MERIDIAN -- The Meridian City Council approved a policy this week that prohibits city employees from using tobacco or nicotine products while on the job.

That includes electronic cigarettes which have recently become a popular alternative to smoking.

The ban only affects employees during work hours, not during their free time.

The city is offering smoking cessation classes for employees who want to quit.

Previously, employees couldn't smoke in public buildings or parks, but the new policy means no use of these products during work hours regardless of the employee's location.

Bill Nary, the city's director of Human Resources, came on the News at Four to tell us why the city made the decision to ban smoking by employees.

Click the play icon to watch the interview. To see it on the app, go to the video tab.

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