Q: Sir, while I may have missed past publications or emails addressing this issue, have there been any recent Air Force guidance or reminders about electronic cigarette and vaporizer smoking in the workplace?
A: Thank you for the opportunity to address this concern. Since e-cigarettes are considered a tobacco product, they are not allowed to be used inside any building on the installation; however, outside they are not restricted to the Designated Tobacco Areas, or DTAs. The following explains this policy based on the Memorandum of Agreement and the Air Force Instruction:
On March 4, 2015, the Air Force updated AFI 40-102, “Tobacco Free Living.” Per the instruction, tobacco products are only to be used in DTA. DTAs are exclusively located outdoors in areas so as to prevent secondhand tobacco smoke exposure. Specifically, tobacco use is prohibited in all indoor workplaces; Air Force services facilities, recreational facilities, lodging guest rooms, Temporary Lodging Facilities, and Air Force vehicles and aircraft.
In accordance with a March 26, 2012, MOA with the American Federation of Government Employees Council, the use of e-cigarettes are not restricted to DTAs. E-cigarettes are allowed to be used outdoors only, at a reasonable distance from building entry/egress points; however, users should not gather around these areas to prevent exposure to passers-by.
AFI 40-102 definition of tobacco products includes all products that may be configured to deliver nicotine, including but not limited to cigars; cigarettes; electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes); stem pipes; water pipes; hookahs; vaporizers; smokeless products that are chewed, dipped, sniffed, or vaped; and any other nicotine delivery system that the Food and Drug Administration defines as tobacco product. The AFGE defines E-cigarettes as “battery-operated products designed to deliver nicotine, flavor and other chemicals. They turn nicotine, which is highly addictive, and other chemicals into a vapor that is inhaled by the user.”
The Health and Wellness Center offers a tobacco cessation program for all of Team Hill. Call 801-777-1215 to enroll. No one ever regrets quitting.