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My workplace is having a 'stop smoking' seminar, and promoting NRT. Should I attend to promote vaping?

Discussion in 'General Vaping Discussion' started by nanovapr, Apr 23, 2012.

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  1. nanovapr

    nanovapr Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Jun 15, 2011
    Catatonic State, USA
    I work at a place that is vaguely smoker friendly. Our CEO is a smoker, and provides an indoor air conditioned/heated smoking room (that really, really smells bad, despite exhaust). Out of 1500 employees, there is perhaps less than a hundred smokers at our company. I have been vaping for 11 months with zero cigs, and remain a big proponent of vaping.

    Our official smoking policy is spelled out as "no tobacco products", and is intended to mean smoking and chewing. I vape openly in a room with four cubes, with the blessing of my boss and co-workers, all non-smokers. My boss's boss is also very happy I have quit smoking, and he has suggested to one of his smoking friends he should check into it.

    I have considered several times contacting HR, to see if we could have it officially a policy that it is OK to vape. I have thought about speaking to the CEO directly about it. I understand that people that don't know about it think you are smoking, when they see exhaled vapor. I never have, because "it's easier to ask forgiveness, than to ask permission". I vape away happily in my own little corner of our company, and still visit the smoking room because I have friends there.

    Today, the same head of HR announced smoking cessation classes to be held at work, sponsored by our county health department, and the largest local hospital. They are promoting NRT, and are going to be handing out 8 weeks of free gum and patches. If the head of HR thinks that NRT is a 'good thing', I am now wondering if I should attend the classes, for two reasons. One would be to promote vaping locally in our company, with thoughts towards having vaping written into our official policy. At the same time, I understand that the vast majority of people consider smokers weak addicts, and misunderstand that vaping is still smoking. Perceived reality is just as real, for them.

    The other reason, is that I am personally curious about speaking with proper "smoking cessation" professionals, and see what their take on vaping is, and to promote it to them. I know I could do this without doing it during their sessions here. I have had a good improvement in my general health since I quit smoking. I have spoken with four doctors about it, and they all said that it is great, keep it up.

    If they are promoting NRT now, this could be a chance to make a big step for vaping locally. Our whole town went non-smoking a few years ago, and there was a lot of dispute about it (there was no vote, city fathers just decided it for all businesses). My employer is one of the larger ones in our city.

    I will *not* be passing out pamplets during their classes, I just see this as a possible way to make a difference. If it goes bad, I could be getting vaping officially written into company policy as being banned. It's easy to sit back and quietly vape in my existing comfort zone.

    Should I consider this? Should I talk to the CEO first (50-year smoker, perhaps high chances that he will be sympathetic)? Or should I just shut up and vape?
     
  2. Killjoy1

    Killjoy1 Ω Destroyer Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Aug 15, 2011
    New Hampshire, US
    Well, I say bring it up with your HR dept and CEO, first. I think your best bet is to discuss it with them and maybe have a little backup when it comes to trying to get it included in the seminars. Even if they don't expressly allow it in the workplace, at least they might consider promoting it as an option. Just my :2c:

    My own work smoking policy was recently amended to specifically include e-cigs and since they are not officially an NRT product they are treated exactly like cigarettes in all respects (including issues concerning health insurance). I've tried mentioning it to my HR people, but unfortunately they don't set the policy (multinational corporation, so everything regarding policy is dictated from the Motherland) and one of them is a hard-core anti-smoker so is not open to the discussion, anyway . . .
     
  3. LeDean

    LeDean Unregistered Supplier ECF Veteran

    Feb 14, 2012
    Tennessee
    If your CEO is fine with it, why not? It couldn't hurt. And after the presentations, it would be a nice way to tell people exactly what the product is. A lot of people don't vape just because they don't know enough about it. (What it is, Where to get supplies, How it works, etc.)

    Good for you for looking at an opportunity to increase Vaping Awareness. ;)
     
  4. Vego

    Vego Super Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 19, 2011
    pittsburgh, pa
    I say go for it. You'll be doing the vaping community proud, and if you can get even 1 person to stop putting the hundreds of toxins from cigs into their body with your efforts, you'll have done a wonderful, humane thing.
     
  5. CES

    CES optimistic cynic Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 25, 2010
    Birmingham, Al
    Please be very careful.

    The local health department likely has a very specific agenda, and also likely has a bunch of misinformation about e-cigs. If they're sponsoring the program then they're not likely to be open to having e-cigs part of the agenda. I may be paranoid, but many of these types of things are co-sponsored by the "health" associations (ACA, ALS etc) that receive money from big pharma companites who make the NRTs, and give the misinformation and the freebies to the health department.

    I would first go to CASAA - The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association and get a lot of backup information and the most recent existing research, then talk with your CEO first, and make sure that both he and your HR department understand that they may hear some very inaccurate negative things about e-cigs.

    Bringing it up without concrete research to back it up and without permission could back fire
     
  6. TomCatt

    TomCatt Da Catt Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Mar 8, 2011
    Upland, PA
    I agree with CES. If possible, bring it up with the CEO first, with plenty of hard-copy from CASAA in hand.
     
  7. nanovapr

    nanovapr Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Jun 15, 2011
    Catatonic State, USA
    The CEO is likely to be sympathetic, as a long-time smoker. The head of HR is who I have been informally told that will never go for it "if it has nicotine". Thanks for the suggestion, CES, I may try to investigate the health department's climate on vaping, before I bring it up at work. If I know they are opposed, especially on political grounds, I wouldn't try to oppose them.
     
  8. ZedPM

    ZedPM Full Member

    Feb 2, 2012
    San Jose, CA
    CES,

    I was typing a post along the same lines and you beat me to it lol. Think you said it better.

    One strategy:

    nano could pose the question during the Q & A section with a short story how easy it was to quit, then say if anybody has any questions see me after the seminar, then sit down. Keep it short and sweet. They may just say well we can't condone that and move on to the next question, no conflicts, then see how many fish you hooked after the show.

    Very noble of you nano :thumb:

    ~zed
     
  9. CES

    CES optimistic cynic Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 25, 2010
    Birmingham, Al
    I was thinking about the short question at the end of the seminar- but then thought that the presenters might be prepped with the misrepresented FDA study, so the "innocent" question would have to be phrased carefully...

    something along the lines of....I'm wondering about electronic cigs...From all the data I've seen, the levels of carcinogens in the liquid are the same as the patch or the gum, and the FDA's study showed that any other incidental contaminants were far below hazardous levels....and the studies of the vapor to date show that it poses no known risk to bystanders....
     
  10. ZedPM

    ZedPM Full Member

    Feb 2, 2012
    San Jose, CA
    CES,

    Probably not their first rodeo. I bet the ecigs question has be presented before to them. Don't want to it cut into their livelihood.

    And yes arm yourself with the data.
     
  11. CES

    CES optimistic cynic Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 25, 2010
    Birmingham, Al
    I agree completely
     
  12. kristin

    kristin Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Aug 16, 2009
    CASAA - Wisconsin
    If this was my situation, I would print out the CASAA tri-fold on e-cigarettes and the Medical Info-graph and take it to the CEO. Tell him that there has been a lot of info in the news lately about how ineffective NRTs are and how you found success with the e-cigarette. Let him know that the FDA test results were misrepresented in the media, because the truth is that the FDA actually did not find harmful levels of any carcinogens or toxic chemicals. Mention to him how you are able to work at your desk longer now, instead of taking so many smoking breaks. (Possibly give him a $10 disposable to try.) Ask him if he would support vaping at work. If he says yes, then attend the smoking cessation seminar, bring a few dozen CASAA tri-folds and quietly hand them out AFTER the seminar is over.

    I probably couldn't help myself, though. I'd at least have to ask the presenter to address all of the recent news reports about the studies about the high failure rate of NRTs. ;)
     
  13. nanovapr

    nanovapr Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Jun 15, 2011
    Catatonic State, USA
    I did learn more, it will be 8 weeks worth of classes at my workplace. They are also handing out 8 weeks of gum and patches, if nothing else, I should get the gum. I've never used it, but understand it's expensive, and can be a viable alternative in non-vaping emergencies.

    The CEO is a potential ally. He is old, a smoker, and will be retiring in a few years. Informally, we have heard that his successor hates smoking, and the smoke room will go away. It could be good to get a definitive ruling now, while he is still running the show.

    The HR guy is a potential adversary. He is a great guy, and genuinely works hard for employees, but two people have mentioned casually that he will be opposed to it if it has nicotine. I understand that this is an education issue, but it's hard to sway personal ideals with opposing facts.

    I have long considered getting the CEO a PV that would work, just to make a pitch for vaping. It's a big place, but we are on good enough terms I would feel comfortable talking to him about it. His favor could over-rule the HR guy, probably. If I bring it up tothe HR guy and he opposes, I don't want his new awareness of vaping to create a ban.

    Better yet? I found a local number for the smoking cessation group, that will be doing the classes. They invite the public to "call and speak to our nurses about the program". A phone call would be a good way to sound them out gently, about vaping. I could be anonymous, and not be connecting it with my company. I am going to do that. Knowledge is power. Know thy enemy, and all that.

    If the hospital people are in bed with BP and FDA, I know I have no chance of changing their minds.

    Still, this could be a potential turning point for my workplace, and my whole city. I will investigate cautiously. Thanks for the input, keep it coming!
     
  14. ZedPM

    ZedPM Full Member

    Feb 2, 2012
    San Jose, CA
    This is interesting read behind the scene.

    http://www.endsmoking.org/resources/reimbursementguide/pdf/reimbursementguide-3rd-edition.pdf

    Darn you CES! you got me thinking :)

    Reimbursement code. This is a code that the medical manufacturing company files for during the FDA 510k approval process.
    This is the code that the Doc (hospital) uses to paid, from your insurance co., for using the product (simply put). So imagine all the tools used for a surgery each having codes. For us this was an enticing selling point to Docs/ hospital when pitching our products. Then you/ insurance is charged for the service.

    So, my point is nano may have a hard time pitching this to the presenters and possibly management at this seminar. No money in it for them so why listen. I'm sure the audience would like to hear it though.

    http://patients.about.com/od/costsconsumerism/a/cptcodes.htm

    ~zed
     
  15. Bullette the Cowdog

    Bullette the Cowdog Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Mar 5, 2012
    Treasure Coast, FL
    Oh geez...
    I used to work for a substance abuse nonprofit. They make their money selling the idea for the free seminar to companies, coordinating & running these seminars for employees. They pitch lower health insurance premiums for the company The money comes to the nonprofit from govt & pharma thru grants they write detailing how the class will be run. There is a ton of money for them + free drugs to give out to the poor saps that dont know any better than to take them. Unfortunately There is no money for anyone from ecig companies.
    I personally think it stinks to push the drugs. Patches gum & chantix. It's appalling & I want to distance myself as far as I can from these con artists. Yeah. Maybe I'll tell you how I really feel. Haha
    They're just drug pushers!
    Vape on my friends. We know we have the answer.
     
  16. Andyhrn

    Andyhrn Super Member ECF Veteran

    Mar 1, 2011
    TX
    I've tried this once not so long ago. They told me to go and smoke outside after demonstration.:lol: I've been smoke free for year already but for them it doesn't matter.
    BTW in their brochure there is a mention of a "personal inhalers" on page 34 or 37.
     
  17. franklyspeaking

    franklyspeaking Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Mar 17, 2009
    Arlington, Texas
    I've gone through this before and I would advise not bringing it up. I've noticed that non-smokers (especially when in HR) carry all the same loathing for anything smoking related into the whole vape debate. If it is still under the radar, I'd leave it that way and only broach the subject if it becomes an issue. Privately though, word gets around to the smokers and you can turn them on to it that way. I've converted about 10 smokers at work just by occasionally going out to the smoking area and vaping for a bit. I tend to miss the excuse to leave my desk for five minutes.

    I'd also warn you though that you tend to adopt the converted. I've had to spend a lot of time over the years fielding questions as many smokers find it silly that they have to do any research. They are used to going to 7-11 to buy a pack of cigarettes and vaping requires so much more than that...

    Anyway, good luck no matter what you decide!!
     
  18. Penner

    Penner Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Feb 8, 2011
    USA
    I'd do either of 2 things:

    1. Privately talk to people who smoke. Or

    2. After this "smoke" blows over with this quit smoking class (in 8 weeks when the NRT people have left), approach the CEO get a feel for his reaction to vaping. If its good, ask him if you could put on your own presentation (a powerpoint one), showing CASAA info & studies.

    I wouldn't get involved with this NRT quit smoking people/ presentation/ class. You'll be easily outnumbered, & talked over. Make no mistake, they have a specific agenda, & it doesn't include you.

    Nor, will you be given the time, or the AV equipment for overheads, to show the vaping studies to the entire room, when you are just a part of an audience.


    I also wouldn't ever speak to the HR person about vaping.

    My 2 cents.
     
  19. Dana A

    Dana A Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Feb 25, 2012
    Iowa
    What Penner said above about sums it up. People hate smoking and along with it nicotine so bad that I would be afraid for my job if I rocked the boat regarding any type of nicotine usage. This is america where we are all expendable if we don't shut up and sit down when expected to. Money seems to buy the popular vote no matter what we do. Knowledge isn't power... Money is. Good luck no matter what you do.
     
  20. ChinMullet

    ChinMullet Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 14, 2012
    Outer Space
    I've converted 8 or 9 people at work to e-cigs. I'm doing so quietly, and not asking for any special accommodations from HR.

    When we were smokers, I herded the smokers to ensure that we didn't come into any conflict with non-smokers that would give HR cause to pass any anti-smoking rules. We've been polite and courteous smokers - didn't abuse our outside time, didn't hang out right by the door with a big smoke cloud, didn't leave butts all over the ground, etc.

    As I convert them to vaping, I'm encouraging them to follow the same "good neighbor" approach, and not change a thing from our smoking days. Like it or not, vapor does contain nicotine, it usually does have a scent. Why would we expect our coworkers to breathe our vapor?

    I realize that's not a popular opinion around here, but put yourself in your coworkers' shoes for a moment.

    Regardless, any conflicts would definitely trigger a vape rules from HR, and it's not likely to be in our favor. From their perspective, they will err on the side of caution. They have to. Part of being an employer is running a gauntlet of employment laws and regulations. Imagine the stupid lawsuits from ex-employees crying about having to breath nicotine. It doesn't matter that the lawsuits are valid or not.

    If I had to sum it up, I'd remind everyone that being nicotine addicts is our issue...not everyone else around us.
     
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