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.   

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