tobacco is not a normal product – it kills half of its consumers if used as intended. E-cigarettes are much less harmful than normal cigarettes, however there is still a lot of research to be done both on their safety and on their effectiveness.”

Source: Scotsman (18 February 2012)

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