Are electronic cigarettes allowed in class?

QUESTION:
I had a student today ask if he was allowed to smoke an electronic cigarette in class. I’m not aware of where we stand with requests like this. Can you advise?

 

ANSWER:

Electronic cigarettes are used by some people as an alternative to a conventional cigarette and also to aid smoking cessation. Whilst there are no reported passive smoking effects or smoke/odour associated with the use of these devices, they do look very much like a conventional cigarette with a glowing tip.

For this reason, the use of these devices in buildings or within 5 metres of entrances and open windows is prohibited. The concern is that use of these devices may lead other staff and students to think that smoking is generally permitted, and will hamper staff trying to enforce the Smoke-free (Premises and Enforcement) Regulations 2006.