My Manager at that time was curious, I explained, she liked the harm reduction concept and didn’t see it as a problem. I was even given time at a staff meeting to talk about it. Many thought it was great and encouraged me from a health perspective …. This didn’t last long. In August 2011 someone complained and the first directive came out that we could only vape outside with the smokers. We followed the directive but I pushed with all the data that was available about the safety and efficacy of vaping. Management stubbornly stuck with the Health Canada 2009 argument.
I was more than happy to talk to anybody and everybody about how great vaping was and managed to recruit many to vaping and in turn they were becoming pro-vaping. The ANTZ who had started the ‘ban vaping’ campaign escalated their efforts as we escalated ours. Both sides were convinced that what they were doing was right, but their tactics became nasty. Many vapers in our building don't do it durning the day anymore 'cause they didn't want the 'hassle'. They smoke cigarettes at work and vape at home.
Over the next year and half I ended up with 4 letters of reprimand in my HR file, from unknown accusers, for allegedly vaping in the offices. Every smell in the building became a vaping smell. Every headache someone suffered was from vaping. Even an ANTZ, who is also a smokers (???) once said to me “blow that here in my face, I’d love to take some paid leave”.
It took me the better part of a year to get management to realize that I was a victim of harassment with these baseless accusations about vaping indoors. The “cry wolf” finally started to take hold in the management ranks and the accusations were no longer believable.
The ANTZ moved to using the Joint Health and Safety Committees to advance their push to have vaping completely eradicated. We (vapers) were slow to realize that they had cornered the H&S committees opinion against vaping. Even if we had done something earlier on that front we wouldn’t have gotten anywhere because the committee was made up of 100% ANTZ anyway. The H&S committee got management to reissue their anti-vaping directives with stronger language and had management send out ‘reminder’ bulletins to all staff about their anti-vaping policy three times over a four month period. It was harassment. With every new bulletin we got more and more stink-eyes from people. Very stressful times to say the very least!
Their next strategy is the one that starts here in this thread.