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Tobacco free hiring policies - stepping up or stepping on?

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  • Tobacco free hiring policies - stepping up or stepping on?

    A friend's brother recently applied for a security position at a hospital in his city and was turned down upon the submission of his application about an hour after. He has a decent background, very good working person and level headed. They turned him away because he is a smoker but not a chronic one, like me he is a passive -when I feel like it- cigar person. He told them that he was a passive cigar smoker but they said it was still considered not in accordance to their policy.

    Now first I am not one to go pounding ones' chest and yelling out things in the name of rights but you know this rather bothers me. I get the idea of making America healthier but somehow this might go too far? Are they trying to cut out the smoker's brakes? That might be the only thing I can figure out because I must admit I do see that a lot in some places. Alternatively, are they trying to cut health care costs in regards to an employee who developed cancer and is now having to cut into the company's fat insurance budget for care? What if you are on nicotine for quitting, and they use it for other things besides quitting smoking I believe?

    In addition, if you did not tell them upon applying and when the drug test came back positive you would be dismissed then anyways. Just do not know about this one. I get the idea that your body is your own but then also if you abuse it to the point of where it affects your job then there is a problem. You have drinkers, over eaters and so on.

    Nevertheless, where is the balance in this?
    My views, opinions and statements are my own. They are not of my company, affiliates or coworkers.

    -Being bagger at Publix has more respect these days

    -It's just a job kid deal with it

    -The industry needs to do one of two things; stop fiddling with the thin line and go forward or go back to that way it was. A flashlight in one hand and your set of keys in the other

  • #2
    Tobacco Free Hiring Policies - Stepping Up Or Stepping On?

    I had not heard of this for security positions, until now. I have heard of it for police and fire, however. In fact, the police department that I was at for over 10 years put that in place after I started there. It only affected new hires. Prior to hire, they had to sign an agreement that they would have absolutely no use of tobacco, in any form, on duty or off. It was explained to us that this came under some sort of "fireman's rule" with regards to heard disease. Apparently this had been tested in the courts and was deemed to be a valid, job related condition of employment for police officers and firefighters. At the same time they instituted annual physical fitness testing. Again, it was voluntary for current coppers, but required for new hires prior to hire and each years after that to keep your job.

    A bit over 10 years years there, I went to a sheriff's office. The sheriff that hired me did not have anything of that sort in place. The next sheriff, however, was very proactive about fitness and mandated an annual physical fitness test. The county board had to approve the spending for the annual testing of all sworn staff, plus all of the non-sworn correctional deputies. Non-sworn staff were allowed to participate if they so desired. Surprisingly, the new sheriff did NOT put any sort of restriction on new hires. I suspect that as a practical matter, he simply could not have found enough people that were non-smokers that wanted to work in the jail!

    I suspect that when the sheriff did his final interview, prior to hiring new deputies, he may have asked that very question. I simply cannot think of many new deputies hired, after he was elected, that used tobacco. Perhaps it was simply a coincidence, but I rather doubt it.

    With regard to the hospital, I strongly suspect that it may be to reduce health care costs. I have read statistics that show that tobacco users miss more work days of work and use the health care system at a disproportionately higher rate than non-users.

    The other possible factor is the image of the facility. It does kind of show mixed signals to walk into a building of a health care provider and see employees standing near the doorway smoking their cigarettes. Yes, I have seen nurses, in uniform, smoking outside of hospitals, clinics, etc.

    I think the image factor is an important one. In fact, I was at a Barnes & Noble recently, the title of a book is "Should I wear my nose ring to the job interview?" I think employers do have a right to certain standards while people are at work. It gets a little fuzzier when people are not at work. For example, I own and ride horses as a hobby. A potential employer could look upon that as risky behavior and not choose to hire me for fear that I might miss work do to an off duty injury.

    What seems unusual to me is that this person did not find out about this sooner. Which sort of leads to a pet peeve of mine. It seems like many private sector employers do not list the salary range for job openings. I suppose the idea is that they don't want to discourage applicants who might feel that the salary is too low. I really think that places ought to simply be up front about that right away. If it is a salary range, show what the range is. If Loomis Armored Truck starts everybody at $12.00 per hour, list it in the announcement.

    I will give credit to most government job openings near me. They list straight up what the salary range is. Granted, not everybody that is a new hire starts at the bottom end of the salary range, but at least list what the range is! (Oh well, I am getting off my soapbox now.)

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    • #3
      GDB has a no smoking policy. Many public safety agencies also. It's legal and smart for them as it saves money in the long term for health problems.

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      • #4
        I am of two schools of thought with this. The first school of thought is that tobacco is a legal product, sold over the counter and is not an intoxicant. I find that this type of behavior my companies is indicative of deeper issues and should raise red flags as they are stating that your activities outside of work can be regulated as well. The second school of thought is that as a recently ex cigerette smoker who now vapes I can understand the other side as smoking is not a good thing . What I can not understand is the discriminatory practices of these companies who for the most part do not provide health insurance for their guards anyways . If things are to be understood my me correctly a legal habit I have that is grounds for not being hired then why would I want to work there in the first place . For a litmus test replace tobacco use with homosexual lifestyle and see if it would fly?
        Confronted with the choice, the American people would choose the policeman's truncheon over the anarchist's bomb.
        Spiro Agnew

        Why yes I am a glorified babysitter , I am here to politely ask you to follow the rules , if not daddy comes to spank you and put you in time out its your choice - Me

        Luck is a red hair woman , if you ever dated one you know there remarkably dangerous , my personal preference is to be competent and let luck join the ride if she so chooses .- Clint Smith

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        • #5
          I am on the fence on this one as well. Many, if not all, of the hospitals here are tobacco free. You will be fired if you are caught or wont be offered employment. As far as regulating your "off duty" life, law enforcement agencies do this also. For example, if you have to carry at all times, alcohol consumption may be off the table for you.

          Personally, I would be less inclined to hire a smoker. Here is why:

          1) You tend to smell. Your clothes, your breath. It really irritates me having to deal with you when you just smoked. My sinuses get bad.

          2) Most tend to take WAY too many breaks. This cuts in to productivity and you are on my dime.

          3) Healthcare costs

          4) Littering and potential fire hazard.
          "I am not a hero. I am a silent guardian, a watchful protector"

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          • #6
            ^this.....

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            • #7
              There are a lot of public and private companies which are starting to outlaw tobacco use. There is even one company I know of which conducts random tests for tobacco use, and if caught you lose your job. The main reason for this is healthcare costs. Tabaco use costs your healthcare provider (and eventually your employer) mucho bucks. In addition, tobacco users are statistically unhealthy people and take more sick time off work.

              There are a growing number of Southern California cities which outright ban tobacco use in any public or private common place; I think Del Mar was the first to do so.
              http://guardtourreport.com

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              • #8
                When I did smoke ciggs back in a day, no one ever knew it, lol. we always placed the butts where they belong, which wasn't on the ground, Military old school. I'll be starting my new position soon, many here have heard me bragging from time to time about the Marriott International Resorts and what a great gig it is, well I just accepted the Lead position of Loss Prevention starting on Jan 5th. Suit and tie, beautiful working environment, many great perks, including breakfast and dinner, at which time, when the time is right, I will be cutting a good cigar, ha ha
                Pop Pop - It reminds me of an old statement by my Master Sergeant. "A Good Run is better then a Bad Stand".

                Sec Trainer- Pop Pop: Hope you don't mind if I quote your Master Sergeant. He was a very smart man.

                Pop Pop- Yes Sir, Thank you Senior Instructor Sec Trainer, hope you don't mind if I place your quote into my Signature?

                Sec Trainer- Permission granted, recruit. Now, police the company area!


                flat out cool..

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                • #9
                  Pop,

                  That would be cig butts in the barrel of the shotgun, right? That old handy ashtray in the car.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Soper View Post
                    Pop,

                    That would be cig butts in the barrel of the shotgun, right? That old handy ashtray in the car.
                    Lol, right! I've heard stories about officers doing all kind of crazy things with their cigg butts, we carried an empty pack of ciggs and stuck our butts in there for easy disposal after break, lunch and at the end of the day we ditched it.

                    No one ever knew even after they checked, lol. The young officers of today take their phone breaks like we took our cigg breaks, it's funny? their all hard core gym rats and their all studs but when it's free time or off duty, the first thing they do after they go home and get cleaned up to go out for some fun is to cut a good cigar like we did with our ciggs back in a day.
                    Pop Pop - It reminds me of an old statement by my Master Sergeant. "A Good Run is better then a Bad Stand".

                    Sec Trainer- Pop Pop: Hope you don't mind if I quote your Master Sergeant. He was a very smart man.

                    Pop Pop- Yes Sir, Thank you Senior Instructor Sec Trainer, hope you don't mind if I place your quote into my Signature?

                    Sec Trainer- Permission granted, recruit. Now, police the company area!


                    flat out cool..

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                    • #11
                      Old school.

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