A GWENT council has banned its employees from using electronic cigarettes on their premises from the start of July.

Caerphilly council's cabinet gave the move the green light yesterday (Wed) after a proposal was brought to them last month (April).

The policy will cover all of the council’s employees and agency workers, and all employees will also be forbidden from charging their electronic cigarettes’ batteries on the council’s premises.

Cllr Rhianon Passmore, who represents Risca East, said she supported the move, which will come into force on July 1.

She said: “There is confusion about what can be termed e-cigarettes so (the policy) makes it clear and consistent. It sends the right signals to young people.”

Members of the council’s policy and resources scrutiny committee first agreed to amend the council’s long-standing no smoking policy to include electronic cigarettes’ use and the cabinet rubber stamped the move.

When the proposal was proposed, Cllr Christine Forehead, cabinet member for Human Resources and Governance, said: “This move to strengthen our no smoking policy shows that we are doing all we can to ensure we are providing a healthy, smoke-free work environment for our employees.”

The move is in line with the approach taken by the Welsh Government and the Aneurin Bevan Health Board.

And employees will no longer be able to use the electronic cigarettes in all council buildings or in its entrances or exits, adjacent land and in its car parks, according to a council report.

Its policy already covers cigarettes, cigars and pipes.

The council said they will “actively promote the improvement of the heath of its employees by providing information on the health risks and other problems related to smoking of tobacco products or e-cigarette”.

But there will be exemptions for people in a care home, a mental health unit which provides residential accommodation for patients, an adult hospice, in rooms in a research or testing facility or bedrooms in a hotel, guesthouse, hostel or members’ club.

Where these facilities are available, they must not be used by council employees.

The council said the policy would be reviewed “when appropriate”.