I’ve said it before, smokers suck. I have a few friends who smoke, and I don’t dislike them, but I do dislike the smoking. I can’t think of too much else that I think is so stupid as to smoke. What’s the point? It’s expensive, it’s horrible for your health, and worse it’s horrible for those around you. I tend believe rights end where they infringe on others. Keep your smoking to yourself. I won’t mention how I have to help pay for your health care costs, because I mountain bike, and play hockey. Both considered risky behavior I suppose, but at least you get an aerobic benefit out of both activities. Smoking has no upsides, other than settlement money helping to keep Michigan afloat a bit longer.
Originally I had complained about Beaumont Hospital’s smokers, since they would come into my neighborhood to smoke, since the Hospital grounds were off limits. I, as a runner, was constantly running through clouds of smoke if I ran on any of the sidewalks that bordered Beaumont. My suggestion was to give the smoking employees an ultimatum; quit smoking, or lose your job. Michigan’s economy was already pretty bad at that time, and considering the number of willing, non-smoking, job seekers that were available, I saw no need to keep the smokers around. After all, it’s a hospital, whose main goal is to cure illness, improve health, and generally make people better. The hospital itself was non-smoking for good reason, so why keep the smoking employees? I do see the problem with firing people over an addiction, but how about low productivity, littering, or endangering other’s health? Legitimate reasons for termination I think.
Well, apparently I’m not alone in my line of thinking. It’s becoming common for hospitals to not only not hire job candidates that smoke, but let current employees go for smoking. Personally, I think it’s going to be tough to fire workers who only smoke on their own time, and away from work, but for those who take eight smoke breaks a day (yes, it happens. I work with some who take at least that many smoke breaks a day), or smokes on the property, or immediately adjacent to it, I say they’re fair game.