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Smoking Ban - Unfair?
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27 / M
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Posted 9/7/13
http://gma.yahoo.com/blogs/abc-blogs/florida-county-bans-smokers-jobs-100038130--abc-news-topstories.html

Obviously, chain smoking has an impact on health but do you think this is fair? The majority of people who smoke that I know of do not do so on a daily basis, and they don't smoke more than 2-3 sticks during the afterparties.

I believe it's unfair. The workplace has an unreasonable amount of leverage over what you choose to do at home. I'm all for workplace safety and diligence, but I see nothing wrong with allowing a person to do what is legal in the privacy of their own homes. I believe work is work and your own time should be for you to control. The state in which the economy is in right now will not be kind to those who this ban affects. 'Elsewhere' could have the same policies or not be hiring, leaving smokers with no jobs and in dire financial situations.

Thoughts?
Posted 9/8/13 , edited 9/8/13
"Next month the county will introduce it's new euthanasia policy for residence not complying with our height to weight requirements. This policy is believed will save the County Billions of dollars in revenue in the future."

This comment by a Dennis in response to the article made me lol
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Posted 9/8/13 , edited 9/8/13
I laughed at that one, too lol

Apparently saving money is more important than civil liberties. A person shouldn't be denied employment for doing something legal in a legal place in a legal way. A few people argued that the employers are doing nothing wrong but, cmon, let's be realistic. Let's render all smokers unemployable in this area, regardless of whether they have been smoking for years or just have one cigarette every friday night when they go out with their friends. Nevermind that addicts need time to stop and that cold turkey is very hard for most addicts, or that removing the smokers means losing many skilled employees. Nevermind that smokers are more likely to have health issues and, so, will likely need more money for seeing doctors but will be forced to move or commute further for their jobs (also forcing them to work harder and be more stressed). No job = no money = possibly no home. There's way too much leverage and they don't have a real choice because they are forced into one by the circumstances. Heads I win, tails you lose.

Hopefully most of the employers in that region will be reasonable and not enforce that ban. Or at least just turn a blind eye to their smoking employees and allow them to keep working.
Posted 9/8/13 , edited 9/9/13
This is like how stereotypes work in way and I am to some extent in agreement with the reasons why private companies would want the screening process for new employers to include these tests and their consequent effectiveness.
v In that case, it's the old supply and demand argument. Employers might feel as though skills can be replaced and for that reason they are willing to use this as an opportunity to find more reasons to cut out the supply.
I can understand your argument about second hand smoking if true but not addiction. Even if employers understand addiction and from my understanding of addiction, they are people who take far too many 5 minute breaks.

Basically, I think for the employers it's a good way to mitigate risk by safeguarding the company against further misuse of resources. Having said that, I doubt it will be sustainable nor will it be taken seriously enough by the majority of companies..they don't need the potentially unnecessary extra cost.
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Posted 9/8/13 , edited 9/8/13
Thing is, you don't even have to smoke in order to be tested positive for nicotine. You can use a water-based vaporizer that has absolutely no harmful effects on other people even if you were to use it in a crowded area. You could have been in a room where people smoked for a few hours. You could be using a nicotine patch to curb your cravings and you aren't actively smoking.

Obese people and alcoholics cost their companies money due to health issues as well. And plain 'ol stupid people and dishonest people, too. I understand not smoking at work, but it seems pretty unfair to penalize a person this much for doing something he's free to do at home. The workplace shouldn't have this much control over your life.

I understand NOT liking smoking, but smokers needn't be treated this way, IMO. Addiction isn't as easy to overcome as people who don't understand it seem to think. The thing they always ask: If you want to stop smoking, why don't you just not smoke? This is something that only people who do not understand addictions ask.
Posted 9/8/13
Looking at the prices of cigarettes, including the risks, they just as well ban what only does harm to people.
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Posted 9/8/13 , edited 9/8/13
^That's a dangerous thought. I'm a stout believer that risks alone is not worth banning something over, since EVERYTHING carries risks. Real freedom invariably includes the right to choose, and not all the choices are the same. But that's the POINT. There's no point in having freedom if you aren't really allowed to make choices. Actually, that wouldn't be freedom at all. There's no real reason for people to not be able to make certain choices for themselves, so long as their taking advantage of their rights does not infringe upon the rights of someone else. And with smoking, they really don't as long as they don't do it in a packed public place.

Smoking without respecting the people in your presence seems more wrong than smoking in the comfort of your own home. And smoking once a month seems less dangerous than smoking a pack a day. Doesn't it seem wrong to treat them all the same way?

Smoking can help relieve stress. Not everyone wants to go run that mile or something. Smoking is convenient and users are well-informed about its potentially negative health effects. There are no doctors prescribing it or anything. Users make that choice and they roll out the dough with which to buy the cigs. Pretty fair. There shouldn't be any 'hidden costs' or 'fine print' like...oh, sorry, we won't hire you based solely on the fact that we found some nicotine in your body.

Tobacco generates money and is it legal. So, it's legal to use, perfectly okay with the government, been a part of human culture for centuries, you aren't violating anybody's rights by doing it, and (I assume) you paid for it. And then you can't have a job if you use it in that part of Florida now. Somehow.
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Posted 9/9/13
its all a crap shoot ... if a person wants to smoke then they should smoke ... if a person wants to weigh out the facts for themselves then they should ... an adult should be allowed to make an informed decision ... hopefully they are smart enough to search out the information and find out as many facts as they can before making a decision and if not, then who am i to tell someone they can't do something ... this is not a moral issue like some people would have "us" believe.
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Posted 9/9/13 , edited 9/9/13
I personally love the ban. Cigs do nothing for anyone but cause health problems. If you need a stress reliever exercise, find a healthy hobby, ect. As a non smoker why should I have to suffer from someone else's bad decision. Of course I have no problem with separate rooms ( smoker section vs non smoker section as long as theres good ventilation)
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24 / F / Iowa
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Posted 9/9/13
Iowa has banned cigarettes in public places for a long time now, except casinos. It's really nice in restaurants as I can breathe.
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Posted 9/10/13
Well, I personally don't smoke, and have worked in a restaurant where they had smoking and non-smoking areas prior to the smoking bans. It kind of sucked, but I put up with it.

My opinion is that they can smoke if they want, but give them a designated area to do it in, preferably far away from non-smokers. And only during their regularly scheduled breaks. Its not fair that they should get a "smoke break" when I still have to work.

At my workplace, they do health screenings every year and based on how health you are (weight, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, etc), you can reduce how much money you pay on the company's health insurance. Frankly I'm surprised this doesn't happen in more places. Not only does this encourage people to stop smoking and start living a healthier lifestyle while saving them some cash, but in the long run will help them to be healthier, and hopefully avoid costly hospital stays later in life due to bad lifestyle choices made while they were younger.
ikano1 
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Posted 9/10/13 , edited 9/10/13
I don't smoke, but I will say that people can choose what to do. That would be to a certain degree of course, like smoking at the workplace should stay illegal, but why not have all of the obese people in the county not work (phrased horribly I know ) because yes eating unhealthy and being over weight does not hurt people around you like cigarettes do, but your not smoking at work, you're doing it at home.

And one more thing, what about people on nicotine patches or gum, and people who use ''snus'' (even though it's not common in the US).
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Posted 9/10/13 , edited 9/11/13
^The tests are for the presence of nicotine, regardless of the source. You could potentially have it show up in your blood if you spend a weekend in a smoker-filled casino in Vegas for a weekend, even if you do not smoke yourself. Vaporizers and patches would introduce nicotine into your blood as well. Technically, you are not smoking. And nicotine and caffeine are 2 of the most widely used substances today.

If saving money for the company was a stand-alone reason, then something should be done about people who choose to eat unhealthily, drink, abuse prescription drugs, and make other 'poor' choices. But, no, nicotine users are targeted specifically. I wonder why.

Banning smoking in public is not the same, or even close to being in the same league, as limiting employment options based on whether someone smokes at all or not.

Smoking bans in public are okay because an involuntary activity needed for survival (breathing) has priority over the right to choose to smoke. It also is disrespectful to people who do not enjoy the smell of smoke or getting it all over their clothes. Establishments may not want to pay the costs associated with cleaning up the scent of smoke, or deal with losing business because their establishment smells. It's not unreasonable to get smokers to smoke somewhere that their direct effect on other people is limited. It's sort of like how it's not unreasonable to limit freedom of speech so that you can't yell 'FIRE!' in a crowded theater or how it's not unreasonable to allow people to dress and act as they want but make it a punishable offense to imitate a cop to take advantage of people. It's not unreasonable to get smokers to smoke in isolated or designated areas.

Also, this merely applies to the act of smoking, the one that has the most direct effect on surrounding people. Chewers and vapers and patch users do not smoke or affect the people around them with their activities. They will likely still be treated the same as people who smoke tobacco and be dealt with as a broad class of nicotine users, all of them considered equally unfit for employment and equally at risk to be financial liabilities for their employers. This, of course, is overlooked because people don't seem to care about their livelihood simply because of one thing they do.
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Posted 9/10/13
I believe it should be banned. I personally don't like inhaling cigarette smoke or the smell of it. Not only is it endangering the user, but it is also endangering those around the smoker who breathe it in. There are little to no perks of smoking, and smokers tend to just throw the butts of their cigarettes onto the floor, so cigarettes are not environmentally friendly. Smoking also ages you faster and messes up your mouth. There are much more better ways to achieving relaxation than smoking, and a whole lot of people who I see smoking don't have enough sex appeal to look cool when doing it. In fact, many of them look awkward and gross when they do it (they're coughing and spiiting everywhere ).
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Posted 9/11/13 , edited 9/11/13
There are much better ways to do almost anything but one can't and shouldn't herd people into just the 'best' method of doing everything. Doing so robs people of their freedom and turns them into mindless drones if everything is being chosen for them. 'Better' is also a very subjective term, especially when it comes to personal things such as stress relief, tastes, goals, etc.

I won't get at the moral implications of denying someone a choice that is more important to them than it is to yourself if their doing it does not affect you (ie. religious anti-abortionists) or others. But that's fine, too, and it's not the actual problem. Smoking is banned in most crowded public places already because people don't like to smell it. If it was banned completely (as in illegal), that would be a different story than treating people who are doing this legal activity differently by denying them employment options.

Not many people are getting at the main issue here. I'm not talking about whether smoking is right or wrong. I'm addressing the enormous implications of disadvantaging nicotine users in an area by denying them employment and treating them all as habitual smokers whose smoking actually affects the workplace. It doesn't, since most workplaces already have smoking regulations (since they are considered public areas) and not all nicotine users are smokers. Firing/denying someone for having nicotine in their body when it does not affect others at the workplace or have a negative effect on their productivity...?
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