As part of the new Tobacco Control Plan, health bosses will promote e-cigarettes as a safer alternative to traditional fags.
Employers are reminded that e-cigarette use is not illegal in offices and bosses are free to decide whether to allow staff to vape.
The plan says: “E-cigarette use is not covered by smoke-free legislation and should not routinely be included in the requirements of an organisation’s smoke-free policy.”
And advice from Public Health England also says that staff should not “routinely” ban vaping – although they should take into consideration the fumes could be a nuisance and affect those with asthma.
PHE guidance states: “International peer-reviewed evidence indicates that the risk to the health of bystanders from exposure to e-cigarette vapour is extremely low.
“The evidence of harm from second-hand exposure to vapour is not sufficient to justify the prohibition of e-cigarettes.
“Reasons other than the health risk to bystanders may exist for prohibiting e-cigarette use in all or part of a public place or workplace, such as commercial considerations and professional etiquette.”
Ministers also want to cut regular smoking among 15-year-olds from eight per cent to three per cent.
Campaigners Ash predict the UK could be smoke free – with less than one in 20 lighting up – by 2030.
Public Health Minister Steve Brine said: “Britain is a world-leader in tobacco control, and our tough action in the past decade has seen smoking rates in England fall to an all-time low of 15.5 per cent.
“But our vision is to create a smoke free generation.
“Smoking continues to kill hundreds of people a day in England, and we know the harms fall hardest on some of the poorest and most vulnerable people in our society.
“That’s why we are targeting prevention and local action to address the variation in smoking rates in our society, educate people about the risks and support them to quit for good.”