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Employers differ on electronic cigarettes at work

Monday - 1/20/2014, 7:20am  ET

esmokes.jpg
A man smokes an electronic cigarette. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

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WASHINGTON - Everybody knows there's no smoking at the office, but what about electronic cigarettes?

E-cigarettes are battery-operated devices that heat a liquid to deliver vaporized nicotine to the user. While they may help smokers kick the habit, the health risks are uncertain.

The Wall Street Journal reports companies want to help workers quit smoking, but are unsure about allowing e-cigarettes at work.

For example, Exxon Mobil allows "vaping" e-cigarettes in smoking areas, but they are banned along with regular cigarettes at CVS Caremark Corporation.

Chicago is the latest city to ban e-cigarette vaping everywhere cigarette smoking is already banned.

The Journal also reports diners and workers can vape e-cigarettes at McDonald's restaurants. But UPS charges e-cigarette-using employees the same extra insurance premium it charges tobacco users.

The Food and Drug Administration could release recommendations within weeks on restricting the sale of e-cigarettes.

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