The New York Times reported Friday about a controversial new trend in hospital hiring. Taking smoking bans to their “logical” conclusion, a fair number are refusing to hire smokers, in one case going so far as to fire a new hire caught smelling like smoke.
As a reformed smoker, I am usually the first one on the anti-tobacco bandwagon, especially regarding the health care industry, where it is rampant for some reason. It’s a nasty behavior and harmful to smokers and bystanders alike. It is also pointed out in the article that smokers cost thousands of dollars more per year in health care and lost productivity. However, treating the smoker as the enemy, rather than the smoking, is going at it ass-backward.
Punishing people for self-punishing behavior is no solution, and comes off as kind of a dick move anyway. Not to mention that adding stress to smokers’ lives is anti-motivation to quit. And what about this slippery slope we’re climbing here, society? Do we want to start targeting other groups that cost more to take care of? Are we ready to stand up as a nation and say fat people need not apply? I didn’t think so. Should we start monitoring frequency of casual sex? How would you even do that?
“Hospitals. Turning away people with health problems since 2011.” Catchy slogan there, guys.