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E-cigarettes removed from banned list for county workers

Nye County employees will be able to use electronic cigarettes within the county’s properties.

Nye County commissioners voted last week to remove the devices, commonly called e-cigarettes, from the list of tobacco products that are prohibited within any building owned, leased and utilized by Nye County.

It was the only amendment for the Nye County Personnel Policy Manual approved Dec. 6.

Electronic cigarettes are not a tobacco product and many use them to kick the habit of using tobacco, much like patches or gum, Nye County Commissioner Lorinda Wichman said.

“Electronic cigarettes are not tobacco use and they are a method to eliminate tobacco use and for people to quit smoking,” Wichman said.

Wichman said she is the only commissioner on the board who uses e-cigarettes.

Under the original rules for use of tobacco in the county’s personnel policy, the prohibition extended to areas that are routinely or regularly used by employees, including but not limited to work areas, restrooms, hallways, employee lounges, cafeterias, conference and meeting rooms, lobbies and vehicles Nye County owns or uses.

The county also shall not allow the use of tobacco products during staff and training meetings, according to the documents.

“I’m spending as much as eight or 10 hours in county vehicles and I would not have voted for that,” Wichman said.

The section in the manual titled ‘Tobacco Use’ was adopted at the April meeting. During that meeting, commissioners discussed medical marijuana use and policies, but didn’t discuss the use of tobacco products.

At the meeting last week, commissioners also adopted the language for information technology policies and social media policies for Nye County employees.

The language for information technology policies specifies guidelines for privacy of employees when using the county’s electronic and telecommunication properties, systems, or services; prohibited use. The language for social media policies specifies guidelines for employee monitoring, authorized social networking, personal blogs and social networking sites.

“It was standard language changes to keep the manual moving forward with new technology,” Wichman said.

Contact reporter Daria Sokolova at dsokolova@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @dariasokolova77

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