In today’s world, a significant percentage of professionals work from home offices, choosing to perform their jobs remotely rather then dealing with a commute. While there is a lot of freedom to enjoy by working from home, there can also be some drawbacks. A new legislation in Wales is causing a lot of remote workers concern. If passed, the bill would ban home-based workers from using ecigs in their homes.
The bill is part of a larger movement to regulate ecigarettes as tobacco products. Smoking is already banned in all workplaces and now lawmakers want ecigs to follow suit. Logically, it seems that people who work from home might be an exception to these sorts of rules, but the Wales government disagrees.
Those who oppose the bill have argued that it would be impossible to enforce and it could also potentially violate personal privacy. Many have questioned if the ecig ban would apply to all home-based workers or only those who entertain clients within the home. Health Minister Mark Drakeford said the Court would have to clarify what qualifies a home as a place of work to determine where ecigs are banned. He suggested that simply answering work-related emails or taking work-related calls could mean your home qualifies as a workplace.
A Tory spokesperson spoke out against the new legislation, calling it unreasonable. “The measures on e-cigarettes relating to the home as a working environment are unenforceable. Quite how this government plans to police home workers under this legislation is anyone’s guess and, frankly, none of their business.”
Welsh Lib Dems have strongly opposed the new bill. Leader Kirsty Williams said, “The Welsh Liberal Democrats will continue to fight against these ridiculous and ill-thought out proposals. We believe in taking an evidence-based approach, rather than Labour’s attitude of banning things just for the sake of it.”
Those who support the bill justify it by lumping ecigarettes into the category of tobacco products. “This is a change to the current position under the Health Act 2006, which outlines that parts of dwellings that are also workplaces must be smoke-free all of the time,” a spokesperson said.
Is this a legislation that could really be enforced? Since e-cigarette vapor quickly dissipates and there is no “smoke” smell, how would officials even know if a home-based worker was breaking the law?