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Should Smokers Be Banned From Jobs?

Living 2010/11/23 16:36:38
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It's bad enough being addicted to smoking. Now, in addition to worrying about their health, smokers may have a harder time finding a job.

The Massachusetts Hospital Association announced earlier this month that it would no longer hire people who smoke. Other employers -- including the Cleveland Clinic, a medical center based in Ohio; Alaska Airlines; and Union Pacific Railroad -- have also stopped hiring smokers, the Christian Science Monitor reports.

Proponents of the policy say it will provide smoke-free work environments. (Have you ever had to walk through the "smoking area" outside of an office building? It's pretty gross.) They also say it will help employers control health-care costs.

"Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the U.S. We want to drive the cost of health care down so that is more affordable," MHA chief executive Lynn Nicholas told the CSM.

The average smoker costs companies more than $12,000 a year in health- and disability-related costs and takes four 15-minute breaks a day, according to Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), an antismoking group in Washington. That's a lot of extra break time that the rest of us don't have.

But the American Civil Liberties Union says refusing to hire smokers is "lifestyle discrimination," adding that "95 percent of companies banning smoking reported no financial savings, and the US Chamber of Commerce has found no connection between smoking and absenteeism."

Others say looking into whether or not people smoke is simply too intrusive.

"Even if this makes sense, how is this materially different from screening for other high-risk and high-cost behaviors?" Andrew Tarsy, executive director of the Progressive Business Leaders Network in Massachusetts, told the CSM.

Good point.

Read More: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Wellness/smokers-face...

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Top Opinion

  • fuzzy Ken "In G*d We Trust" 2010/11/23 17:14:06
    No
    fuzzy Ken "In G*d We Trust"
    +17
    Should overweight people be banned too? What about heavy drinkers? Don't tell me that those behaviors don't impact the cost of health care.
    Take extra breaks? People with IBS do too. So do coffee addicts. Often times longer than the 5 minutes a smoker takes. (I've timed myself)
    Let's ask Barak Obama and John Boehner if they feel that they shouldn't have their jobs because they smoke.

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  • Food Stamp Papa 2013/10/10 20:07:02
    No
    Food Stamp Papa
    talk about discrimination...
  • marie 2011/01/16 03:55:54
    No
    marie
    Smokers need to smoke on their tine and away from building.
  • noBama 2011/01/09 05:02:34 (edited)
    No
    noBama
  • LaurenBrodyCox :-) 2011/01/08 20:43:39
    No
    LaurenBrodyCox :-)
    just cause they smoke dont mean theyre crap at a job.
    i mean, the best person at astro physics could smoke.
    but they will still get the job, because theyre the best at what they do.
    its like saying "should deaf people be banned from getting hearing aids?"
    :/ i know, i know, its not the same thing, and i agree, i just think that my mum smokes and shes amazing at her job.
    nurses that smoke dont ger
  • Charlie 2010/12/11 16:24:44
    No
    Charlie
    There is to much control by the insurance company over everyone personal life.What's next don't hire someone because they may eat junk food or drink a soda.
  • Hayley 2010/12/11 00:43:56
    No
    Hayley
    This is true in many health care organizations. The take is that health care providers should lead by example for patient health. Some health organizations in Ohio are going so far as to proposing to test the hair of employees for the presence of nicotine, meaning not only are they not allowed to smoke while they work day is going on (not even on their own time during the day, such as an unpaid meal break, not coming on to the premisis, nor leaving the premisis..but not in their provate life as well. I do think this is wrong. People cannot drink during work, but if they do so on their own time, they are not penalized..so what gives? In my particular case, it probably would not lower my health care costs...I am never sick with upper respiratory illness and the like (Thankful) but I would probable require regular doctor's visits for medication and mental health care as I would probably develop some issues in the process of quitting my mal adaptive coping mechanism of smoking.
  • hamad_dxb0 2010/12/09 10:49:28
    No
    hamad_dxb0
    Because I smoke and smoke doesn't let u bored
  • TorchwoodTrinity 2010/12/05 20:31:26
    No
    TorchwoodTrinity
    +1
    I don't agree with smoking because I have seen the effects it has had first hand on a family member who didn't care about the health of anyone else in the household and friends who have smoked. Just have the smoking area far, far away from the entrance of the building where NO one has to go through the smoking area or breathe in the smoke. My first thought upon reading this was the smell of the cigarettes on the clothes affecting the patients in the hospital/clinic... But I wouldn't ban hiring a smoker...
  • Hayley Torchwo... 2010/12/11 00:49:06
    Hayley
    +1
    An individual can bathe and not smoke after bathing before work and therefore have not nicotine or other smoke related chemicals on their person before work. They would be limited to only smoking on their own time..but that is the way it is where I live now...

    My mother died of lung cancer when I was 23. My grandmother when I was 29. I still cannot quit. It is not because I do not want to or do not care, it is because I simply am not able to..truthfully..I wish I could.
  • Mistys Mom 2010/12/02 17:20:56
    No
    Mistys Mom
    SMOKING IS NOT A DISEASE, IT IS A HABIT AND SOME OF US ENJOY THIS HABIT. WE HAVE ALREADY LOST A LOT OF OUR RIGHTS DUE TO THIS, AS I HAVE SAID BEFORE AND WILL SAY IT AGAIN, WE NEED TO STOP OUR GOVERNMENT FROM MAKING DECISIONS FOR US. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. STAND UP FOR "OUR" RIGHTS. AFTER ALL. WE ARE AMERICANS AND WE ARE SUPPOSED TO HAVE RIGHTS. ITS TIME FOR US TO TAKE BACK THOSE RIGHTS.
  • Jan 2010/12/01 18:29:00
    No
    Jan
    +2
    ISN'T AMERICA A FREE COUNTRY? I DON'T SMOKE, BUT I WOULD MUCH RATHER HAVE A SMOKER SITTING NEXT TO ME THAN A DRUNK!
  • NatAlex23 2010/12/01 03:18:31
    No
    NatAlex23
    +1
    Most workers now have to go outside when they smoke, anyway. Why hurt us even more?
  • BigBear 2010/11/30 17:37:01
    No
    BigBear
    +2
    Stupid........ smokers WILL be smoking in bars again and SOON.... it's very soothing, try it.
  • Monolith 2010/11/30 14:13:25
    No
    Monolith
    Let's ban the idiots though!!
  • BigBear Monolith 2010/11/30 17:37:57
    BigBear
    They will ban you for being over weight then......haha...moron
  • LEE 2010/11/30 12:48:39
    No
    LEE
    +2
    ANOTHER FREEDOM LOST. PEOPLE MAY BE STUPID TO SMOKE BUT THEY SHOULD HAVE THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE.
  • Nat Turner 2010/11/29 21:26:43
    No
    Nat Turner
    +1
    no, everybody has something they want to kick, give them a chance.
  • Andrew 2010/11/29 21:19:31
    No
    Andrew
    No, not at all.
  • waynelaboy 2010/11/29 16:38:50
    No
    waynelaboy
    +2
    how ridiculous. just smoke away from the building where 2nd hand can't shake hands with the lungs of us no-smoker.
  • lindajr 2010/11/29 00:22:18
    No
    lindajr
    +4
    Why should a personal lifestyle affect a person obtaining a job. Jeez how much more can we get into discrimination. You might as well tell me I don't deserve a job because i have a belly ring or i have a lisp. That's just ridiculous. people are becoming way to judgmental. Aren't we suppose to all have an opportunity to prosper? Yes we do!!! read the preamble in the constitution people. Have we all forgotten our right or something. The gov has enough control over us. I SAY WE TAKE IT BACK. yes i believe in having my freedom to smoke a cigarette because i made the choice to corrupt my lungs with chemicals. And if i make the choice to pierce my body it is to be mine because it is what can define me as me. That is my opinion
  • lindajr lindajr 2010/11/29 00:24:11
    lindajr
    +1
    yes i am using other things to compare with the current question. No one should be forced into doing things they dont want to. Or being forced to stop things they CHOSE to do
  • Mistys Mom lindajr 2010/12/02 17:24:43
    Mistys Mom
    I AGREE WITH YOU TOTALLY. WE AS AMERICANS NEED TO TAKE BACK OUR RIGHTS!
  • xoxo 2010/11/28 20:20:06
    Undecided
    xoxo
    they need to work but thye need to quit. it's so disgusting & is the most pointless thing a person can do. there is no benefit. i can see if you work in a medical field you shouldn't be supporting something that kills people
  • Mistys Mom xoxo 2010/12/02 17:27:16
    Mistys Mom
    +1
    WHAT??? ARE YOU CRAZY?? WE HAVE RIGHTS AND OUR GOVERNMENT IS ALREADY TAKING THEM AWAY FROM US. YOU ARE WRONG WITH THIS ANSWER. HOW MANY DO YOU KNOW WHO SMOKE??? IT IS OUR LUNGS AND OUR MONEY. WE WILL DO WHAT WE WANT AND HOW WE WANT.
  • YOMOMMA 2010/11/28 12:47:34
    Yes
    YOMOMMA
    Hate people who smoke: cigarette butts everywhere, suffocate the air, making everyone around them miserable. stinky, brown teeth, my clothes smell like smoke after being around smokers. YUK! If applicants smell of smoke or light up, the app goes in the trash! Nothing is worse than walking into the door of a business like T-Mobile or The Dentist's office with smokers right in front of the entry way! Cigarette smoke is like the gas at a death camp!
  • sonofason YOMOMMA 2010/11/28 18:53:24
    sonofason
    +8
    Do you drive a car? What do you think you are doing to the air. Do you have a furnace in your house? What do you think that is doing to the air. Do you wear perfume? Do you think I like the smell of it. Do you wear piercings? How do you think I like seeing that? I'm sure you might offend me in more ways than you know. Get over it.

    I smoke outside. I stay away from people that do not smoke, when I do. If a smoking section is provided, I use it. I put my cigarettes out with my fingers. I put the butts in the trash. I might stink, so keep your distance. I don't want you that close to me anyway. I'm sorry to make you miserable, but your making me miserable right now. Why are you spending your time around smokers if you don't like the way you smell afterwards?

    I agree, that if a business is to have a smoking area for smokers, it ought not be directly in front of the entrance of the building. Speak to the business owners about that, not me. But to think you have a right to prevent me from smoking is ridiculous and selfish.
  • lindajr sonofason 2010/11/29 00:26:20
    lindajr
    +2
    I agree with this statement
  • sonofason lindajr 2010/11/29 01:54:16
    sonofason
    +1
    thanks lindajr.
  • YOMOMMA sonofason 2010/11/30 16:38:04
    YOMOMMA
    Noooo. If the owner or boss of a business smokes he or she can hire you and you stay over there with them. Just stay away from me with that darn cigarette. yes I drive and yes I have an energy star, clean heater. That is not the same as constant smoke in the face.I was venting because I work in a smoky place and have to endure the gaseous smoke and say nothing.
    NO I do not believe that the GOVernment should ban smoking in private businesses. I just wish smoke would go away!
  • sonofason YOMOMMA 2010/12/01 02:12:51
    sonofason
    +2
    Well, your right. Smoking is a nasty habit, and it would be so much better for everyone if those of us who do it could and would stop. I wish it were that easy for everyone to do.
  • YOMOMMA sonofason 2010/12/10 15:44:24
    YOMOMMA
    A wall , big long ,tall wall in the middle of the land. One side for those who smoke cigarettes and find it hard to quit and the other side for us.
  • sonofason YOMOMMA 2010/12/11 00:29:11
    sonofason
    +1
    Fine, build it.
  • YOMOMMA sonofason 2010/12/14 03:51:16
    YOMOMMA
    iron?
  • angela 2010/11/27 23:52:11
    Undecided
    angela
    +2
    As far as the breaks smokers take at work is a employers job to take care of. If someone is applying in the medical field there are times when even purfume is not allowed wich the smell of smoke on someone could also make someone feel ill so in that case i agree. I do not agree that any law will make some people quit smoking and there are many habits people have that cause health issues.
  • Joe 2010/11/27 23:21:51
    Undecided
    Joe
    +1
    Only if fat people, and others with health or lifestyle issues can be banned from a job.
  • Don 2010/11/27 23:21:39
    Yes
    Don
    For Gods sake it has been proven that smoking causes so many health problems. They keep bitching about the high cost of health care...how much would we save if people were not exposed to second hand smoke? How much would we save if smokers were forced to stop?
  • sonofason Don 2010/11/28 18:54:53
    sonofason
    +3
    I'll tell you what, if I become ill from my smoking habit, I won't rely on the health care system to patch me up. I'll just die. Would that be okay with you?
  • Mistys Mom Don 2010/12/02 17:32:39
    Mistys Mom
    +1
    YOU ARE WAY OUT OF LINE. SMOKING IS NOT THE ONLY THING THAT KILLS. I KNOW ABOUT A 3 YEAR OLD WHO DIED FROM CANCER AND WAS NEVER ANY WHERE NEAR A SMOKER. YOU NEED TO RETHINK YOUR ANSWER. ALCOHOL ALSO KILLS AND THAT IS NOT BEING BANNED.
  • TeshawnLeVarrEdmonds 2010/11/27 18:35:05
    Yes
    TeshawnLeVarrEdmonds
    No one wants a smoker if an asthmatic or anyone with lung/heart issues is on the job.
  • sonofason Teshawn... 2010/11/28 18:58:14
    sonofason
    +4
    Smoking is already banned in public buildings, is it not? If it is a private business, it is up to the employer, is it not. If a business owner wants to allow smoking in the workplace, or on the work site, that is his prerogative. You don't have to work there.
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