• This is a political forum that is non-biased/non-partisan and treats every persons position on topics equally. This debate forum is not aligned to any political party. In today's politics, many ideas are split between and even within all the political parties. Often we find ourselves agreeing on one platform but some topics break our mold. We are here to discuss them in a civil political debate. If this is your first visit to our political forums, be sure to check out the RULES. Registering for debate politics is necessary before posting. Register today to participate - it's free!
  • Welcome to our archives. No new posts are allowed here.

Smokers

would you fire your employees for smoking?

  • yes

    Votes: 6 11.8%
  • no

    Votes: 45 88.2%

  • Total voters
    51

MeChMAN

Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2005
Messages
109
Reaction score
1
Location
Florida
Have you heard about the employees for some company in Minnesota that were fired for smoking, not weed but cigarettes. I know the company wouldn't want to pay for a smoking employees medical bills later as their health decreases rapidly but do you think this would be a basis for termination?
 

Squawker

Professor
DP Veteran
Joined
Feb 12, 2005
Messages
1,314
Reaction score
4
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
This is one of those issues that has been blown way out of proportion. The employees can always leave and I would do that before I would let an employer tell me what I could or couldn't do in my own home. Save Social Security and let them smoke. lol
 

Schweddy

Benevolent Dictator
Administrator
DP Veteran
Joined
May 19, 2004
Messages
12,176
Reaction score
6,279
Location
Plano, TX
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian - Right
I agree with Squawker.

I am a smoker and often enjoy it - most of the time I do not. Hard to explain to non-smokers.

Isn't this really discrimination?
 

Squawker

Professor
DP Veteran
Joined
Feb 12, 2005
Messages
1,314
Reaction score
4
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
Isn't this really discrimination?
I would say it is. It is also a privacy issue. What would happen if an employer fired a gay person because he "might" get Aids and cost the company money? How about the fat person who "might" have to have a triple by pass?
 

mixedmedia

iniquitably employed
DP Veteran
Joined
Dec 10, 2004
Messages
6,823
Reaction score
373
Location
Naples, FL
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Liberal
vauge said:
I agree with Squawker.

I am a smoker and often enjoy it - most of the time I do not. Hard to explain to non-smokers.

Isn't this really discrimination?
I am a smoker, vauge, and I know exactly what you're talking about. Often I hate the taste of cigarettes. There's really only a few times when they are truly appreciated for their "benefits." Yet, smoke them I do. Thus I am an erratic smoker.

The issue is ridiculous though, if the employer is basing the claim on future health problems. There are MANY things that people do that could cause future long-term health problems for people. Just getting into your car and driving around being one of them. Eating bad foods & not getting enough exercise - heart disease being the number one killer of men & women in America.

Although, now that I think about it, perhaps the prospect of losing your job would be an effective way of promoting healthy living to Americans. Nothing else seems to work. It's not like we're going to listen to experts or anything crazy like that.
 

labwitch

New member
Joined
Mar 12, 2005
Messages
30
Reaction score
2
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
come upon a dead body lying in the texas heat in high summer (been there a coupla days), and you either smoke or puke. your choice. we have areas away from the area of contamination where officers, techs. detectives and doctors can indulge, just don't try it in the morgue or lab, your entire face will melt off. :eek: chemicals you know, volatile ones.
 

shuamort

Pundit-licious
DP Veteran
Joined
Feb 4, 2005
Messages
7,297
Reaction score
1,000
Location
Saint Paul, MN
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
vauge said:
I agree with Squawker.

I am a smoker and often enjoy it - most of the time I do not. Hard to explain to non-smokers.

Isn't this really discrimination?
Not legally, no. Minnesota has "at will" employment, meaning that an employer can fire a person for any reason they want to as long as it's not based on a protected class. Smoking is not a protected class. A firm in Michigan, Weyco, just did the same thing as well. If the state has "at will" employment, they can do what they want. Like it or not, it's free-market capitalism.

That said, I think what these firms are doing is completely ridiculous. But it's their right in America to discriminate against smokers all they want.
 

labwitch

New member
Joined
Mar 12, 2005
Messages
30
Reaction score
2
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
don't get the witch started on discrimination period! not discrimination against smokers, not race discrimination, not gay discrimination, not ANY discrimination. you really DO NOT want to see what this witch's dark side is about!
 

Attachments

Last edited:

Fantasea

DP Veteran
Joined
Dec 14, 2004
Messages
3,692
Reaction score
8
I don't think I ever met a smoker who didn't pick up the habit as an immature teen ager.

After having watched several nicotine addicted relatives die agonizingly slow, painful deaths, I can't understand why mature adults, who are intelligent enough to realize the risk and can figure the odds, continue to smoke.
 

Urethra Franklin

Folle
DP Veteran
Joined
Feb 4, 2005
Messages
3,579
Reaction score
979
Location
European Union
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
Fantasea said:
I don't think I ever met a smoker who didn't pick up the habit as an immature teen ager.

After having watched several nicotine addicted relatives die agonizingly slow, painful deaths, I can't understand why mature adults, who are intelligent enough to realize the risk and can figure the odds, continue to smoke.

It's called enjoying yourself. Having fun. But what would you know about that.
 

Contrarian

Active member
Joined
Dec 28, 2004
Messages
335
Reaction score
5
Location
The Constitution State - Connecticut
The point that everyone is missing here, is the insurance company that provides the health coverage for these employees is calling the shots. Most employer companies undergo an underwriting process whereby the insurer assess "risk" for that company. High risk... high premiums.

Most employees poo, poo this, but the fact is, the very viability of some companies is placed in question by staggering health benefit costs. As an employer, I can tell you it is not uncommon for me to pay $1,000 to $1,200 per month for family coverage. Multiply that over a couple hundred employees!

Mixed, you are right about obesity etc., but the number 1 health risk is still smoking. Not only lung cancer, but heart disease and stroke have the majority of their victims sitting in the smoking section. It also grossly effects the oxygen absorbtion throughout the body, depriving all tissues of O2 stimulating free radical production leading to cancers, lymphomas, leukemias etc etc. Friendly advice... stop it if you can.

People want their jobs. They want good salaries. They want the stock of that company to go up so they can have a nice retirement fund, and the insurance companies want to make huge profits because their shareholders ( these very same people) expect that return. Can't have it all ways people. Somethings gotta give.
 

mixedmedia

iniquitably employed
DP Veteran
Joined
Dec 10, 2004
Messages
6,823
Reaction score
373
Location
Naples, FL
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Liberal
Gee, I thought you knew everything. We're just stupid people, plain and simple. You know only stupid people are subject to addictions and cravings brought on by the stresses of modern living.

Wow, some people are mighty special not having any vices and all. No weaknesses or foibles. Tell me, is it a blessing or a curse?
 

Pacridge

DP Veteran
Joined
Nov 14, 2004
Messages
3,918
Reaction score
9
Location
Pacific Northwest US
I don't fire people who smoke. Mainly because I don't hire people who smoke. I run a mainly seasonly business. We make and sell Christmas wreaths, though I do sell sporting goods year around. So in part having smokers around is some what of a fire hazard. But the real reason is when I've hired smokers in the past they tend to need a break once an hour or at a min. once every two hours to go smoke. Non-smokers work for 3-4 hours then take a scheduled break. I'm not interested in being a slave driver, but it seems every time I've hired a smoker they're constantly leaving the work area early and coming back late. We're making a time sensitive item and we make hundreds a day during the season. Really it's not fair to the other non-smokers and it causes some discontent within the employees. So- it's just easier to hire people who I know don't smoke. Plus I hire a lot of kids from the local High School to come work here after school hours. I think it sets a bad example.
 

Contrarian

Active member
Joined
Dec 28, 2004
Messages
335
Reaction score
5
Location
The Constitution State - Connecticut
Good point Pac. I actually had a quasi "rebellion" of non-smoker employees who began to take what they called a "simulated smoke break" because they felt the smokers received additional breaks. Pretty funny, and a cut into our productivity across the board.

But the biggest problem for me was contending with the crushing medical insurance premiums. Every year the insurance companies came back and demanded more money with fewer benefits. Connecticut happens to be a state run by the insurance companies. Many of their HQs are here and the are a very powerful lobby and taxbase. I was so sick of them, I opened an office out of NY just to qualify for NY rated insurance (community rated, not individual company underwriting). As a result I can save approx 20% covering my CT employees through our NY HQ.

Mixed, I am assuming you were responding to our moral and perfect debate colleague Fant... afterall... I am a big fan of vices!
 

Fantasea

DP Veteran
Joined
Dec 14, 2004
Messages
3,692
Reaction score
8
Urethra Franklin said:
It's called enjoying yourself. Having fun. But what would you know about that.
Call it what you wish. The truth, as you well know is that smoking is a smelly, filthy, addiction to nicotine, the price of which is an average of fifteen years of one's life, with the expectation of a horribly painful slow and expensive death.

Cigarette: A fire at one end, a fool at the other, and a bit of tobacco in between.
 

Urethra Franklin

Folle
DP Veteran
Joined
Feb 4, 2005
Messages
3,579
Reaction score
979
Location
European Union
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
Fantasea said:
Call it what you wish. The truth, as you well know is that smoking is a smelly, filthy, addiction to nicotine, the price of which is an average of fifteen years of one's life, with the expectation of a horribly painful slow and expensive death.

Cigarette: A fire at one end, a fool at the other, and a bit of tobacco in between.
I'm not a smoker, but provided smokers don't do it in my home, I have no problem with their personal choice, and I don't judge, something you do constantly. It's a very ugly trait you have. I've just had houseguests from the UK for the weekend - both smokers who very respectfully went outside when they wanted a cigarette. They enjoy tobacco. They know the risks. Good luck to them.

Fant, do you drink alcohol? Tea? Coffee? Eat red meat? They might all harm your health, but I won't be so judgemnetal as to call you a "fool" for using legal drugs like caffeine. You've just criticizd me for namecalling in another thread, but now you're off. However we're used to hypocrisy and incoherence from you.

What do YOU do for fun Fant? What's your idea of a rip roaring good time? Bible class? Saying prayers? Bombing abortion clinics?
 
Last edited:

Pacridge

DP Veteran
Joined
Nov 14, 2004
Messages
3,918
Reaction score
9
Location
Pacific Northwest US
Contrarian said:
Good point Pac. I actually had a quasi "rebellion" of non-smoker employees who began to take what they called a "simulated smoke break" because they felt the smokers received additional breaks. Pretty funny, and a cut into our productivity across the board.

But the biggest problem for me was contending with the crushing medical insurance premiums. Every year the insurance companies came back and demanded more money with fewer benefits. Connecticut happens to be a state run by the insurance companies. Many of their HQs are here and the are a very powerful lobby and taxbase. I was so sick of them, I opened an office out of NY just to qualify for NY rated insurance (community rated, not individual company underwriting). As a result I can save approx 20% covering my CT employees through our NY HQ.

Mixed, I am assuming you were responding to our moral and perfect debate colleague Fant... afterall... I am a big fan of vices!
I only have one year round employee and she's covered by her husbands health insurance. I don't provide health insurance. I checked into it about five years ago because a couple of my employees had small children and I was concerned that they didn't have any. But since we only employee people for 2 1/2 sometimes 3 months a year the cost was obscene. It would have literally been near 1/2 to 3/4 of my payroll. I'd really like to do it and I know some could really use it. But I can't bankrupt my business trying to provide health insurance. This last year I found a company that would provide to small businesses on an individual bases where each individual employee could sign up for it. I offered to pay half for anyone that did. It was something like $1100. No one signed up. I heard later that a couple employees thought I was getting some kind of "kick back" for signing people up for it. So for offering to pay $550 a month to help some get health insurance I some how ended up looking like the bad guy.

Contrarian, I'm not sure I've ever read what type of business you have. But if you're business is anything like mine you know that dealing with employees can be one of the biggest headaches. My business is dormant about 8 months of the years and then it's go, go, go- run, run, run. Christmas items aren't worth much after the 25th. So when order come in we have to get to them and get them out the door. I find about 90% of my employees are great, but there's always that 10%. They tend to make things hard on every one.

Which is why, like I said, I weeded out the smokers. It was just one more issue that I didn't have to deal with. Though to be honest a couple of the smokers were actually producing more product in less time. They were taking longer breaks but were putting out more when they were working. I wasn't as concerned about it as the employees. I was fine with the smokers as long as they smoked outside and didn't blow it in my face. But the other employees damn near had a mini revolt. They spent more time bit*hing and moaning then doing anything else. And in a couple instances I'm sure it had more to with personality conflicts than anything else. So no more smokers. In a way I don't think it was fair to the smokers. But I've got a business to run and in the end had to make a decision that I thought was fair to the most people and didn't hurt the bottom line. Non-smokers by far out numbered smokers. Smokers are indeed a dying breed.
 

Contrarian

Active member
Joined
Dec 28, 2004
Messages
335
Reaction score
5
Location
The Constitution State - Connecticut
I am a renaissance man Pac, like Leonardo da Vinci (one of my heros), I have a number of businesses and disciplines. Why do one thing when there is so much out there to explore! I'll tell you over a scotch one day or via private message.... I don't want to bore our colleagues on DP.

You said: Smokers are indeed a dying breed.

Literally and figuratively my friend!
 

Fantasea

DP Veteran
Joined
Dec 14, 2004
Messages
3,692
Reaction score
8
Urethra Franklin said:
I'm not a smoker, but provided smokers don't do it in my home, I have no problem with their personal choice, and I don't judge, something you do constantly. It's a very ugly trait you have. I've just had houseguests from the UK for the weekend - both smokers who very respectfully went outside when they wanted a cigarette. They enjoy tobacco. They know the risks. Good luck to them.
Do I detect the aroma of hypocricy here?

It would seen that your message regarding your own attitude toward smokers was imparted with sufficient clarity that your weekend guests took their "craving' outside. (I hope it wasn't raining.) Else why were they not encouraged to make themselves comfortable in your home? You know, the, "Mi casa, su casa" routine.
Fant, do you drink alcohol? Tea? Coffee? Eat red meat? They might all harm your health, but I won't be so judgemnetal as to call you a "fool" for using legal drugs like caffeine. You've just criticizd me for namecalling in another thread, but now you're off. However we're used to hypocrisy and incoherence from you.

What do YOU do for fun Fant? What's your idea of a rip roaring good time? Bible class? Saying prayers? Bombing abortion clinics?
For amusement, I trade barbs with folks in this forum.
 

Urethra Franklin

Folle
DP Veteran
Joined
Feb 4, 2005
Messages
3,579
Reaction score
979
Location
European Union
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
Fantasea said:
Do I detect the aroma of hypocricy here?

It would seen that your message regarding your own attitude toward smokers was imparted with sufficient clarity that your weekend guests took their "craving' outside..
Not at all Fant.
Cigarettes leave a smell which is unpleasant to non smokers. Not wanting that smell in my home is not the same as labelling smokers "fools" or as judging smokers for what they do to their bodies in the pursuit of pleasure.
They chose to go outside because they are polite people. Most polite smokers don't smoke in other's homes or at the dinner table: just as I don't fart in the same circumstances.
Fantasea said:
why were they not encouraged to make themselves comfortable in your home?
So you would allow smokers to light up in your home, but you'd sit there tutting, waving the finger and calling them fools. Very welcoming.
 
Last edited:

Fantasea

DP Veteran
Joined
Dec 14, 2004
Messages
3,692
Reaction score
8
Urethra Franklin said:
Not at all Fant.
Cigarettes leave a smell which is unpleasant to non smokers. Not wanting that smell in my home is not the same as labelling smokers "fools" or as judging smokers for what they do to their bodies in the pursuit of pleasure.
They chose to go outside because they are polite people. Most polite smokers don't smoke in other's homes or at the dinner table: just as I don't fart in the same circumstances.

So you would allow smokers to light up in your home, but you'd sit there tutting, waving the finger and calling them fools. Very welcoming.
They are free to suck up all the smoke they wish. They just can't exhale.

Kind of puts us on the same side of the fence, doesn't it?

Call it pursuit of pleasure, if you wish. I believe its more like an addiction they would prefer to shed, except that the pain is too great. Did you ever notice what happens to these poor unfortunates when the nicotine wears off and they are unable to get an immediate dose?

We've all heard the smoker's plaint, "It's just to calm my nerves." What that means is that the stuff is out of their system and they're starting to get the shakes. Absolutely no pleasure involved. Just another kind of 'fix'.

The sad part is that the very young, in an effort to emulate the adult, does what the adult does. By the time youthful smokers realize that they are not in control, they've become addicted and can't break the habit. What they don't realize, however, is that the addicted adult being emulated, regrets that he ever started.
 

Urethra Franklin

Folle
DP Veteran
Joined
Feb 4, 2005
Messages
3,579
Reaction score
979
Location
European Union
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
Fantasea said:
. Did you ever notice what happens to these poor unfortunates when the nicotine wears off and they are unable to get an immediate dose?

.
Same thing happens to me if I don't get my coffee in the morning, but the moment I get my ristretto, it's sheer pleasure.
I think the difference between us is that I don't judge, and I wouldn't stoop to calling them fools. I'm not averse to namecalling when the occasion calls for it, but this wouldn't be one of them, and you who decried namecalling in another thread, should practise what you preach.
 

mixedmedia

iniquitably employed
DP Veteran
Joined
Dec 10, 2004
Messages
6,823
Reaction score
373
Location
Naples, FL
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Liberal
Fantasea said:
They are free to suck up all the smoke they wish. They just can't exhale.

Kind of puts us on the same side of the fence, doesn't it?

Call it pursuit of pleasure, if you wish. I believe its more like an addiction they would prefer to shed, except that the pain is too great. Did you ever notice what happens to these poor unfortunates when the nicotine wears off and they are unable to get an immediate dose?

We've all heard the smoker's plaint, "It's just to calm my nerves." What that means is that the stuff is out of their system and they're starting to get the shakes. Absolutely no pleasure involved. Just another kind of 'fix'.

The sad part is that the very young, in an effort to emulate the adult, does what the adult does. By the time youthful smokers realize that they are not in control, they've become addicted and can't break the habit. What they don't realize, however, is that the addicted adult being emulated, regrets that he ever started.
Your overdramatizing something you don't agree with is typical of conservatives. Not all of us smokers are quivering nicotine junkies, Fantasea. Just like not all drinkers are skid row bums with the DTs.

And personally, I do not smoke at work and, with the exception of one job I had where everyone smoked, my supervisors don't even know I am a smoker. Pac & Contrarian, I say if you don't want your smoking employees to take too many smoke breaks, then limit their smoke breaks to the normal 10 mins. in the morning, lunch & 10 mins. in the afternoon. If they can't hack it, then perhaps they need to find other employment.
And I still do not agree w/ the health insurance angle. Heart disease caused by bad diet & too little exercise is the number one killer in America. You simply cannot regulate people's behavior to make insurance premiums lower, otherwise you would have to ban employees from doing MOST of the things that they currently do. Including driving a car. Very dangerous that.
 

mixedmedia

iniquitably employed
DP Veteran
Joined
Dec 10, 2004
Messages
6,823
Reaction score
373
Location
Naples, FL
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Liberal
Urethra Franklin said:
Same thing happens to me if I don't get my coffee in the morning, but the moment I get my ristretto, it's sheer pleasure.
I think the difference between us is that I don't judge, and I wouldn't stoop to calling them fools. I'm not averse to namecalling when the occasion calls for it, but this wouldn't be one of them, and you who decried namecalling in another thread, should practise what you preach.

Judgement dealing is an addiction brought on by the stresses of excessive self-importance. It often leads to name-calling and the illusion of extreme moral superiority. We should feel sorry for the poor soul.
 
Top Bottom