Let's Recognize Smoking as the Workplace Enemy It Is

Don Tennant

Whenever I see a group of smokers huddled outside a workplace lighting up, the same two questions always cross my mind: Lost productivity due to smoking-related illnesses aside, how many hours of productivity are lost each year due to people standing outside smoking cigarettes during the workday? And what's the best way to measure the inequity suffered by all the non-smokers who don't waste company time that way?

 

Let me state right up front that I don't smoke, and I never have, so I will readily admit to being far more concerned about non-smokers' rights than I am about smokers' rights. In fact, the way I see it, the only right a smoker is entitled to is the right to smoke at a time and in a place that have zero impact on any other human being who doesn't expressly consent to the impact.

 

According to a Gallup poll from July of last year, 22 percent of adult Americans are smokers. I've been unable to find any statistics that show whether the smoking rate among IT professionals is higher or lower than that, but having spent a lot of time around IT pros over the last two decades, my hunch is it's probably higher. I have no real sense of why that's the case, if indeed it is, and I'd be interested in hearing from readers who have a better sense one way or the other. If anyone can find any statistics, that would be ideal.

 

In any case, it seems perfectly sensible to me for companies to just ban smoking altogether. If you're a smoker and you can't live with the ban, hit the road. There are too many people who are out of work, who can learn to do your job just as well as you can, and who would be grateful for the chance to do it without wasting all the time that you waste outside smoking cigarettes. In fact, I'd be all for taking the next step and banning smokers altogether. That way, someone else wouldn't have to cover for you when you're out with some smoking-related illness, and hopefully the money your employer saves in lower fees for corporate health insurance policies could be passed along to the employees.

 

Unfortunately, very few organizations have had the courage to take that bold step. According to a poll conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management in January, the results of which were released last month, 95 percent of organizations have no formal policy against hiring smokers and have no plans to implement such a policy. Only 2 percent of organizations currently have a formal policy against hiring smokers, and only 3 percent plan to implement such a policy within the next 12 months.


 

Here are some other discouraging statistics from the SHRM poll:

 

  • Only 26 percent of organizations have policies that limit the number of breaks employees can take during the day.
  • Only 26 percent ban smoking in the workplace (both inside and outside the building).
  • Only 17 percent charge higher health care premiums for smokers.
  • Only 8 percent charge higher life insurance premiums for smokers.
  • Only 5 percent prefer to not hire smokers.
  • Only 5 percent participate in smoke-out days.
  • Only 3 percent ask about potential employees' smoking behavior in the recruiting process.


The 78 percent of us who don't smoke have been forced to deal with the consequences of smoking long enough. There's no other group that has such a harmful, yet socially acceptable, effect on society in general, and the workplace in particular. I have no idea why we insist on coddling this particular group, but I do know that it's time for the coddling to end.



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Apr 5, 2012 1:10 AM Iro Iro  says:

As an employer for the last 28 years I can tell you that each person has to be evaluated on his merits rather than on broad generalizations of the bigoted type.  But if I were to play the same game as the author of this post, I would have to say that parents of young children (smokers or nons) can claim the top place for loss of productivity, followed by single young workers with relationship problems and/or alcohol consumption on their nights out that brings them to their desk the following morning wasted  (if at all) and/or full of gossip from the night before. 

Let employers make their own decisions on who's a productive employee or not on a one to one basis and let the anti-smoker lobbyists continue to attempt to sustain their careers by inventing ever increasing bigoted ways to demonize people who smoke.  Shame on those who support this money grabbing bigotry. 

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Apr 5, 2012 3:03 AM arif asif arif asif  says:

smoking is bed habit. it is Enemy for everyone.shop

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Apr 5, 2012 7:23 AM SealTeam6 SealTeam6 SealTeam6 SealTeam6  says: in response to Iro

I can tell you that each person has to be evaluated on his merits rather than on broad generalizations of the bigoted type.

maybe in some worker's utopia. Right now in the US you can be fired for just wearing a shirt of a color the employer disapproves . I really doubt most employers bother to go beyond the surface perception of what an employee projects. If health insurance companies told the employer they would have to raise the premiums to cover for smokers among the staff, you can bet your bottom $ that those employees would be seeing pink slips soon. Welcome to the "right to work" state. Yeah, maybe a smoke is relaxing after realizing that.

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Apr 6, 2012 1:16 AM Seriously Seriously  says:

OK, I get it that you don't like smokers Mr. Tennant, but in all fairness if employee's health is affecting the bottom line, why stop there? How about:

-Not hiring the obese (as Parkland Hospital in Dallas is soon to do)

-Banning junk food, candy vending machines and food delivery to the workplace as well as any unhealthy snacks. I am trying to watch my weight and am tired of the endless supply of doughnuts, bagels, cookies, etc that are brought in. These are secondhand calories and since we are hardwired to eat foods with excess sugar, fat, and salt, such goodies definitely contribute to the obesity epidemic.

-Requiring employees to join a gym and give them a card that will record their time on the treadmill; and they can't just walk, they must get their heart beat up to 150 for a minumum of 30 minutes 3 times a week.

-Canning workers who appear to be hung over more than once a year.

Hey, the company now owns us and the healthy have been paying for the healthcare of the unfit for too long now so lets throw privacy out the window.

You are in good company Mr. Tennant; Henry Ford also refused to hire smokers. He wouldn't hire blacks either and supported sterilization of the "feeble-minded"

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Apr 6, 2012 1:45 AM Don Tennant Don Tennant  says: in response to Seriously

You're apparently new to this blog, so I'll give you a pass on the personal insults, too. Future comments that contain a personal insult directed at any individual will be deleted.

This is why so many people just silently endure the negative consequences they suffer due to others who smoke. They don't want to be labeled as people who don't like smokers, or equated with people who promote racism and forced sterilization. Shame on you for making those comments. I have given you nor anyone else any reason whatsoever to believe that I dislike anyone, including people who smoke. Like just about anybody else who dares to express a view against smoking, some of the people I'm closest to happen to be smokers. So I am insulted by your senseless comment.

I suggest you lose the junk food analogy when you're trying to belittle someone who expresses a viewpoint against smoking. It's nonsensical. It would only make sense if you gained calories as a result of someone near you eating a doughnut. No one who brings doughnuts into the office is forcing you to eat them. If you don't have the willpower to refrain from eating a doughnut, that's your fault, not the fault of the person who brought in the doughnuts. Non-smokers who are subjected to the ill-effects of smoking aren't given the choice you're given with the doughnut.

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Apr 6, 2012 2:20 AM SealTeam6 SealTeam6 SealTeam6 SealTeam6  says:

An interesting twist about a key person who has campaigned a lot over the years about the dangers of smoking and founded an anti-smoking organization : Patrick Reynolds, he's the grandson of the founder of R. J. Reynolds, the tobacco company.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patrick_Reynolds_%28actor%29

I think that tells you something.

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Apr 6, 2012 3:22 AM Seriously Seriously  says: in response to Don Tennant

First of all, I was not insulting you Mr. Tennant. I can appreciate that non-smokers may not want to breathe in smoke bu this is a moot point since very few workplaces permit smoking indoors anymore or even outside on company property (like most hospitals). You go further though and lament how most employers still will hire smokers. The ones that don't claim that it will lower their healthcare costs. To be fair, there are many unhealthy behaviors that contribute to high health costs, so you shouldn't just single out smoking and by doing so, it is no different from saying that employers shouldn't hire people of a certain race or gender because they are more likely to be sick or steal from the company.

And yes, having fattening food around that others are consuming does make one want ot eat it, even if they aren't hungry. Chris Christakis an epidemeologist at Harvard has studied this extensively - we are programmed to eat when we see certain foods or if we see others eating them and will power goes out the window. Thus., in the interest of health, employers should not permit such foods in the workplace, just as they shouldn't permit smoking in the workplace.

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Apr 6, 2012 3:29 AM Kevin Kevin  says: in response to Don Tennant

"Future comments that contain a personal insult directed at any individual will be deleted."

Be warned if your going to attack anyone, it has to be by stereotypical slander, otherwise your posts will be deleted to soothe the conscience of the moderator???

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Apr 6, 2012 3:53 AM Iro Iro  says: in response to Don Tennant

Whether new to this blog or not I think the author's following statement does not make it hard to understand that it's not just the smell  that he criticizes.  That may be very convenient for him when trying to defend his stance, but sorry it doesn't justify his original thoughts. 

''That way, someone else wouldn't have to cover for you when you're out with some smoking-related illness, and hopefully the money your employer saves in lower fees for corporate health insurance policies could be passed along to the employees.''

Consequently, every analogy brought up here about junk food eaters (and other ways people put their health at risk) carries about the same financial burden to employers and employees as smoking. Unless Mr. Tennant is willing to entertain the exact same opinion about people who risk their health in many different ways, his comments about  smokers and only smokers are discriminatory, full period. 

Mr. Tennant is allowed to be bigoted but he should be able to accept criticism as much as he gives it out without crying foul about what he qualifies as ad homs and insults. 

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Apr 6, 2012 4:47 AM Sandy Sandy  says:

Just reposting what I wrote earlier today, noting that Don Tennant has nothing to say on this one (as follows): "Way ahead of you there, Don.  I've been taking my smoke breaks "off the clock" for years. How does this cost the employer?  Do you propose a return to the days of the industrial revolution when people worked long hours with no breaks?  I thought it was determined that regular breaks made people more productive, and good working men and women long ago earned these workplace "rights" for all of us.  Most workdays consist of an unpaid lunch of an hour or half-hour, and two additional breaks the company "pays" for.  What is your issue if some people spend this time smoking or talking on their cell phones or walking around the block?  There are always people, smokers or not, who take extra paid worktime for personal needs and expect everyone else to pick up the slack.  You are just focusing your blame on smokers versus those who take an extra 20 minutes to put all their makeup on the bathroom, etc.  As I've said, on the rare occasion when I take extra time for smoking -- or any other purpose for that matter -- I have the decency to report it to be deducted from my pay. People who expect all others to pay for, or otherwise accomodate, their every little extra need are of all kinds; but especially antismokers who think everyone else is supposed to have no place or no (equal) time to engage in a legal activity of THEIR personal choosing."

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Apr 6, 2012 5:34 AM Kevin Kevin  says:

22% of the adult population is good news for the Tobacco companies who will pay much less toward MSA funding, although local budgets who have committed and borrowed against future payments to cover such things as health care budgets, won't be overjoyed with the news.

You asked for a synopses of prevalence by occupation {if I read that part right}

Try this link; which suggests your instincts are far from the prevalence levels they report.

http://healthhubs.net/cancer/cdc-releases-data-on-smoking-rates-by-occupation/

Now lets look at the overall numbers and test the validity of Public health soundbite  propaganda and the inspiration of your negative feelings toward anyone who smokes. The obvious delineation of your stance is seen among the groups most likely to smoke who in your mind are undeserving of gainful employment. The people who already pay a premium for health insurance and carry the lions share of healthcare spending, through a very much targeted and  regressive cigarette taxation schema. Would you also feel it unfair that the disabled get all the best parking spots by the same reasoning?

Oh yes the numbers.  22% of the adult population. Following statements from the same sources of infinite wisdom, measuring their goals by social constructs and unbiased opinions all the way down the line, which goes without saying. Half of smokers will die of "smoking related diseases". A lifetime observation based in the classification that a smoker is anyone who has smoked more than 100 cigarettes in their lifetime

22% of the adult population equates 16% of total population with 8% of the total population destined to die . []life expectancy @ 75 years x 440,000 = 33 million of 60 million current or of 190 million ever smokers]

443,000 die every year due to smoking; 440,000 because they smoke and 3000 of a 300 million population by "second hand smoke" Or so the story goes.

Of the 2.1 million who die by all causes 50% die by cardiovascular diseases and cancers alone. IOW over one million and 40% are smokers? remember that 8% compared to 92% ratio? Out of the other side of their convenient soundbites they tell us smoking reduces life expectancy by as much as six years??? In order to carry any sense of credibility, smokers could never live beyond 40. Yet more than 70% of "smoking related diseases" and "smoking related" moralities, occur not only predominantly among smokers who quit, but among people beyond the age of retirement, between 65 and 75 years of age regardless if they smoked or not.

They fail to mention that 50% of never smokers will also die of "Smoking related diseases" while only 3000 of 300 million by "second hand smoke" with virtually an entire population "exposed and at risk" which is two full orders of magnitude below traditional and "acceptable" levels of risk [1/10,000 1x10[-4]]in the workplace. Entitling smoking bans and professional victims internationally to spew their nonsense and entitle an atmosphere where people never need to grow up and learn to get along.

Ask your employers to move to the same level of protections in all other workplace hazards and watch how many pink slips will be produced within hours.

So you hate people who smoke and feel that ad agency measured emotional soundbites somehow entitles your freedom to slander them by wide-brush. I am curious who else is on your list?

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Apr 6, 2012 6:20 AM Kevin Kevin  says:

It is no small wonder, that anyone would resent smokers.

From above, correct the numbers if you like.

"22% of the adult population equates 16% of total population with 8% of the total population destined to die only because they smoke. "

If smokers didn't smoke? They do call them "preventable moralities" which are caused by smoking alone.

Most, if not all smokers, as you can plainly see by the numbers; would be immortal if they never smoked.

Not much wonder so many non smokers are miffed.

LOL

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Apr 6, 2012 8:21 AM Iro Iro  says:

Seal,

Did you ever consider that if employees didn't have to hide like children to smoke or kicked to second floor balconies without ashtrays to accommodate them maybe there would be less smoking caused fires?  Did you ever consider that in the home where you say that smokers cause fires that it is perhaps their impaired judgment due to alcohol that is the main cause?  Many of those who drink smoke.  If they drink irresponsibly they are more likely to smoke irresponsibly.  So what is causing the fires, smoking, alcohol, impaired judgment?  Unless of course you want to micromanage people's lives right into their homes and ban drinking in the home because let's be clear about it accidents don't only happen to drunks who smoke but also to drunks who cook, light candles, fireplaces, incense. 

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Apr 6, 2012 8:28 AM Sandy Sandy  says:

Way ahead of you there, Don.  I've been taking my smoke breaks "off the clock" for years. How does this cost the employer?  Do you propose a return to the days of the industrial revolution when people worked long hours with no breaks?  I thought it was determined that regular breaks made people more productive, and good working men and women long ago earned these workplace "rights" for all of us.  Most workdays consist of an unpaid lunch of an hour or half-hour, and two additional breaks the company "pays" for.  What is your issue if some people spend this time smoking or talking on their cell phones or walking around the block?  There are always people, smokers or not, who take extra paid worktime for personal needs and expect everyone else to pick up the slack.  You are just focusing your blame on smokers versus those who take an extra 20 minutes to put all their makeup on the bathroom, etc.  As I've said, on the rare occasion when I take extra time for smoking -- or any other purpose for that matter -- I have the decency to report it to be deducted from my pay. People who expect all others to pay for, or otherwise accomodate, their every little extra need are of all kinds; but especially antismokers who think everyone else is supposed to have no place or no (equal) time to engage in a legal activity of THEIR personal choosing.

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Apr 6, 2012 8:36 AM SealTeam6 SealTeam6 SealTeam6 SealTeam6  says: in response to Iro

Ok, one more into the fray.

Did you ever consider that in the home where you say that smokers cause fires that it is perhaps their impaired judgment due to alcohol that is the main cause? Many of those who drink smoke. If they drink irresponsibly they are more likely to smoke irresponsibly. So what is causing the fires, smoking, alcohol, impaired judgment?

Wait.. let me get this right, so now you are picking on people who drink ? So smoking is blameless, it is all the irresponsible alcohol drinkers who are causing the "misuse" of cigarettes ? Whoa... that is an amazing analysis.

Smoking also  increases the liability for the employer. If they have ashtrays etc that are not properly used, or cigarettes not properly extinguished and that leads to a fire then they are going to be sued by everyone for "improper facilities for smokers'. I'm sure that is not out of the realm of possibility.

I think smoking is a dying fad (in more ways than one). Defending it in any form is pointless and at the end of the day what does it achieve ? I wonder what the smoking policy at work is for tobacco companies ... anyone ? Wouldn't it be ironic if R J Renolds had a no smoking policy on the premises policy.

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Apr 6, 2012 9:03 AM Kevin Kevin  says:

Perhaps the most efficient way to deal with the artificial problem being described here, would be to deal with the very few professional victims out there, who, similar to the author of this piece, hope to join their own self sanctimony and intolerance to a larger group. No one has to be an anti-smoker or a bigot, just because they choose not to smoke. You unfortunately are not part of the "78%" you are just a fanatic with emotional problems, who walks behind the crowd. Even the 78% number you latched on to and cling to, in order to sell your wares, is as nonsensical as the rest of your drivel. When 26% of the population are to young to be classified smoker or non smoker, because they haven't made the decision yet ["their only right"? according to how you see it]. Try to grow up and get used to the idea that some people smoke. With 22% of the total population, that means over 6 million in Canada and 60 Million in the States. Which is about the same number as those who smoked 50 years ago, within a much smaller population. The only thing that has changed in the interim is the efficiency of hatred and its range of distribution by governments and Public health agencies. Not unlike the lessons we learned in the past, which took away government rights and medical community rights, in favor of autonomy rights. The rule over your own body and the right to be left alone. When you pay a third party to defame others, by ignoring those rights, you are every bit as criminal today, as you have always been, just a little sneakier. Hatred has no upside and it is a reputation that is impossible to live down. Are you really going to go there, in order to sell your own comfort, at the expense of ,many others?

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Apr 6, 2012 9:11 AM Iro Iro  says: in response to SealTeam6 SealTeam6

Picking on people who drink? Sensitive any?  I think I made it very clear that people who drink tend to smoke more than people who don't.  If a person is sober they can dispose of their cigarette much more responsibly than people who are drunk.  So again, if we're going to look for culprits, what is more responsible for fires drinking or smoking?  Has logic totally left this forum?  Or perhaps you'd like to read it from the ''authorities'' since you can't reason this all by yourself and you won't take my word for it: 

http://www.usfa.fema.gov/downloads/pdf/statistics/v3i3.pdf

Fires are the fourth leading cause of unintentional injuries; studies indicate that up to 40% of residential fire death victims are alcohol impaired.

Burn victims with high alcohol blood levels are more likely to die than burn victims with no alcohol impairment.

Smoking combined with alcohol abuse exacerbates the risk of fires, fire injuries, and fire deaths.

And about employers' liability.  Do I understand it correctly that you think employers will be liable if they supply ashtrays but won't be liable if their employees just toss the cigarette down from the second floor because there are no ashtrays around to accommodate them?  OKidokie

Whether smoking is a dying fad it is not the point at all in this discussion.  Propaganda and bigotry masquerading as information is what is. 

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Apr 6, 2012 9:22 AM SealTeam6 SealTeam6 SealTeam6 SealTeam6  says: in response to Iro

And about employers' liability. Do I understand it correctly that you think employers will be liable if they supply ashtrays but won't be liable if their employees just toss the cigarette down from the second floor because there are no ashtrays around to accommodate them? OKidokieThe point is if an employer explicitly bans something like smoking then somebody is breaking their law by smoking on the premises. It gives some extra degree of immunity from lawsuits. Compare that with explicitly allowing behavior that is potentially hazardous. Which do you think is better from the employers' point of view ? Nothing is perfect. After all we live in a world of lawyers.Whether smoking is a dying fad it is not the point at all in this discussion. Propaganda and bigotry masquerading as information is what is.

What exactly is the propaganda and bigotry ? Smoking does not translate to some kind of civil rights movement. It is a learned behavior that is not inherent. Are you going also start defending people who chew tobacco ? They would want spitoons placed next to those ash trays at work.

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Apr 6, 2012 9:24 AM Kevin Kevin  says:

In the intro it states from "under the rug".

Shouldn't that read; from under the rock?

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Apr 6, 2012 9:34 AM Kevin Kevin  says:

Lets look at the facts, since the fanatics love the statistical road? 60 million smokers @ 20 per day, equals 1.2 billion cigarettes a day, 365 days a year which takes us over a half a trillion cigarettes annually, and how many house fires? your risk is

x/500,000,000,000 

The evidence says that the vast majority of cigarettes are smoked responsibly with very few exceptions whereas when you evaluate the prescription bottles and health warnings which are placed on them, by court order in many cases, by comparison the risks are extreme. Cigarettes don't cause house fires negligence causes house fires right along with many other types of human tragedy.

Medical mistakes and prescription drug miscues, cause over 900,000 deaths every year, in the United States alone, why is no one banning doctors or drug company executives from advertising? The same way we treated the tobacco companies when they played down the risks of their products? We should be banning drug products from the workplace, holding the big pharmacy sharks to account, the same people who created the "fear" of second hand smoke for financial benefit alone.

Just rewards for their efforts, would be Justice for all.

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Apr 6, 2012 9:38 AM Iro Iro  says: in response to SealTeam6 SealTeam6

''It gives some extra degree of immunity from lawsuits. Compare that with explicitly allowing behavior that is potentially hazardous. ''

Point taken.  However, I believe that an employer is liable for anything their employees do on their premises whether legal or illegal because they are under the direct management/supervision of their employer.  But let's try some common sense again (I'm an eternal optimist What is more hazardous sneaking a cigarette anywhere one can, or having a designated comfortable sitting area with ashtrays to responsibly extinguish one's cigarette like it has always been done prior to all this manufactured anti-smoker hysteria?

Bigotry doesn't have to be enshrined in the constitution to be recognized as such.  It could be immoral, unethical and discriminatory without being illegal.  And it is precisely because smokers are not a protected class of people that they have become open game for people who love to have someone to ridicule and despise.  One is legally allowed to exercise such bigotry but one must be ready to be called out on the immoral and unethical propaganda, lies and bigotry that one spouts. 

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Apr 6, 2012 9:46 AM SealTeam6 SealTeam6 SealTeam6 SealTeam6  says: in response to Kevin

Medical mistakes and prescription drug miscues, cause over 900,000 deaths every year, in the United States alone, why is no one banning doctors or drug company executives from advertising? The same way we treated the tobacco companies when they played down the risks of their products? We should be banning drug products from the workplace, holding the big pharmacy sharks to account, the same people who created the "fear" of second hand smoke for financial benefit alone

Yes, I am aware of the dangers of prescription drugs. The difference is drugs (atleast in theory) are designed to improve (yeah, I know that is a relative perception)  lives and go through a long process of being tested and approved. As I said, nothing is perfect and human/corporate  greed land up pushing dangerous drugs onto the market. But smoking has no such positive philosophy behind it. To conflate that smoking is somehow connected with "freedom" and people disliking smokers are bigots is a bit much. People who face real bigotry are not targeted for something they learned by slick advertizing.

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Apr 6, 2012 10:12 AM Iro Iro  says: in response to SealTeam6 SealTeam6

''But smoking has no such positive philosophy behind it.''

The literature begs to differ.  Of course you won't hear about it through officialdom but smoking doesn't come only with risks of harm (some higher than others depending on the number of cigarettes one smokes) but with many benefits.  Much like prescription drugs, should it not be up to each and every adult to either start or continue smoking after they weighed the harms vs. the benefits smoking offers them?  But for this we need honest education not bogus studies, propaganda and outright fraudulent claims against smoking. 

75% of schizophrenics and to a lesser extent other mentally impaired people self medicate with smoking to help them cope with their symptoms, sufferers of ulcerative colitis found relief only through smoking, smoking enhances cognitive functions and memory, it helps control weight, it gives energy by increasing glucose levels, it has the dual function of relaxing and exciting depending on one's need of the moment, it helps prevent Alzheimer's and Parkinson, it relieves boredom, it is the lonely person's best friend and helps them through hard times, it helps some asthmatics to alleviate their symptoms (yes hard to believe but true)  and other benefits that I simply forget right now. 

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Apr 6, 2012 10:13 AM Don Tennant Don Tennant  says: in response to Kevin

1. It's not 22% of the entire population. It's 22% of adult Americans. I would suggest that you read posts more carefully before commenting on them.

2. What 'wares' are you under the impression that I'm trying to sell?

3. My post has nothing to do with sanctimony. It has everything to do with fairness. There simply is no other personal habit that has anything approaching  the widespread negative impact on other people that smoking does, whether it's a child who's health is affected by parents who smoke, or a worker who has to endure the telltale odor on a person who returns to work after a smoke break.

4. Your inference is that people who express views against smoking are necessarily being judgmental. That's nonsense. Whether a person smokes or not is entirely his business, and no one has the right to judge that behavior. But it becomes someone else's business when it affects him or her, and too many people are too hesitant to say anything about it for fear of being unfairly branded as judgmental or sanctimonious.

5. You appear to be new to this blog. Your views are more than welcome and your contribution is appreciated. But be informed that personal insults directed at me or any other individual are not tolerated, and any comment that contains a personal insult will be deleted. Nothing I have ever written bespeaks hatred of anyone, and I am insulted by your comment to that effect. I am also insulted by your unfounded claim that I have an ulterior motive in expressing my views-that I'm trying to sell something. You get a pass this time. Express your views on the subject matter freely and openly, but leave the personal insults out of it.

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Apr 6, 2012 10:17 AM Question Question  says:

Don, a serious question. Why did you delete/censor ALL of Mag's comments?

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Apr 6, 2012 10:27 AM SealTeam6 SealTeam6 SealTeam6 SealTeam6  says: in response to Iro

Alligator blood has very powerful antibiotic properties but I don't think you are going to cure yourself of an infection by drinking alligator blood. Similarly tobacco's medicinal properties I daresay are not going to come from a filtered additive filled cigarette sold via slick marketing campaigns.

Also the dosages of such things need to be figured out and overdosing levels stated. But I don't see this small positive aspect to be the reason to give a blanket approval to smokers at workplaces.

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Apr 6, 2012 10:29 AM Don Tennant Don Tennant  says: in response to Question

I deleted not only Mag's comments, but all comments in reply to Mag. The thread involving Mag had deteriorated into a progression of snide comments and mean-spiritedness, and I will not allow that on my blog. I have no problem with the ranting, but mean-spiritedness directed at other individuals will not be tolerated. Mag is going to have to take it someplace else.

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Apr 6, 2012 10:34 AM Iro Iro  says:

A question I've been meaning to ask Seal.  In one of his posts he states this:  ''I just went through the process of buying some life insurance and one of the first questions on the form and what was again asked at my health exam was "are you a smoker''. 

Did you ever wonder Seal why the life insurance company did not ask you whether you were living with a smoker or working in a smoke laden environment?  If all the propaganda about smokers harming others were true don't you think that the actuarians would have caught up to that by now and would be charging higher premiums to non-smokers who live or work with smokers?  After all doesn't the propaganda tell us that second hand smoke is even more harmful than mainstream smoke? 

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Apr 6, 2012 10:40 AM Iro Iro  says: in response to SealTeam6 SealTeam6

''But I don't see this small positive aspect to be the reason to give a blanket approval to smokers at workplaces. ''

I think our discussion evolved way past the approval of smokers at workplaces.  I was commenting on your contention that there were no positive aspects to smoking.  By the way, I am not lying when I am saying that there are many more benefits including a couple for pregnant women.  And if my choice was to drink alligator blood instead of taking penicillin, I don't see why someone would have the right to stop me for any reason besides that alligators are a protected species now. 

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Apr 6, 2012 10:41 AM SealTeam6 SealTeam6 SealTeam6 SealTeam6  says: in response to Iro

That is a good question. I wouldn't be surprised if it does show up in the future. There were questions about whether I participated in high risk activities like flying and mountain climbing. Depending on what the insurance company's underwriters tell them, the questionnaire could vary among companies.

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Apr 6, 2012 10:58 AM Iro Iro  says: in response to SealTeam6 SealTeam6

Seal, if there are any insurance companies that ask this question I think someone would have pointed it out by now.  Trust me the anti-tobacco propagandists thrive on such news, they even instigate them.  Besides annoyance and irritation (which are good enough reasons for one not wanting to be around smoke in their workplace but it shouldn't stop employers from offering comfortable warm dry places for smokers to indulge in their habit) second hand smoke harm is based on nothing but propaganda.   Propaganda heavily funded by the pharmaceutical industry that wants to isolate, demonize and ostracize smokers to the point of coercing them to quit.  Having brainwashed the smoker that he is too addicted to quit on his own albeit millions have done it cold turkey in the past and it is still the preferred and most effective method of honest professionals, they peddle to smokers their virtually useless nicotine replacement therapy and dangerous drugs such as Champix and Zyban, over and over and over.  Nice repeat business when you can get it! 

If you had the patience to stick around I can show you exactly how much the mouth pieces for Big Pharma (the anti-tobacco lobbyists) have gotten from Big Pharma interests to manufacture this second hand smoke hysteria.  The ends do not justify the means!  There are people suffering tremendously because of this propaganda and it is time their fellow citizens, whether smokers or nons,  stick up for them and see the scam for what it is. 

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Apr 6, 2012 11:11 AM Kevin Kevin  says: in response to SealTeam6 SealTeam6

"But smoking has no such positive philosophy behind it. To conflate that smoking is somehow connected with "freedom" and people disliking smokers are bigots is a bit much. People who face real bigotry are not targeted for something they learned by slick advertizing."

Smoking was not invented recently by tobacco companies or slick advertising. It has been with us for hundreds of years. People smoke for a variety of personal reasons, far beyond the prophesies entrenching only addiction, insanity or nicotine. If you can treat an "addiction to nicotine" by providing nicotine, as the drug companies would have you believe, where is the addiction? If it were anyone's intent to curb smoking, the physiological science tells us you would treat an addiction to nicotine with Niacin which is the only product on the planet, that will replicate the effects of smoking without inhalation, simply because, like it or not, nicotine is niacin and when you burn it, the oxidized product produced is nicotinic acid which is the only key that fits the lock, in so called "nicotine receptors" which in turn release "feel good endorphins" in the brain, which trigger memory and physical enhancements which increase reaction times and clarity of thought Advantages which are not evident without that stimulus. So in truth smoking can legitimately be seen as self medication. Effects in your brain which are the same stimulus you experience when you smell fresh baked bread, which is what smokers crave.

The trouble is, once again "treatments" are far more profitable than "cures", we will never see. The drug companies can't patent and grossly profit from the sale of niacin, as they do with smoking patches and gum.

Believe it or not and in spite of what the paid advertising has been telling you for years. "nicotine receptors" do not magically appear when someone lights up their first cigarette. We all have them, they are normally known as aceto-chlorine receptors, outside of the financially conflicted lobby crowd. Or the body part charities who dole out awards to drug companies every year, only because they are the largest sponsors of "conquering cancer" campaigns, recently slid in there, in place of "finding the cure". Controlling people will never cure what ails them or anyone for that matter. All you do is divide them from within, which explains why non smokers are the defined target, of anti-smoking ad campaigns.

The corruption runs deep and venting your anger on smokers is no cure. If we had a cure for cancer and heart disease and a long list of so called "smoking related diseases", what other consequences beyond imposed morality could you find, in support of minding other people's business?

Think about it, the last major cure we saw was for Polio over 50 years back. With all the technology available today, wouldn't we be right in expecting a cure, any cure, for something?

They call these people "Public health experts" because that is what they want us to call them, in accordance with the reputations they purchased from ad agencies and spin doctors,  I just call them thieves.

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Apr 6, 2012 11:21 AM Iro Iro  says:

This link will take you to many others (I don't know how many are still active cause it's a 2007 article) that exposes what the pharmaceutical interests have dished to implement smoking bans in the USA alone.  This is not the whole picture but it gives you a darn good idea.

http://cleanairquality.blogspot.ca/2007/02/smoking-bans-good-public-policy-or.html

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Apr 6, 2012 11:59 AM SealTeam6 SealTeam6 SealTeam6 SealTeam6  says:

Don:

It looks like smoking in the tech industry is lower than the national average:

Occupations typically requiring four-year college degrees -- law, science, teaching, architecture and engineering, information technology -- all had smoking prevalence rates below 14 percent.

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/smoking-blue-collar-habit-cdc-researchers/story?id=14640985#.T38SL45AyM8

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Apr 7, 2012 1:00 AM Iro Iro  says: in response to Iro

I am sure you can all deduce that bariatric surgeries, diet pills and whatever else they'll invent are why Big Pharma is partnering with public health, but how many of you know that they now claim that Chantix http://www.news-medical.net/news/2007/07/10/27317.aspx helps heavy drinkers stop drinking and they're developing a chemical alcohol substitute (same substance as in Valium) and a pill to sober you up after?  http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/features/2721802/Ex-drugs-tsar-claims-we-could-be-drinking-healthy-alchol-in-3-years.html 

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Apr 7, 2012 8:49 AM Sandy Sandy  says:

(Still no response to my post of yesterday)  In addition, I will add that I worked for a company way back in the 80's that was a pioneer in going smoke-free.  Not being experienced yet in how this would work, management at first juts threw it out there -- that you could go out and smoke whenever you wanted.  On the very first day of this, it was clear almost all of the most productive and best employees of the company were outside smoking.  My gosh, I was so proud to be among them.  I knew some of the also best employees (truthfully just a handful) were nonsmokers inside; but here's the thing: ALL of the smokers were from this sample among the best.  Don Tennant mentions IT people as having high percentages of smokers. Creatives and LEADERS might be two other groups.  I know info-tech people as kids are often those who devote long hours to the computer -- just like the other two types, they are thus people capable of real PASSION about an interest, a vocation -- TYPE A, and thus more likely to also seek out something like smoking because it's a great de-stresser.  Antismoking in my opinion is one of the major causes of the down-turn in our once remarkable economy.  Type A's need not apply; and the mediocrities are too busy monitoring everyone's behavior to do much of their own work.  If you are a smoker who still has a decent paying job, the incentive to spread some of it around back into the economy going to restaurants, etc., has been drastically lessened. Spare me about the weary story about the one smoker who goes out to eat with friends once a year and doesn't complain (in the interest of being polite).  The day is coming real soon when even nonsmokers are going to start complaining that nobody has any fun anymore, period.  We could have come to a reasonable point of compromise on this issue -- since most smokers are also obviously thinking people who have proven to be more than willing. Unfortunately, antismokers are of a breed that just want to ruin everything in sight; and they call it saving lives.  It's their RELIGION, and the rest of us should be protected from any such statist imposition.  LET'S RECOGNIZE ANTISMOKING AS THE ENEMY TO OUR ECONOMY THAT IS IS.

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Apr 7, 2012 9:23 AM ion ion  says:

Its not very healthy to stay with people when they are smoking at workplace, but you cant bann them.I think that should be special places where you can smoke.You cant refuse to hire someone just for being a smoker and you cant have an Background Checks for everyone.

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Apr 7, 2012 10:00 AM Iro Iro  says: in response to Sandy

Sandy, since anti-smokers will not answer you obviously because you're challenging their dogmatic views, let me just add to what you're stating about smokers being some of the best workers out there and how anti-smoking could indeed be affecting economies more than we care to imagine:  

Read this article (translated from the Dutch original):  Science is conclusive: Tobacco increases work capacity at http://dengulenegl.dk/English/Nicotine.html and find out how and why:

- Nicotine boosts attention, precision, motor skills, speed and memory

- Why are many scientists, athletes and artists smokers?

- Nicotine makes the brain faster and more precise

- Are smokers better drivers and pilots?

- Smoking gives the brain more stamina

- Is the smoke-free society an economic growth free society?

And the authors conclude by asking the following questions: 

''Everything has a price, and the advantage of achieving health benefits in the war against smoking may very well be matched by paying a high price in the economy in terms of loss of innovation and economic growth.

The question is, in other words, whether the so-called smoke-free society is an economic growth-free society. And if so, can the irritation of smoke in workplace be solved in other ways? E.g. by splitting the workforce and implementing a better and more efficient ventilation of indoor air in workplaces?

After all, who really wants reduced performance from people who perform vital, concentration intensive tasks in society as in the example of smoking pilots, that Dr. Heimstra mentioned in 1976 (12) - or from smoking surgeons or rescuers?''

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Apr 7, 2012 12:12 PM SealTeam6 SealTeam6 SealTeam6 SealTeam6  says: in response to Iro

If performance enhancement by chemical means is the goal, should steroids and other similar drugs be allowed in competitive sports ? If the only metric is the record achieved or the endurance of the athlete, why should there be such a rigorous ban on the use of such substances ? We have seen remarkable records discarded because of the use of performance enhancing drugs. Isn't that a waste ?

For short term gains there obviously are longer term losses. How would you feel if employers encouraged the use of performance enhancement drugs for their employees ? I mean based on your argument that "better" at any cost is apparently the sole criteria for measure of success , why not encourage employees to use sleep suppression drugs to work long shifts ?  

Somehow I doubt we're going to see an F-22 pilot in a high G turn with a cigarette dangling out of his oxygen mask, despite what the good Dr Helmstra said 35+ years ago.

I think we have probably taken this debate as far as it can go.

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Apr 7, 2012 12:33 PM Iro Iro  says: in response to Iro

More pharmaceutical partnerships and on a global scale: 

WHO LAUNCHES PARTNERSHIP WITH THE PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY TO HELP SMOKERS QUIT

http://www.who.int/inf-pr-1999/en/pr99-04.html

Please note the following paragraph: 

''The strength of the Partnership Project lies in the fact that it has brought together three major pharmaceutical companies, Glaxo Wellcome, Novartis Consumer Health and Pharmacia & Upjohn, all manufacturers of treatment products for tobacco dependence, to support a common goal that will have a significant impact on public health. The Project provides a model which can provide a basis for future partnerships with the private sector in other important health areas. ''

Got that folks? ''a model which can provide a basis for future partnerships with the private sector in other important health areas.'' So when people who had seen through the anti-smoking scam a long time ago warned you that if you let them get away with their anti-smoking propaganda your turn will eventually come, you should have believed them.  We are already seeing employers deny employment to obese people and the WHO has recently declared that there is no safe level to alcohol consumption.  Yes you heard that right so forget about two glasses of wine per day being good for you or that alcohol is no problem when you don't abuse it.  Give it more or less 10 years and drinking at a bar will no longer be allowed, for your own and the kiddies good of course.  And yes they have even invented second hand fat  http://news.discovery.com/human/fatty-foods-cooking-health.html and have tried to pass a law in Mississippi to ban obese people from certain eateries http://billstatus.ls.state.ms.us/2008/pdf/history/HB/HB0282.xml.  Thankfully it didn't pass....this time! 

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Apr 8, 2012 3:56 AM Kevin Kevin  says: in response to SealTeam6 SealTeam6

Are you suggesting that we extend the situation where Government agencies and body part charities are being allowed to control the management of someone Else's body?

Paternalism to the extreme... It is bad enough that financially conflicted and for profit interests are being allowed to govern over elected officials without mandate through "stakeholder partnerships" at the UN. We should now accept that they should have a right to govern paternalist mantra directly in the workplace?

How much do they pay you? I am obviously being underpaid, because I do not receive anywhere close to a level that I would accept such a working environment.

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Apr 19, 2012 5:45 AM Global Visas Fraud Complaints Unfounded Global Visas Fraud Complaints Unfounded  says:

According to me, Smoking is not a bad thing to do for professionals at least. If the employees of A company get disturbed by smoking of others, then there is no need to ban the smoking. The company's owner can make a smoking area in the company, where smokers can go and smoke. This will give the satisfaction to both of the parties.

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May 16, 2012 11:13 AM Buy Lighters Now Buy Lighters Now  says:

thank you so much, i love your blog!

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Oct 31, 2012 1:29 PM Vapor Supporter Vapor Supporter  says:
Although I agree with some of this points, the author is being a bit harsh. You shouldn't discriminate on smokers just because you're not using cigarettes, that's just wrong. On the other hand, recent studies have proven smoking is a real productivity killer, with weeks in a year lost on cigarette breaks by employees. Reply
Mar 9, 2013 3:47 PM Jo Jo  says:
I'm very bothered be someone's smoking at working; she is always outside smoking and texting every hour. Unfortunately I let it get the best of me. I started this job in January of 2013 this co-worker was always talking in the back with people in the center, and her boyfriend worked next door at the Salon. Also, she would leave the store to buy a pack of cigarettes, what gives smokers the right to slack off at work, and get away with it! Well, after two months of working at this location I couldn't work with someone with such low WORK ETHICS. And, I was fired because of my attitude toward her and like I said "I let it get the best of me." Again I ask what gives smokers the right to slack off at work. Hackers are Slackers!!!! Reply
Mar 22, 2013 4:30 PM Dean Swin Dean Swin  says:
Interesting post. I think that you can make a topic about the bankruptcy. Good luck! Reply
Aug 8, 2013 6:50 AM Nikki Nikki  says:
First of all, I don't know where you people get your statistics. I am a smoker and the only breaks I take during the workday are the ones I am legally granted, along with non-smokers, who are granted the same number/length of time. I choose to have a cigarette during my 10 minute break, some choose to have a cup of coffee. No one's blaming coffee drinkers for a company's financial loses, nor do I see anyone suggesting to ban coffee in the workplace or discriminate against those who drink it?!?!?!?! Then to suggest that the workplace should be hostile to smokers? Better hit the law books, since smoking is legal & anything legal that I choose to do is irrelevant to anything in the workplace, as long as I don't do it while physically IN THE OFFICE! As for health insurance premiums....If you plan on jacking up rates for smokers, then you better make sure to do it for any employee with higher risks (ie family history of cardiac issues, cancer of ANY kind, stroke, etc) otherwise you are, according to the law, discriminating based on a perceived disability. Don't believe me? Go to any page that details labor/employment laws or the ACLU. Amazing how people fall for propaganda so easily. Reply
Mar 28, 2016 6:11 AM Hasse Karlgreen Hasse Karlgreen  says:
I am reading your blog and comment as well. It is very nice. Yes, many people do the smoking in the workplace. It is not good for other people. Reply

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