BOMA International supports the rights of building owners to establish appropriate policies and procedures, subject to prevailing federal, state and local laws. Until such time as there is generally accepted evidence (as determined by a recognized federal, state, or local agency) regarding the public health effects of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), e-cigarettes should be treated similarly to conventional cigarettes and other tobacco products.
An electronic cigarette is an electronic inhaler that vaporizes a liquid solution into an aerosol mist, simulating the act of tobacco smoking. Electronic cigarettes are no longer marketed as smoking cessation aids or tobacco replacement in most countries. In June 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued Advisory No. 2013-015 which stated that electronic cigarettes are not emission-free. E-cigarettes contain volatile organic substances, including propylene glycol, flavors, and nicotine, and are emitted as mist or aerosol into indoor air. The advisory also noted that if several people are using e-cigarettes in a room at the same time, considerable indoor air pollution will accumulate and may result in harmful second-hand exposure.
As part of a fact sheet put together in September 2011, the National Business Group on Health, a non-profit association of large U.S. employers, noted that the vapor emitted from e-cigarettes could be an annoyance to non-smoking employees; allowing employees to smoke e-cigarettes in a tobacco-free workplace may encourage non-smoking employees to try to smoke real cigarettes in the workplace or at least question why they cannot do so; and e-cigarettes look very similar to regular cigarettes (especially from a distance), making it harder for an employer to monitor employee cigarette use.