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Is recruitment ban for home smokers discrimination?

CrapaudCrapaud Posts: 2,483
edited April 2009 in Campaign
From New Scientist
BANNING smoking in the office is one thing, but refusing to hire smokers may damage their health and exacerbate social inequalities. ...
I thought that with banning smoking from covered public spaces, that there wasn't very much more that the do-gooding lifestyle police could do to ostracize and demonise smokers. Then I read the article in the link above. It strikes me that it's a clear case of discrimination.

Obviously they won't be happy until smoking, or smokers, are completely eradicated. What is it that gives them the right to dictate to others what people should and shouldn't be allowed to do in their own home and with their own life?

Tossers! :x
A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject - Churchill

Are smokers being discriminated against? 0 votes

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  • What is it that gives them the right to dictate to others what people should and shouldn't be allowed to do in their own home and with their own life?

    But they're not doing that. People can smoke in their own home if they want to, they're not saying they can't.
    They're just not employing anyone that stupid. Fair enough if you ask me. Similar to not employing anyone who, during the interview, took a censored on the floor.
  • teagarteagar Posts: 2,100
    They're just not employing anyone that stupid. Fair enough if you ask me. Similar to not employing anyone who, during the interview, took a censored on the floor.


    THAT I want to see!
    Note: the above post is an opinion and not fact. It might be a lie.
  • Seems to me this is just the norm now for the world we live in today.

    I recall a bit ago something being mentioned about some lifestyle people who would be going to peoples houses at tea time, looking at what they are eating and then advising them that it isnt healthy etc.

    Whats that all about? if i want to have a curry night i will, if i fancy a big fat kebab with sauce and chips and pizza and burgers all in one sitting :shock: i will, i know its unhealthy but its my choice, nothing to do with any do-gooder tosspot :evil:
  • NuggsNuggs Posts: 1,804
    Similar to not employing anyone who, during the interview, took a censored on the floor.
    Oi! They still gave me the job.
  • Big Red SBig Red S Posts: 26,890
    Crapaud wrote:
    What is it that gives them the right to dictate to others what people should and shouldn't be allowed to do in their own home and with their own life?

    If I turned up to a job interview and said that I took cocaine during my spare time, I wouldn't expect to get the job. This is normally considered fairly rational.
  • pneumaticpneumatic Posts: 1,989
    Yes it is discrimination. The employer is making judgements about who to employ and who not to employ, based on what they know about them.

    The question is whether the discrimination is either justified or unlawful.

    It is not unlawful, unless you could prove that not hiring smokers indirectly targets a particular group actually covered by the legislation (women, ethnic minorities, the disabled etc) which seems unlikely.

    As for whether it is justified, insurance companies already do it routinely when calculating premiums on the grounds that such people are a higher risk. Presumably, the employer is treating his/her investment in salary costs in the same way.

    As for whether it is the right thing to do, I personally wouldn't want to work for an employer who wished to have that amount of control of my spare time, private life etc.. I would be worried that they might turn round and tell me to stop cycling on the public roads because it is dangerous and my selfish wish to run the risk of needing time off to recover from multiple fractures shouldn't jeapardise their business objectives.


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  • 'lo oddly despite me not wanting to employ religious people I'm activly prevented from discriminating against them.
  • chuckcorkchuckcork Posts: 1,471
    Given the organisations mentioned in the article are involved with health promotion and/or healthcare, I'd say its pretty logical that they would want non-smokers.

    But, smoking in your own home is legal behaviour, deciding to sanction such when it has has no effect on your work or your workplace is likely to in the case of existing workers at least, lead to lawsuits, especially I would think in the US.

    Flipside would be that it brings the organisation into disrepute so should be able to be part of working requirements; or be like no alcohol a certain number of hours before flying for pilots, even if they have a blood alcohol of 0.0 when they fly?

    Guess it will be a case of wait and see how that pans out...
    'Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that caught the cycling craze....
  • Some good points made from various angles.

    Smoking being the specific issue here if someone wishes to smoke at home that's their perogative. If however the employer has a no smoking policy on the work premesis it's his/her perogative whether to employ the smoker. If th smoker agrees not to smoke while at work there should be no real issue.

    As an aside, the company I work for have a no smoking policy within its buildings but provides shelters for smokers. I think in a eight hour shift a smoker will smoke six cigarettes (seems reasonable). Say 10mins from the job to smoke the cigarette, that's an hour off every shift x 5 = 5hrs/week x 46weeks/year = 28days approx/year.

    As a non smoker do you think my employer (so as not to be discriminatory against non smokers) should give me an extra four weeks off per year.
    Tail end Charlie

    The above post may contain traces of sarcasm or/and bullsh*t.
  • spen666spen666 Posts: 17,709
    What is it that gives them the right to dictate to others what people should and shouldn't be allowed to do in their own home and with their own life?

    But they're not doing that. People can smoke in their own home if they want to, they're not saying they can't.
    They're just not employing anyone that stupid. Fair enough if you ask me. Similar to not employing anyone who, during the interview, took a censored on the floor.

    So that's why I never got thqt job I went for last week.

    wish I had spoken to you earlier
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  • rb1956rb1956 Posts: 134
    Big Red S wrote:
    If I turned up to a job interview and said that I took cocaine during my spare time, I wouldn't expect to get the job. This is normally considered fairly rational.
    I know Poms are weird, but isn't cocaine illegal, and tobacco legal, in the UK?
  • CrapaudCrapaud Posts: 2,483
    Tony1976 wrote:
    ... Whats that all about? if i want to have a curry night i will, if i fancy a big fat kebab with sauce and chips and pizza and burgers all in one sitting :shock: i will, i know its unhealthy but its my choice, nothing to do with any do-gooder tosspot :evil:
    How would you feel if you were denied employment because your diet didn't meet with approval from an employer? Discriminated against? Say a vegan employer denied you employment on the basis that you liked a bacon roll now and again in the privacy of your own home? Or an environmentalist employer, because you didn't recycle your old newspapers?
    What is it that gives them the right to dictate to others what people should and shouldn't be allowed to do in their own home and with their own life?
    But they're not doing that. People can smoke in their own home if they want to, they're not saying they can't.
    They're just not employing anyone that stupid. Fair enough if you ask me. Similar to not employing anyone who, during the interview, took a censored on the floor.
    Is that not discrimination? Describing it as 'dictating' might be a bit over the top, but indirectly that's what they're doing. The fact that it fits with your own particular prejudice is irrelevant.

    ISTM that the anti-smoking brigade's now going too far. There are many reasons not to smoke, and to educate and persuade smokers to give up; there's nothing wrong with that, but IMO their efforts are becoming increasingly absurd and verge on harassment and bullying if not control-freakery. How much of a say in your life and lifestyle is reasonable?
    pneumatic wrote:
    As for whether it is the right thing to do, I personally wouldn't want to work for an employer who wished to have that amount of control of my spare time, private life etc.. ... I would be worried that they might turn round and tell me to stop cycling on the public roads because it is dangerous and my selfish wish to run the risk of needing time off to recover from multiple fractures shouldn't jeapardise their business objectives.
    With the increase in the number of single issue / pressure groups, if this discrimination against smokers is deemed justifiable, I can see just such a scenario as feasible.

    God, preserve us from zealots.
    A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject - Churchill
  • But life insurance companies have been discriminating against smokers for decades now and been getting away with it. :lol:
  • yes - but they should be. women should not be allowed to drive either....
  • CrapaudCrapaud Posts: 2,483
    yes - but they should be. women should not be allowed to drive either....
    First they came for the smokers and I did nothing...
    A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject - Churchill
  • nwallacenwallace Posts: 1,465
    How can an organisation who's business is to promote healthy living, justify employing any person who clearly lives an unhealthy life?

    Example:
    A practice nurse who is visibly overweight telling a patient they are overweight and need to loose weight.

    The leader of community Smoking Cessation sessions having a puff outside the location of the sessions.

    NHS staff standing outside the front door of a hospital puffing away.
    Do Nellyphants count?

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  • CrapaudCrapaud Posts: 2,483
    nwallace wrote:
    ... Example:
    A practice nurse who is visibly overweight telling a patient they are overweight and need to loose weight. ...
    I'm sure that they'd arrange it so that a slim, smoking , nurse (a nurse who smokes rather than one who's attractive) breaks the news.
    nwallace wrote:
    ... The leader of community Smoking Cessation sessions having a puff outside the location of the sessions. ...
    The obese, greasy, pie munching, non-smoking nurse would get this one.
    nwallace wrote:
    ... NHS staff standing outside the front door of a hospital puffing away.
    That'll be why they moved the goalposts the instant it became illegal to smoke anywhere indoors, and banned smoking from the grounds.
    A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject - Churchill
  • CrapaudCrapaud Posts: 2,483
    Edit: Duplicate post.
    A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject - Churchill
  • CrapaudCrapaud Posts: 2,483
    Thread necromancy

    When I read of the dangers of 'third-hand smoke' I suspected that this was an April Fools joke. However, the article goes into far too much detail, so I'm treating it as genuine until proven otherwise. The article (link below) discusses the claims of the anti-smoking movement and questions their credibility and honesty.

    Some snippets from a New Scientist article, 'Have the tobacco police gone too far? '
    Siegel's case is perhaps the most clear-cut example of a disturbing trend in the anti-smoking movement. There are genuine scientific questions over some of the more extreme claims made about the dangers of passive smoking and the best strategies to reduce smoking rates, but a few researchers who have voiced them have seen their reputations smeared and the debate stifled.
    On the other hand, in some parts of the US, particularly California, the anti-smoking movement has grown so strong that smoking bans outdoors and in private apartments are in force in a few places, and being considered in more. These measures are at least partly based on disputed medical claims, so it is vital their accuracy be determined. But questioning the orthodoxy seems to be frowned on. "It's censorship," says Siegel. "We're heading towards scientific McCarthyism."
    In 2001, a study showed that 30 minutes of passive exposure to smoke reduces the blood vessels' ability to dilate (Journal of the American Medical Association, vol 286, p 426). If this happened repeatedly over a long period, it could permanently harm blood vessels and harden arteries. In a few people who are on the verge of a heart attack, it is possible that 30 minutes' exposure could tip them over the edge. But it would be no worse than eating a high-fat meal; most people would easily cope.
    But Siegel has his defenders. "It is sobering and scandalous to think, if Mike is correct, that our field now is guilty of the same junk science long perpetrated by the tobacco industry," says Alan Blum, director of the Center for the Study of Tobacco and Society at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.
    All emphasis is mine.

    Are we all being lied to? Something smells a bit fishy, IMO. Read the whole article to see the quotes in context.

    God preserve us from ideological, single issue zealots.
    A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject - Churchill
  • passoutpassout Posts: 4,425
    Despite what the Government or even company policy says companies employ who they like. It all depends on who precisely is doing the hiring - if they smoke, then clearly they would not discriminate against a smoker. If someone is really anti-smoking then they are less likely to employ a smoker. Some companies have higher numbers of ethnic, miniorities or disabled people. It's often less to do with 'been PC' and more to do with corporate culture & who does the hirings - all companies are not the same. I heard of one London based company where the vast majority of the employess were gay - there was no policy on this issue, just a cirle of perpepuation.
    'Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible' Marcel Proust.
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