Monday, February 14, 2011

Expanding the “No Smokers Need Apply” policies

In my last post, I asked what additional deterrents [to curtail the smoking habit] would be considered acceptable by anti-smoker fanatics. And, the answer appears to be that there are no limits to the malicious mistreatment of the smoking community at which the zealots will balk.

In his latest blog entry, Dr Michael Siegel, a professor at Boston University School of Public Health, reports the latest outrage perpetrated against the smoking community. Siegel, a strong anti-smoking activist, says: “. . . this policy has nothing to do with health. It is, instead, a policy based purely on ideology.”

He's talking about an article which appeared in the Saturday edition of the Tacoma (Washington) News Tribune bearing the headline : “Franciscan: Health system will no longer hire tobacco users.” According to the author, John Gillie, "Tacoma’s Franciscan Health System is adding a qualification for prospective employees beginning next month: They must be tobacco-free.”

But, both the headline and the opening remarks are deceptive and misleading.

As it turns out, it is not just smokers who are to be barred from employment, but anyone who tests positive for cotinine, a metabolite of nicotine, in a compulsory urine test. And, the source of the nicotine exposure doesn't matter to the anti-smoker health freaks at Franciscan.

Since cotinine can be detected in even very small trace amounts, the draconian policy to be implemented on March 1, will bar employment even to those using NRT (Nicotine Replacement Therapy) products such as the patch or nicotine gum. The exposure can also result from use of smokeless tobacco products such as snus, or the electronic cigarette.

But, even more incredibly, cotinine may also be present due to secondhand smoke exposure. So, if a job applicant lives with a smoker, or perhaps associates with smokers on a regular basis, he/she will find their application rejected.

This is neither a misinterpretation, nor an exaggeration of the policy; it is a fact openly acknowledged on the Franciscan Health System website: “A positive test for nicotine, regardless of the source, will eliminate a job candidate from employment consideration.”

The anti-smoker fanatics have gone from banning smoking on the job, to denying employment to smokers who smoke at home, and now they're prepared to dictate to smokers who may be trying to quit, and even non-smokers, with whom they may associate.

Are non-smokers married to smokers expected to throw their spouses (or significant others) into the street before applying for employment with Franciscan? Should they tell lifelong friends who smoke to stay to fuck away, because they don't want to jeopardize their job prospects in the health care field?

Do these perverted lunatics really intend to ban from employment, not just smokers, but anyone who condones smoking by associating with them?

It's fucking outrageous.

And, it's all perfectly legal. The News Tribune article, quoting an employment attorney, notes: “Washington isn’t one of the 29 states that have passed legislation banning tobacco use as a hiring criteria. And it’s unlikely that a person rejected for employment because of tobacco use could successfully sue.”

But, legal does not equate with moral. Unless, of course, you're an adherent of the Holy Church of the Anti-smoker. As noted by Dr Siegel in his blog entry: “Clearly, the policy is motivated instead by an ideology which demonizes nicotine, regardless of its source. This is a religious-like policy that has absolutely no public health basis.”

Imagine. Even staunch anti-smoking advocates like Dr. Siegel can see past the dogmatic intolerance of these bigoted bastards at Franciscan.

Lewis Maltby, author (Can They Do That) and president of the National Workrights Institute, citing the slippery slope argument, told the New York Times: “There is nothing unique about smoking. The number of things that we all do privately that have negative impact on our health is endless. If it’s not smoking, it’s beer. If it’s not beer, it’s cheeseburgers. And what about your sex life?”

Franciscan spokesman Gale Robinette said Franciscan has no plans to go beyond tobacco use. But, if such is the case, one has to ask, “Why not?”

If the Franciscan Health System really wants “to encourage healthful living, to set a good example in the communities it serves, to improve employees’ health and to save money,” how can they ignore job applicants with other unhealthy lifestyle behaviors or conditions such as obesity, the consumption of alcohol, unsafe sex, and lack of physical exercise?

Why are these oppressive tactics directed exclusively at smokers?

And, the only reason that similar tactics have not been directed at other groups is that the public has not been fully programmed to fear, and in turn, to hate other groups to the same degree as smokers. The denormalization of smokers is almost complete. The campaigns against the overweight and obese and drinkers are still in their infancy.

May the fleas of a thousand camels infest their fucking armpits.


Anonymous said...

Seems like job applicants will need to stop eating tomatoes as well then! Crazy world we live in.

Styx said...

Of course, bloody fucking fascists.

Worse these cretins cannot even write English thus:

And, it's all perfectly legal. The News Tribune article, quoting an employment attorney, notes: “Washington isn’t one of the 29 states that have passed legislation banning tobacco use as a hiring criteria. And it’s unlikely that a person rejected for employment because of tobacco use could successfully sue.”

It's CRITERION , moron!

Anonymous said...

I have never smoked, but just the thought of an employer denying anybody with even a trace amount of nicotine is wrong.
what if you get secondhand smoke from someone in everyday passing. You shouldn't have to duck and run like a fool.
I agree that smoking should be banned from hospitals grounds, but outside of that it's the individuals choice what they want to do, not the choice of a company that is seemingly on a selfish power trip.
Much more thought should have been put into this policy. The economy is still struggling and now innocent people could be losing their jobs. It just doesn't make any sense.