In the first case of its type the rights of employees to use e-cigarettes is to be examined in an Employment Tribunal after a worker was sacked for using one at work.

The waste disposal company Viridor, which had no policy on e-cigarettes, sacked 55-year-old Paul Scott who was using one while he was operating a truck in the compost area of a landfill.

Mr Scott, who had been working for Viridor since 2007, has filed a claim for unfair dismissal. He had been a 20-a-day tobacco smoker for the past 40 years before he turned to e-cigarettes.

The cigarette look-a-like products produce a nicotine vapour without the tar, carcinogens or fire risk caused by burning tobacco.

Mr Scott said: "By the time I was sacked I had completely switched to e-cigarettes. I had stopped wheezing and coughing and my breathing was a damned sight better”. However the stress of being sacked has now led him to start using tobacco again.

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