Health@Work E-tips for workplace wellness coordinators: E-cigarettes

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Welcome to Hennepin County Health@Work's newsletter for worksite wellness coordinators who work in organizations located in Hennepin County. The purpose of Health@Work's monthly E-tips is to help you (the wellness coordinator) promote better health at your workplace. Please note that any reference to products or services in this newsletter is for educational purposes and does not constitute an endorsement on the part of Hennepin County Health@Work. 


Infographic that shows a person blowing out a cloud of vapor containing chemicals and nicotine

In 1975, Minnesota was the first state to enact a Clean Indoor Air Act. Since then, the act has been through several updates, most recently on August 1, 2019. As of August 1, the Clean Indoor Air Act expanded to include the use of e-cigarettes (e-cigs, also known as vapes), which are now subject to the same restrictions as other tobacco products in restaurants, bars, and most indoor workplaces and public places. 


This is an important change. Even as the use of combustible cigarettes has declined in many populations, the use of e-cigs has risen dramatically. 


An e-cigarette is a battery-powered device that heats a liquid to form a vapor that the user inhales. The liquid contains nicotine, flavorings, and other chemicals. E-cig smoke contains harmful substances such as ultrafine particles and heavy metals (e.g., nickel, tin, and lead).


Almost all e-cigarettes contain nicotine, which is highly addictive. While some people have used e-cigs to help them quit tobacco cigarettes, they often end up using both cigarettes and e-cigs. In the United States, e-cigarettes and e-liquid are not regulated by the FDA and are not considered an approved cessation device. 


E-cig use has become a special concern for youth and young adults. According to the 2018 Minnesota Adults Tobacco Survey, e-cigarette use among 18- to 24-year-olds increased from 13 percent in 2014 to 22 percent in 2018. 


In early August 2019, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) began investigating reports of severe lung injury potentially related to vaping and e-cigarette use among teens and adults. The latest information can be found on the MDH website.


What can you do to help employees?

While the Clean Indoor Air Act now covers most workplaces, it is still important for your workplace policy to include restrictions on e-cigs and vapes. (If you need support for including e-cigs in your policy, check out this article.) Revise your policy to add e-cigs, and include all buildings, grounds, vehicles on grounds, and company vehicles. Other ideas to support the policy: 

  • Establish and communicate enforcement protocols
  • Set up e-cig and tobacco-free workplace signage
  • Include coverage of over-the-counter and prescription quit medications with no (or minimal) copay or deductibles in your pharmacy/health care benefits
  • Communicate the availability of tobacco-cessation resources (through your health plan, or through QUITPLAN® Services for uninsured and underinsured Minnesotans)
  • Offer onsite cessation support groups (Check out American Lung Association for options)


Most tobacco cessation resources now also offer support for quitting e-cigs and vapes. Here are a few to share with your employees:


QUITPLAN® Services  or 1-888-354-PLAN (7526) – for uninsured and underinsured Minnesotans

Quitting Tobacco – resources from the Minnesota Department of Health

Quitting E-cigarettes – Truth Initiative® resources for teens and young adults who want to quit e-cigs (or their parents who want to help)

BecomeAnEX® – free online support developed in partnership with the Mayo Clinic

American Lung Association – Freedom from Smoking options


For more information on e-cigs and vaping:

CDC – Electronic cigarettes


MDH – E-cigarettes and vaping



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Employee E-tips

Photo of various e-cigarette devices

Click here to read this month's E-tips for your employees: "E-cigarette and vaping basics."


To share these E-tips with employees, you can:  

  • Email the E-tips document to your staff as an attachment. 1) Click the link to download and save the E-tips to your computer. 2) Add your organization's logo in the bottom left corner. 3) Then send it as an email attachment to staff. 
  • Print the document once you've added your organization's logo and post it in a common area in your workplace.
  • Copy and paste the text into your organization's newsletter.


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Health@Work networking breakfast & Wellness by Design celebration: Advancing wellness together



Workplace wellness coordinators and those who support this vital work



Thursday, November 7, 2019

9-11:30 a.m. 



Maple Grove Community Center



  • Learn how our community is advancing wellness in ways that bring us together.
  • Hear featured speaker Shamayne Braman, Director of Diversity and Inclusion at HealthPartners.
  • Build connections and discuss ways to address health equity so all employees thrive.
  • Learn from local organizations being recognized as 2019 Wellness By Design award winners.
  • Leave feeling inspired and better equipped to advance wellness together.



$40 per person. Please register by Thursday, October 31. Payment will not be accepted at the event.


Click here to register.


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Missed last month's E-tips?

Click here to read the October E-tips on digital distractions.


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About us:

Hennepin County Health@Work offers a broad range of low- and no-cost workplace wellness programs and services to employers located in Hennepin County. For more information visit the Health@Work website

Contact us:


Linda Brandt, MPH

Senior Health Promotion Specialist

Hennepin County Health and Human Services


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