The rising popularity of e-cigarettes has prompted the municipalities of Fox Cities to address various policies regarding the usage of tobacco and other nicotine products.
Also, employees of such cities as Kaukauna, Menasha, Appleton and Neenah are dealing with a number of policies and rules that govern the use of nicotine products such as tobacco and e-cigarettes.
Unlike regular cigarettes, e-cigs do not contain tobacco nor do they produce smoke. They are vaping devices that are powered by a battery which heats the liquid inside to produce vapor that is then inhaled by the user.
Neenah has recently updated its employee policy to prevent the use of e-cigarettes and tobacco within city buildings.
Its director of human resources and safety, Heather Barber, said that grace period should give their employees time to go through a tobacco cessation program.
Of course, there has been a quite strong opposition to this act, she added. Some of the supervisors were seriously concerned about the morality of this.
Barber also said that he and others understand the hazards of smoking and chewing tobacco. Their goal is to create a smoke-free workplace. She also added that she wonders about the possible hazards of e-cigarettes and their vapors.
Before these changes took place, Neenah was considered to be one of the more liberal cities among the 13 cities of Wisconsin.
One of Neenah’s public work department employees, Greg Radtke, is using an electronic cigarette in vehicles owned by the city. He says he usually vapes either when he’s the only one in the vehicle or he’s with a person who does not mind. His e-cigarettes have a smell of freshly baked cupcakes, according to him. Greg also said that he respects his co-workers and refrains from smoking when he’s not alone. He is using a popular e-cig to help him quit tobacco.
Other cities, such as Menasha and Kaukauna do not prohibit their employees from using e-cigarettes and chewing tobacco at work.
Menasha city attorney, Pamela Captain, said that policy changes for e-cigs and chewing tobacco are being actively discussed. She speculated that proposed changes will be very similar to Neenah’s.
While there have been no known complaints in regards to e-cigarettes, she has heard complaints about some of the employees who use chewing tobacco and leave their spitting cups behind. Captain also plans to enforce harsher no-smoking policies overall.
Only Kaukauna is said to retain its policies which allow using these products in workplace.