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Employers Blood Testing To Stop Smokers

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posted on Jun, 19 2008 @ 04:00 PM
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Originally posted by TheRedneck


I just noticed I seem to be responding to you a lot in this thread...


Hey, I don't know what you mean to imply, but I enjoy reading your posts! I value your point of view.


I was thinking that you were simply unaware of the true controversy surrounding smoking, but now I am seriously wondering if you are not pushing a political agenda... Tell me I'm wrong?


Ok, here is my reasoning on this. I said this in an earlier post. I can understand why employers would blood test people for smoking if one of the requirements to work at their establishment is that their workers remain smoke free, even if they get smoke second hand. That is their rule, just as if they test you for illegal drugs. Granted, smoking is legal, but what it does to people is not good, even you admit that.

I don't agree with it, but if people want a job at a place that does that, then they have to live with the rules.

Employers lose a lot of money due to illnesses caused by smoking, hence that is why they are doing this, and I don't blame them. If you smoke at home, you may still be subjected to illness caused by smoking.

I don't agree with random blood tests, but I can understand the rationality behind it. So, I am a person who would not seek employment at a business that had a policy of no smoking, and random blood tests for it. Simple as that.

Once again, I am a smoker. While it is my right to pollute my own body, I don't feel justified in smoking around other people that do not choose to do so. I guess I am a curteous smoker. Maybe I am not addicted enough to think it is ok to punish other people with my second hand smoke.

You mentioned smoking while on the road, as well as in offices. During all 3 of my pregnancies I was able to quit smoking completely without so much as a craving. After my maternity leave, I would go back to an office that permitted smoking at our desks. It was like walking into a cloud at that place! Nearly everyone smoked there, and that made it quite easy for me to return to the habit.

When I moved to Louisiana, I obtained an interview at a large, well known accounting firm. I was asked if I smoked, which I didn't at the time. The owner asked me point blank about smoking repeatedly, because his mother had passed away from lung cancer. She did not smoke, but her husband was a heavy smoker. The guy told me watching his mother die from that cancer was the worst thing he had ever witnessed.

I was turned down for the position the next day with a personal phone call from the owner. He'd decided to pass me up in favor of another person because I smelled like cigarette smoke. Why did I smell like cigarette smoke? Because the people I lived with were smokers.

So yes, I feel for people who smoke and believe in their rights, to do as they please while not on a time clock. I have been discriminated against for other people smoking around me. But I can understand why some companies have these rules.

No, I don't have an agenda, but it very well could be I am trying to come up with reasons to get myself to kick the habit again, and hopefully for good. It's nothing more than that!




posted on Jun, 19 2008 @ 05:15 PM
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Originally posted by Enthralled Fan

Originally posted by TheRedneck


I just noticed I seem to be responding to you a lot in this thread...


Hey, I don't know what you mean to imply, but I enjoy reading your posts! I value your point of view.


I was thinking that you were simply unaware of the true controversy surrounding smoking, but now I am seriously wondering if you are not pushing a political agenda... Tell me I'm wrong?




Employers lose a lot of money due to illnesses caused by smoking, hence that is why they are doing this, and I don't blame them. If you smoke at home, you may still be subjected to illness caused by smoking.


Please show me the stats and how they were arrived at...I find that most folks simply repeat things they have already mentally assented to without asking how or why...not trying to be offensive or dismissive at all...but your statement above is a common tactic of health insurance companies marketing their plans to employers in order to get the employers to comply with and buy their plans- and means very little in terms of hard science - I was an HR professional for a number of years and am familiar with this "gimic"..Its a common bait and switch technique in sales and marketing....


I don't agree with random blood tests, but I can understand the rationality behind it. So, I am a person who would not seek employment at a business that had a policy of no smoking, and random blood tests for it. Simple as that.



I understand the rationality as well - the bottom line - $$$$$$$$ - and this is what we, the folks who enable the profit machine, are continually reduced to by corpoarate culture - but the bottom line is NOT what my life is about and it is not the core value by which I live - therefore I oppose this kind of bend - over thinking...

As the second part of your statement - that you wouldn't seek employment in a place that does random testing for nicotine - once one business finds that can they can pracitce this kind of control and invasion of privacy without challenge - it will be come common place...and your choice will no longer be "simple as that".



posted on Jun, 19 2008 @ 06:00 PM
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Originally posted by realshanti

Please show me the stats and how they were arrived at...I find that most folks simply repeat things they have already mentally assented to without asking how or why...not trying to be offensive or dismissive at all...but your statement above is a common tactic of health insurance companies marketing their plans to employers in order to get the employers to comply with and buy their plans- and means very little in terms of hard science - I was an HR professional for a number of years and am familiar with this "gimic"..Its a common bait and switch technique in sales and marketing....


Ok, here is an article that has statistics from several sources, so hopefully you will not consider it biased. It lists several reasons why smokers cost employers "big time!"

www.businessknowhow.com...


While you may think that an employee's choice to smoke is a strictly private matter, perhaps you'll reconsider when you know what smokers can cost their employers. Here's a few U.S. statistics that may surprise you.



I understand the rationality as well - the bottom line - $$$$$$$$ - and this is what we, the folks who enable the profit machine, are continually reduced to by corpoarate culture - but the bottom line is NOT what my life is about and it is not the core value by which I live - therefore I oppose this kind of bend - over thinking...


Actually I don't consider it "bend-over thinking." I don't think to many companies are in business to lose money. If they have to pay more to insure their employees for health insurance, eventually it trickles down to the employee taking a larger bite out of their paycheck. So it's going to cost you one way or the other. Maybe we should be blaming health insurance companies for this?


As the second part of your statement - that you wouldn't seek employment in a place that does random testing for nicotine - once one business finds that can they can pracitce this kind of control and invasion of privacy without challenge - it will be come common place...and your choice will no longer be "simple as that".


Well, I guess it depends if you consider it an invasion of privacy. Now, Redneck is going to think I have an agenda, but seriously, I do see this as a money saving tactic not only for employers, but for employees, and not an invasion of privacy. Since you worked in HR for a long time, you should know that the higher insurance rates go, the more the cost is passed on to employees.

edit to fix quotes

[edit on 19-6-2008 by Enthralled Fan]



posted on Jun, 19 2008 @ 06:25 PM
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reply to post by Enthralled Fan

Ok, here is my reasoning on this. I said this in an earlier post. I can understand why employers would blood test people for smoking if one of the requirements to work at their establishment is that their workers remain smoke free, even if they get smoke second hand. That is their rule, just as if they test you for illegal drugs. Granted, smoking is legal, but what it does to people is not good, even you admit that.


As mentioned earlier (I think in this thread) I am tested fairly continually for alcohol and drugs. There are urine tests when employed, during each physical (2 years), after every accident or incident, and then randomly among all employees of every truckling firm.

I accept this because alcohol and illegal drugs cause a change in perception and can lead to impairment, unlike tobacco. There is no increased risk of accident with nicotine in my system, whereas there is a major increased risk with THC or alcohol in it.

While it is true an employer can require anything they want of their employees, it is also true that overly zealous employers can harm not only themselves, but society as a whole by instituting policy for everyone, becoming a kind of defacto government. In a perfect world, I would say this is something that should be handled by the people either refusing to be an employee, or by a public boycott of the business. Unfortunately, we live in a world where as long as it does not affect someone directly, that someone will likely ignore any threat to the freedom of others.


Employers lose a lot of money due to illnesses caused by smoking, hence that is why they are doing this, and I don't blame them. If you smoke at home, you may still be subjected to illness caused by smoking.


If you are speaking of increased health costs, the employer does not pay more for a smoker than for a non-smoker. Also, if someone in their office is using a higher cost insurance, then would it not be prudent to simply have that employee buy their own insurance, subsidized with whatever the employer would normally pay for insurance?

If you are speaking of productivity lost due to that smoke break, then it is the employers own policy that is causing the problem.

If you are speaking of time lost due to illness, that is a very dangerous slope to start sliding down. you have been discriminated against due to association with smokers; how would you feel if you were discriminated because of a history of heart disease in your family, a history of diabetes, a family history of obesity, etc.? These types of discrimination are just as legitimate as a policy against smokers.


You mentioned smoking while on the road, as well as in offices. During all 3 of my pregnancies I was able to quit smoking completely without so much as a craving. After my maternity leave, I would go back to an office that permitted smoking at our desks. It was like walking into a cloud at that place! Nearly everyone smoked there, and that made it quite easy for me to return to the habit.


I have to commend you for stopping while your baby was at risk. I myself will not smoke in the vicinity of any child under 6 months of age. I arrived at that age because it is supposed to be (according to medical 'experts') the age at which the human immune system is fully formed and independent.

I will also try to defer smoking for a short time, or at least attempt to direct the smoke away from anyone who claims to be or appears to be bothered by it. I have no desire to offend others with my habit; I simply feel that the present attitude toward smoking is going way over the line between my right to smoke and other's right to not be bothered with me.

I congratulate you on your desire to quit, as cigarettes are definitely not GNC staples. I wish you the best in your endeavor. But please do not become an anti-smoker while you are becoming a non-smoker.

TheRedneck



posted on Jun, 19 2008 @ 08:41 PM
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reply to post by TheRedneck
 


Redneck
A saying that an employer does not pay more for a smoker then a non smoker is not completely true.
The employer will pay more for medical costs for a smoking then a non smoker. That is what has gotten this whole thing started.
As an incentive some companies are giving there employees adational discounts on there sponcered medical insherance.



posted on Jun, 19 2008 @ 09:33 PM
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reply to post by RedGolem

As a former business owner, I know for a fact that every insurance company that I checked out group insurance with gave no discount for non-smokers, nor did they have higher prices if an employee smoked. That is apparently only applicable on individual policies.

Also, no business pays actual medical costs, they pay insurance subsidies as an incentive to their employees.

TheRedneck



posted on Jun, 20 2008 @ 05:32 AM
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although, I do believe that if a company has alot of claims stacked up at the insurance company, then the insurance company might decide to charge a little more money to insure the company's employees. or at least this is the excuse they gave the last time the employee's share of the insurance at my workplace jumped. ya see, the average age for our employees at the shop is probably somewhere between 40 or 50 years.....we have about three employees that are over 80!!! (gee, if a smoker is driving up your healthcare costs so badly, just think what three 80 year old ladies would be doing to it! Maybe my boss should force them into retirement?)

not really serious about the 80 year olds and the retirement bit, but well.....the fact still remains...those 80 year olds are racking up higher medical costs than I am for sure! umm...their productivity isn't the best either..... our IRA's are .ing very quickly into the sewer, social security isn't gonna be around much longer. we will need our citizens working as long as they can. just because they are more sickly than you young chaps, and may work a little slower doesn't mean they have nothing to contribute....
so, using the same logic.....they are costing the company money.....shall we force all these older people out of the workplace...to save the company's money?

by the way, that young 20 something that they are always sticking me with is costing them a heck of alot of money also. if all the time she was off doing her own thing instead of working were unofficial smoking breaks, well, she'd have to be smoking about a pack each 8 hour shift. she's missed more time at work than anyone else in the shop, and her kids have seen the doctor more in the last month than I have in the past three years. AND SHE'S ONE OF THOSE ANTI-SMOKERS...
so, ya, I challenge the assumption that the smokers are costing their employers any more than anyone else in the shop.
guess I'll ask it again.....why is it more of a crime to take off for five minutes for a smoke break than it is to take 5 minutes off to run down and have a gab session with one of your co-workers, or take another nice leisurely stroll through the shop to the water fountain to fill up your water bottle for the 6th time in the past two hours? I smoke, I have one of the better attendance records at the shop, I work, so the little 20 something doesn't have to and can have all this time for bull sessions with her boyfriend (no, he's not the father of the child she just had....she dumped him right after the baby was born....so, ya, you and me are paying for the frequent visits the kids make to the doctors)....and, I've been to the doctor maybe four times since I started working for the company three years ago!
and....I AM TWICE HER AGE!

we have about three or four alchoholics in the shop......they ain't costing them money? drug addicts??? lol....yep, they're there... hair dyers, hair permers....got it! computer geeks that sit at their computers all night after spending all day working at the computer at work....yep, got one of them also. and that doesn't even go into the flock we all are breathing in all day at work, or the chemicals we are playing with!!
all of which, my dear....I've done the research on.....they'll tear up the lungs, the kidneys, the liver just as bad as smoking, alchohol, or anything else is!

so, ya, we are a sick bunch, but we would be even if we did everything we could outside of the workplace to live a toxic free life!

by god, if society has the right to poison me, I have the right to enjoy any toxic maritini of my choice!



posted on Jun, 20 2008 @ 05:35 AM
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LOL now its getting really funny ...
try to find reasons to make this seem plausable ...



posted on Jun, 20 2008 @ 05:37 AM
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well seeing this discussion, reminds me of something that my mother has tought me long time ago - tolerance is a must in every behaviour. she is non smoker first of all. she was against my smoking but allowed me to do what i want with my body. of course i couldn't smoke in front of her but not by banning smoking, instead teaching me tolerance. smoke in your room if you want to kill yourself kind of agreement. now , i smoke when i'm with smokers and not smoke in front of non smokers. so little bit of respect from both sides makes peace. (and i smoke 2 packs a day)
is it so hard to smoke on open air?
but banning me smoking alone in my room or banning my smoking on fresh air? that's the same kind of ignorance if i would smoke in full room of non-smokers.
so people posting here should remember why they came here in first place
DENY IGNORANCE



posted on Jun, 20 2008 @ 05:44 AM
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Honestly I can see where both sides are coming from. On one hand the employers are losing money because smokers take more sick leaves then non-smokers.



A study of Swedish workers has found that smokers take more than a week more annual sick leave than nonsmokers, even after adjusting for smokers' general health and their tendency to take more stressful or physically taxing jobs.

Using data on 14,272 workers ages 16 to 65, researchers studied sick leave reports from a nationwide survey conducted from 1988 to 1991. According to background information in the article, smokers are known to choose more dangerous jobs than nonsmokers and are more likely to be involved in risky activities. Those tendencies, the article said, rather than smoking, might contribute to the greater number of sick days among smokers. But even after statistically controlling for these factors, the large difference between smokers and nonsmokers was evident.
Source


On the other hand, smokers are addicted to cigarettes. If they quite then they will feel much more stressed at work and therefore the owner loses money. This is a lose-lose situation.



posted on Jun, 20 2008 @ 05:46 AM
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i forgot
why ban all the bars from smoking?
look at nazi politics
i'm the owner of the bar and i smoke.
my two employees smoke like steamboats.
95% of my guests smoke
because of 5% of guests that can always go to another non smoking bar
we cannot smoke?
why i can't make smoking bar and we all can kill ourselves wit cigs.
personal choice is taken here.



posted on Jun, 20 2008 @ 06:11 AM
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Decades ago, when I was in my early twenties and just out of med school (and in residence), the pharmaceutical companies were paying doctors to recommend smoking cigarettes as a therapeutic stress-reduction medication....

But that was 45+ years ago. Times have changed.

Funny enough, one of the companies that pushed so hard for this now makes SSRIs, Zyban, the patch and nicotine gum - that is excellent long-term business strategy.


One of the 50s-60'smarketing pitches about dealing with anti-smokers like they were Nazi or communist sympathizers... An effective tactics phased out by "political correctness" (a term created in a communist think tank) that I believe should be brought back into practice for a myriad of reasons.

Freedom can't abide a communo-fascist.



posted on Jun, 20 2008 @ 06:41 AM
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Originally posted by groingrinder
reply to post by lost in the midwest
 


Once a man has fathered a welfare baby, he should be sterilized. We do not need to keep forking over tax money because some gangsta cannot keep his dick in his pants.



I NO RITE!!!!!!

If they had jobs and worked like the rest of us they'd be too tired to have 5~6 kids.



posted on Jun, 21 2008 @ 06:14 AM
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I recently quit after smoking for 45 years,they say smoking kills, it probably does,but it hasn,t killed me yet. I only quit because i did not like the control of the addiction ,even though i liked the pleasure from cigarettes. In uk a packet of cigs (20) is around 5 pounds ,or 10 us dollars,around 80 percent of this is tax.
For generations the governments have received massive fortunes in taxation,now they want you to quit, on the news today, in scotland you will be paid by the government cash if you quit smoking.



posted on Jun, 21 2008 @ 08:35 PM
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reply to post by Anonymous ATS
 


Congratulations on quitting.
With eighty percent of the purchase price on those cigs being tax it is almost supriseing the government is willing to pay you to quit. But then again, just another sign of the things to come.



posted on Jun, 24 2008 @ 05:11 AM
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reply to post by Anonymous ATS
 


CONGRATS on quitting ..
As for the rest ....You are all lost ...
Even considering and discussing this issue is pathetic ...As if the gov. has the right to tell you what you can and cannot do shows the conditioned state of some people ..as Always I do pity you ..



posted on Jun, 24 2008 @ 05:28 AM
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reply to post by terte
 


The government or the ruleing body has always been able to tell people what to do since the beginning of life. Even in anarchy that is true. In a free society the trick is to strike a ballence between government control and personal freedoms. The tobacco use is one of the freedoms that I just think is on the way out.



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