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Helping Your Employer and Co-workers Understand E-Cigs

Posted by on May 07, 2014 . 0 Comments.

Explaining electronic cigarettes to your boss or co-workers will require taking an assertive approach. Why? You want to educate them before they can criticize you—or begin to voice their doubt about the value of e-cigarettes.

Matter-of-fact, stay as non-emotional as possible, and make sure you understand the basics of how an e-cig works by looking up “electronic cigarette” on Wikipedia. This way, you can refer your associates to the Wikipedia website, if they want to learn more.

Keep in mind that educating your workplace associates is a necessary task, because they play a more serious role in your everyday life than, say, strangers in a ballpark. Your work associates need to feel comfortable about your use of e-cigs from A-Z. Their opinions do matter!

First of all, you want to find out if your workplace has a policy toward e-cigarettes. After all, if you work in a manufacturing environment or a high-security workplace, such as a government building or munitions plant, there may be strict policies in place concerning where you may vape an e-cigarette—due to the battery.

These types of workplaces will define clear-cut areas where vaping is allowed. Those areas will most likely be some distance from a main building. Always obey the rules in these situations, no exceptions.

Be very upfront about your usage of e-cigarettes with your employer and your co-workers if you work around chemicals, for example. A battery-powered device may pose some sort of risk you haven’t thought of in certain situations. When in doubt, ask.

Sharon, an associate manager in a retail store, says she learned that sharing facts openly works best. “If you vape around other people, and you don’t explain what you’re doing, people will start to gossip. Gossip takes on a life of its own when people can’t figure out what you’re doing.”

Talk in terms of pictures, so other people can visualize an e-cigarette in operation. Use simple words that a child could understand.  If you have a scientist-type in your group, you can always go into more details with this person.

For example, tell them: “The e-cigarette has a battery-powered atomizer that heats flavored liquid. This forms the vapor. Puffing on this gives you the sensation you’re smoking, so you can back off traditional cigarettes. There’s no smoke or fire involved whatsoever.”

By sharing easy-to-understand information with them, you will avoid becoming the target of criticism. You want to explain how the e-cigs work, in simple terms, but you also want to explain why you’re using them.

“People can invent rumors without really meaning to!” laughs Sharon. “If you avoid discussing e-cigs at all, those around you will come up with their own ideas. If someone is jealous of you, or they are a worry-wart type person, they’ll start to embellish on the truth. Before long, they’ll imagine your e-cig is making them cough, causing their allergies to act up, all sorts of things.”

Here are some tips to begin educating your boss and co-workers:

·       Explain how the vapor is created. People will wonder if they’re getting a puff, too. Emphasize that the vapor does not go into the atmosphere at all. Say something such as: “None of it goes into the air, but you might smell the flavoring very slightly.”


·       Show a diagram only if someone asks. Some individuals don’t have a lot of patience for listening to details. But, some may want to learn more because they want to try an e-cig.


Do keep a printed diagram you’ve gotten off the Internet in your wallet.  If someone asks how an e-cig works, provide them with details about how an e-cig functions. Let them know you’ve done your homework, so they’ll feel comfortable absorbing information from you. 


·       Accept those who do feel uncomfortable with your e-cig.  Read the stares or body language of people around you.  Always vape some distance from these people, and don’t impose your choices upon him or her.


People with severe allergies to perfume or chemicals may get anxious just wondering if your e-cig is emitting anything they will react to. As well, some people will simply not like your flavorings. So, try not to take their reactions personally.

Your employer may be concerned that vaping will be a turnoff to your clients or customers. Be sure to share information about how you will use e-cigs in your work environment. Your goal is to help your boss visualize where you will use the device.

“I told my supervisor that I only vape in my car when driving to meet a client,” says a real estate agent we’ll call Ron. “I explained that I do not use my e-cig in front of clients.”

Ron goes on to say: “My boss was worried about what potential home buyers might think. She said to me that she had used e-cigs off and on. But, she felt it was too difficult to explain to every client that e-cigs were not harmful to others. My personal solution to this is, we both agreed for me to vape the moment I got into my car to go meet someone. And, the moment I got near my destination, I should put away my e-cig and concentrate on the business at hand.”

Keep in mind that both co-workers and your boss will worry about the time vaping takes from your job. If at all possible, coordinate vaping with lunch breaks, travel time, restroom breaks, or working alone at a computer.  

Imagine that your co-workers are eager to get a large project wrapped up—and they see you vaping at your desk while they’re juggling a conference call and trying to beat a project deadline.

Think about vaping at moments that won’t affect other people. Do it while you’re making calls with no one else around, for example.

A good rule of thumb is this: Don’t vape in a situation whereby snacking or eating would not be appropriate. This helps your employer and co-workers fully believe that you respect others, and you have common sense in sensitive situations.

Just think of how your vaping looks in the eyes of others, and this will help you manage your co-workers.  The less you get emotional about their remarks, the better. You can always say, “There’s a lot of information on Wikipedia and the online encyclopedia. Our society is moving away from traditional cigarettes, so it’s good to be informed about e-cigarettes. They are working great for me, and they are definitely here to stay.”








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Last update: May 07, 2014


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