Thursday, July 8, 2010

Outlandish threats: quit smoking or be fired

It's strange. Really.

The anti-smoker crowd is hell-bent on saving smokers from their own vile, filthy habit and reducing the number of “preventable” deaths allegedly caused by smoking and secondhand smoke. They're motivated, of course, by nothing less than an unselfish and altruistic commitment to the health and well-being of smokers. Uh-huh.

You do believe that, don't you? That the anti-smoker fanatics just want to help you?

So, how come they measure the success of their war on smokers by the number of smoking bans passed by brainwashed (or perhaps brain dead) politicians, the severity of their sin taxes and the amount of grief they can cause smokers.

I visit Tobacco-dot-org on a regular basis to keep myself informed about the latest outrage committed against smokers by “clean air” fanatics. At the top of their web page, they have a list of “This Weeks Hot Spots”.

Some of the headlines they were promoting yesterday morning were: "Kansas: Smoking ban goes into effect July 1, Hawaii: $.40 Tax hike goes into effect July 1, New York: $1.60 Tax hike goes into effect July 1, Egypt: Hefty Tax hikes go into effect July 1, Wisconsin: Smoking ban goes into effect July 5, Outdoor Smoking Bans gaining steam, College Smoking Bans gaining steam." You get the picture?

Every new smoking ban or increase in sin taxes is heralded as a victory against the evil, malodorous smokers. And, it's not just bans and sin taxes. Any restriction which makes it inconvenient for smokers to light up, or which tends to demean or denigrate smokers, advances the cause; hiding tobacco displays, outlawing cigarette vending machines, prohibitions against selling smokes in drug stores, etc.

And, of course, there's the ultimate in hypocrisy, the clowns who proclaim their commitment to the health and well-being of smokers by imposing hiring restrictions, or firing them if they continue to engage their habit even on their own time.

For example, Gwinnett Medical Center in Lawrenceville, Georgia will no longer hire smokers. They also plan to crack down on employees smoking anywhere on hospital grounds. After a few warnings, an employee could lose his/her job. In addition, according to Steve Nadeau, the hospital's VP for human resources, efforts will be made to discourage existing employees from taking cigarette breaks or coming back from lunch smelling of cigarette smoke.

Yep. Gotta control exposure to that deadly third hand smoke before non-smoking staff start dropping like flies.

Gwinnett Medical employees who smoke already pay more for health insurance. But, hypocritically, there are no additional charges for any other risky behaviors or health issues, including obesity. At least, not yet.

Of course, this blatantly discriminatory tactic drew praise from the anti-smoker crowd. The Georgia Hospital Association, for instance, through spokesman Kevin Bloye, said: “hospitals are trying more and more ways to discourage smoking, and they're connecting that to the pocketbook." Uh-huh.

So anxious are the fanatics to “help” smokers that they are prepared to deprive them of the means of earning a living. What greater expression of their devotion to the cause of saving smokers from the perils of smoking than to hand them a ticket to the unemployment line? What a wonderful idea to “encourage” smokers to quit. And, let's face it, quitting smoking becomes more or less mandatory in such situations.

Of course, it's the smoking to which the anti-smoker fanatics object, not the smoker. They love smokers. They love them so much they're ready to deny them employment, access to public housing and in some cases, medical care. In fact, the jack-booted bastards love them so much they hate them. And, they'll use any tactic available, no matter how draconian, to persuade them to change their anti-social behaviour.

Just one small question.

When do we see the evidence that the scorn and disdain heaped on smokers is actually accomplishing the goal of reducing “preventable deaths”? After all, smoking prevalence has been declining since 1965. Shouldn't we be seeing a reduction in smoking attributable deaths by now? How about a reduction in the health care costs associated with smoking?

Why do the fanatics choose to measure their success in smoking bans and sin taxes implemented and the number of smokers they can put in the unemployment line?

Just wondering.

Additional Reading on this topic: The Rest of the Story


Anonymous said...

Excellent and right on target.........lets just say those folks in gwinnet are very fired up.I have a feeling a change will happen quickly,it seems cookeville tn hospital had the same idea and it happened just as gwinnet decided to do it too!

Contraband Tobacco in Canada: Tax Policies and Black Market Incentives
Type: Research Studies
Date Published: July 7, 2010
Authors: Nachum Gabler
Diane Katz

Research Topics: Risk & Regulation
The unlawful production, distribution, and sale of cigarettes in Canada appear to have reached unprecedented levels in recent years, creating challenges for public health officials, law enforcement, tax authorities, policy makers, and the public.

Our analysis identifies tobacco excise taxes as an important factor in the development and persistence of the contraband tobacco market. By inflating the cost of lawful cigarettes, such taxes do discourage smoking to some extent, but they also create powerful incentives to buy and sell contraband tobacco products.

Research shows that a 10% increase in the price of tobacco products can reduce lawful cigarette sales by about 3% to 10%, depending on various geographic and demographic factors. To the extent that smokers evade excise taxes by purchasing contraband, the use of excise taxes to discourage smoking and increase government revenues is rendered ineffective.

Based on the available evidence, we conclude that while tobacco taxes clearly reduce lawful tobacco sales, their impact on smoking prevalence is less clear, especially when the effects of other anti-smoking initiatives are taken into consideration. What is clear is that while several factors have facilitated the exploding contraband tobacco trade in Canada, increases in tobacco excise taxes were the spark that ignited the explosion.

Leg-iron said...

The coagulation government in the UK has just had one of those 'listen to the people' exercises. They received massive amounts of requests to repeal or relax the smoking ban.

They have declared that they will do no such thing. Smokers don't count.

Cigarette Sally said...

That has got to be the funniest pic ever! Funny but sad ;-)

e-liquid said...

If they want a smoke-free nation, they have to make an all-out cigarette restriction throughout the country.