Saturday, July 19, 2008

No smoking on my mountain

He was a nice, clean cut young man; a little pudgy perhaps, but he appeared fit and there was nothing for the fat police to be concerned about.

He had gathered staff at the mountain resort to discuss a staff memorandum outlining the new company smoking policy.

“Grouse Mountain takes the health and well being of staff very seriously. Therefore, we are initiating a no smoking policy for the resort. The new policy restricts smoking to a designated smoking area for both staff and guests”, he began.

One rather attractive young female college student, eyes sparkling brightly, interrupted with a question. “Will the smoking area be centrally located?”

“Oh, yes”, replied the young manager, “it will be at the foot of the mountain”.

“Excuse me?” questioned the girl. “The foot of the mountain is over 4,000 feet down. You want us to travel over three-quarters of a mile to have a smoke?”

“Only if you have the time”, replied the manager as he watched the smile on the girl’s face evaporate.

A recent news release from CTV News reports that Grouse Mountain in British Columbia is destined to become the first smoke free mountain in the world.

Apparently, the operators of Grouse Mountain Resort have decided to ban smoking on the whole damn mountain, both indoors and out.

A spokesman for the Grouse Mountain resort said: “We are aiming to make Grouse Mountain a smoke free mountain resort. That applies to both staff and the 1.1 million guests we get every year”.

In the typically Canadian habit of understatement, he added: “As you can imagine, it’s quite an ambitious undertaking”. Uh-huh.

The only way for staff or guests to get to the new smoking area will be to make the 4,000 foot trip up and down the mountain in a gondola. My instincts tell me that staff will not have sufficient time to make the trip with a smoke break of only 10 to 15 minutes.

There is, of course, a faster way down the mountain. However, it is not recommended despite the obvious advantage that such a descent would preclude the necessity of having to make the trip back up.

The spokesman was quick to point out that the proposed ban was not intended to discriminate against staff, but rather a commitment to the “health and wellness of their staff”. Or as the spokesman put it: “Our aim is not to persecute smokers and single them out and say – you know – we have to be rid of you. We’re trying to help them beat the addiction and kick the habit”.

In fairness to the management of Grouse Mountain, they will, apparently, provide employees with smoking cessation aids and give them the time “to adjust” to the new rules. Of course, that’s only fair since they are depriving employees of any choice in the matter. And, they’re probably getting a discount rate from the dug barons.

The new ban is tentatively scheduled to take effect in time for the winter season, after staff have been given time to comply with the new directive.

It will be interesting to see how the 1.1 million guests will respond to the new code of conduct.
Update: The news item found at the link above has been removed from the MyChoice website.
Whoops, it's back.

1 comment:

Michael said...

I've always loved that "Just step outside for a few puffs. What's the big deal?" thing.

Why do I love it? Cuz it provides the perfect setup for my own soundbite response:

Alcohol is a highly volatile class A carcinogen with no known safe level of exposure. There is no reason why innocent workers and diners with children should be forced to breathe your drunken carcinogenic fumes. After you're done with your meal, just step outside and have a few gulps of that wine or martini and then come back in to join the normal people and their healthy families.

After all? What's the big deal?

Michael J. McFadden
Author of "Dissecting Antismokers' Brains"