WORKPLACE VAPING GOES UP IN SMOKE « Law Offices of Timothy Bowles | Top Employment Law Firm in Los Angeles


California Bans Electronic Cigarettes from the Office

On May 4, 2016 California Governor Brown signed a series of legislative amendments effective June 9, 2016 which extend smoke-free workplace protections, re-define tobacco products to include e-cigarettes and vaping devices, and raise the legal minimum smoking age from 18 to 21.

Although current law prohibits the smoking of tobacco products at a place of employment or in an enclosed space, the new legislation broadens the definition of employer to include an owner-operated business (i.e., one without employees), eradicates the formerly lawful use of designated smoking breakrooms in the workplace, and defines “enclosed space” to include covered parking lots (in addition to lobbies, lounges, waiting areas, elevators, stairwells and restrooms).

Under newly amended Business and Professions Code sections 22950.5(c) and (d) “smoking” now includes the use of an electronic smoking device that creates an aerosol or vapor, in any manner or in any form, and “tobacco product” includes an electronic device that delivers nicotine or other vaporized liquids to the person inhaling from the device, including, but not limited to, an electronic cigarette, cigar, pipe, or hookah.

Employers should update their company policy and procedures to expressly prohibit e-cigarettes and vaping in the workplace and take steps to notify all employees of the above restrictions by the June 9 deadline.

For more information, please contact one of our attorneys Tim Bowles, Cindy Bamforth or Helena Kobrin.

Cindy Bamforth, May 18, 2016