Pigs must be flying at Juul because it just banned workplace vaping
The ripple effects of California’s 2016 legislation banning workplace vaping have hit the Juul offices and its employees like a tidal wave. On Tuesday, CEO Kevin Burns issued a company-wide email to his approximate 800 employees stating that in-office vaping would no longer be allowed.
Juul staffers will now be forced to travel outdoors to a tent to enjoy their juuling activities. Before Tuesday, juuling was seemingly taking place “non-stop, in the open, and in virtually every meeting,” according to a report by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).
For the world’s largest manufacturer of vapor products, one might think that vaping in the office is perfectly acceptable and perhaps even encouraged. In fact, many employees probably thought that a company ban would happen only when pigs begin to fly. However, California state law now prohibits in-office vaping, and another 11 states have already followed suit. So – apparently – must Juul Labs.
Employee reaction mixed inside Juul offices
Not everyone working inside Juul offices was thrilled with the news of the in-house vaping ban. Others were surprisingly supportive. According to the WSJ report, some employees complained that in-house juuling was too noisy and distractive which at times inhibited their job performance and efficiency.
Others were understandably befuddled by the news. The concept of a vaping company banning vaping in the workplace seems oxymoronic. CEO Kevin Burns told the WSJ,
"It may feel nonsensical to prohibit at-work use of the very products we work hard to create and promote, but the bottom line is we need to comply with legal requirements the same as any company."
Juul is not the only major company which – until recently – allowed indoor vaping by its staff. McDonald’s does not currently prohibit the practice by either employees or customers in many of its stores, although this policy may also be falling to the wayside based on the recent actions at Juul. Meanwhile, Walmart and Starbucks have already implemented company-wide, in-office vaping bans as the passage of local anti-vaping ordinances continue to spread across the nation.
Juul Labs is based in San Francisco, home of the controversial Prop E which implemented a regional ban last year on the sales of flavored e-liquids and tobacco products. Passing by a margin of nearly 3-1, the ballot initiative received nationwide attention for being the first of its kind to implement anti-vaping, anti-flavors regulations at the local level.
The offices of Juul Labs could not be located in a less vaper-friendly city. As a result, the e-cig giant has been unable to defend itself indefinitely against the political proclivities towards Nanny State legislation as exhibited by both the city of San Francisco and the state of California. Look out for flying pigs.
(Image courtesy of Shutterstock)