Smokers Need Not Apply

By Christina Hager, WBZ-TV

NEWBURYPORT (CBS) — If you smoke, don’t bother applying for a job at Anna Jaques Hospital in Newburyport.

The hospital is requiring job applicants to take nicotine tests. If they test positive, they’ll be rejected. If they quit smoking, they can try again six months later.

WBZ-TV’s Christina Hager reports.

“How far do we want our private employers to intrude in our private lives?” asks employee rights attorney Philip Gordon. “What happens if, during that blood test, they find out something else about me?”

Hospital spokesperson Deb Chiaravalloti says, “We believe as a health care organization we need to make sure we have a healthy environment for our employees and our patients. Smokers are not a protected class.”

Last year, the hospital prohibited employees from smoking in the designated fenced-off area outside the building.

Next year, the hospital plans to ban smoking on the campus all together, even for patients and visitors.

While Anna Jaques is the first hospital in Massachusetts to require nicotine testing, it is not the first employer. Last month, the Massachusetts Hospital Association announced it is no longer hiring smokers.

More from Christina Hager
  • john_hudsonma

    Any private employer should be able to discriminate any way they want. Who is the government to tell them who to hire? If an employer is a public employer, the rules change, but leave the private employers alone. If you don’t like their rules, don’t use their services.

    • jdoe

      Sounds good, just be sure to return any federal grants, tax credits, federal aid, or money that helps your “private” business.

    • David Ray

      A large part of this hospital’s income is derived from medicare, which MY tax dollars pay for. And yes, I’m a smoker… This is none of their business what I choose to put into my own body. Especially when it comes to a LEGAL item you can buy in any grocery store, here in America. That’s just wrong.

      • Russ

        I agree you ought to have the right to smoke. If you want to be that stupid that is indeed your right. However medicare does not provide hospitals with “income”. It sends people to get treated and then pays less then the cost of that treatment. Or maybe you haven’t kept up with the news for the last 15 years or so?

    • Justin

      They don’t care if you are on dope and crack… but nicotine!!! – you are OUT!!!

    • Ron

      Hospitals are not private employers, they are supported by our tax dollars. What an employee does during their off duty time is no business of the employer, and this employer should be sanctioned for this irresponsible act.

      • cat

        NON-Profit hospitals do not pay taxes. Why do you think they keep building on and on and on to their hospitals. They don’t want to lose their tax free status.
        Anna Jacques Hospital is a non-profit, and therefore, supported by our tax dollars.

      • Burt J

        Wrong, Ron; many hospitals ARE private employers. It’s only when they’re affiliated with the government, as in a county medical center, state university medical center, etc., that they receive government assistance with our tax dollars. ALL other hospitals are corporations, and thus subject to different laws. If the corporation’ benefits package does not include healthcare, the hospitals have a lot more leeway as to whom they will or will not hire.I’m confident that our Supreme court would agree with the discrimination against smokers, now that they’ve officially turned this country over to the corporations

      • Russ

        I work at a hospital. It is a non-profit. While we may not pay ‘income tax’ on our profit (as-such) we do provide endless medical care for free, or at less than actual cost for people whose medical care is “paid for” (ha) by government programs. If anyone thinks we ought to pay tax on top of this public confiscation of our money then they can take a flying leap. We do NOT get subsidized by tax dollars either even though we are ‘non profit’.

    • Richie

      Because you don’t smoke that does not mean that you are perfect if you stink does this mean you not permitted on the bus? I think you are a loser in life just thinking this way. The place should be shutt down period.

    • cj

      So Mr. Hudsonma, any employer should be allowed refuse to hire a black or hispanic person? Hmm, interesting.

      • onlyme

        Not if they receive federal funds in any way – “take the king’s shilling do the king’s bidding”

      • Tom Gilson JR

        I think that if you are a private company you can hire who you want. Why should i have to hire black or Latino ? Because they are black or Latino? What if a white or Asian guy is the best person to fit in that spot? Thats right we have quotas called affirmative action ! Equal but separate.

      • sean

        hey Cj think about what u just said… should a employer be allowed to refuse a black or hispanic employer? answer yes if there is a more qualifying person the problem is that employers are forced to hire black or spanish just because of their skin now what is the real race issue here…………

      • sean

        hey Cj think about what u just said… should a employer be allowed to refuse a black or hispanic employer? answer yes if there is a more qualifying person the problem is that employers are forced to hire black or spanish just because of their skin now what is the real race issue here……………….

      • TParty Radio

        Certainly they should be able to to NOT hire left-wing fringe kooks whatever color you are. More relevant is screening out those who have a propensity for illness to further save on health-care costs. That’s where you lefties are driving this.

      • Alex

        Why is it that discrimination only works one way? What about the black or hispanic person that refuses to work for someone! We should force them to work for someone they do not want to? That is obviously ridiculous.

        Any employer who discriminates solely on the basis of ethnicity will eventually loose out to market forces by not having the best employees available. But even if the employer does fine in the market place, he has the RIGHT to hire whomever he wants to.

      • AM

        that comment = stupid

      • Jestah

        A private business should certainly be allowed to refuse to hire (or serve) anyone they choose to and you should certainly be allowed to refuse to patronize any business you choose to.

        I don’t see what the problem is. It’s less a matter of race as it is a matter of civil liberties. It definitely wouldn’t be in my best interest to refuse to hire or serve black people as I’m a black man living in a predominantly black neighborhood, but I should certainly have that option.

      • Borleksj

        There are laws that specifically address discrimination on the basis of race. There is no law that addresses discrimination based on whether or not you smoke. However, companies can do this at their own peril. They will be excluding some very good employees.

      • Dunnyveg

        Sounds as if you are so Politically Correct you don’t believe in discrimination. In that case, you must hate monogamy. When somebody is monogamous, they are discriminating against everybody else since they won’t have sex with the rest of the world. To do away with discrimination we’d also have to do away with families since taking care of one’s own children better than the neighbor’s children is discrimination as well.

      • Bob Smith

        Yes, they should be able to. Hooters doesn’t hire male servers….

      • jonathan

        Absolutely. Do you really want to work somewhere that the boss only hired you because he had to.

      • Lance

        I love how you go straight to the race card. Wow. Racism is alive and well because of people like you, not hooded white clansmen.

      • David S

        Some day, I’m going to start a business and refuse to hire Christians! Then we’ll see how loudly these “Freedom-loving” types defend my right to discriminate!!!!

      • Russ

        cj – you’re taking the argument to an entirely unrelated and idiotic level. This has nothing to do with arbitrary discrimination because of color or background. Your logic is pathetic. I will bet 100 bucks you vote Democrat.

      • HP Loveshaft

        David S blathered: “Some day, I’m going to start a business and refuse to hire Christians! Then we’ll see how loudly these ‘Freedom-loving’ types defend my right to discriminate!!!!”

        Ahhh…yes. They hypothetical straw-man argument: when your argument is so weak a traditional straw-man just won’t do.

        Something tells me your lack of logic and outright hostility ensures you’ll never have a business successful enough to actually hire anyone. Just sayin’…

        And trust me, slappy, these ‘Freedom-loving’ types would just use their freedom of patronage to ignore a business that was S-T-U-P-I-D enough to discriminate on something like religious beliefs, and certainly wouldn’t even want to work for such nonsense.

      • Ted

        No,thats not what he said…read again…SMOKERS ARE NOT A PROTECTED GROUP!

      • Jim S

        @ David S

        So, start a business where you refuse to serve Christians. Is this supposed to bother me?

      • pumapanzz

        I WET MYSELF

    • HarryMac

      Wow, let’s get out the sheets and burn a few crosses.

      • SEAN


    • billy charles

      It’s called survival of the fittest. Smokers are dead men/women walking. Their wrinkled, worn faces tell the story, if their gravely voice doesn’t give them away. Sad really. There should be warning on those packages of cigs. Oh wait, there are.

      • Aaron

        Thomas, that’s a great idea. Our president sucks anyway. Great suggestion, got any more?

      • A

        And to you Janice. You should kill her yourself. She’s a burden in the medicare system. She’s basically eating up money that could help future generations in the long run. Good work. All you pro-smokers come up with these fantastic ideas. Keep’em coming.

      • deadhead103

        What about obesity? Obesity will soon overtake smoking as the #1 preventable cause of death. They are also dead men/woman walking yet I have not heard of any hospital not hiring fat people. Imagine the outrage, hospital won’t hire fat people!

      • Borleksj

        Some smokers, past and present:

        Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, Sigmund Freud, Mark Twain, John F. Kennedy, George Burns, Michael Jordan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jack Nicholson, Bill Cosby, Lucille Ball , David Bowie, Drew Barrymore , George , Walt Disney , Bette Davis, Sammy Davis, Jr., Barack Obama, Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison,, Alexander Graham Bell,, Robert Oppenheimer, Edwin Hubble, Franklin D Roosevelt, Gerald Ford, George Orwell, Oscar Wilde, Jean-Paul Sartre, Elizabeth Taylor, Robert Palmer, Sophia Loren, Kate Winslet, Raquel Welch, Luciano Pavarotti, Catherine Deneuve, John Wayne, Nicole Kidman, Mel Gibson, and on and on.

        Hey, maybe the smokers are the fittest. They seem to live long and productive lives.

      • Pete

        Billy, you troll. You couldn’t tell a smoker from a non-smoker if your life depended on it.

        I think they shouldn’t hire drinkers either because I don’t want someone who drinks dealing with my medical condition.

        There should be warning labels on those bottles. Oh wait, there are.

      • thomas paine

        billy, billy, billy…. Let’s just line up the smokers and shoot them since they are dead men/women. That line up would include the president and the next majority leader.

      • JaniceK

        Gee Billy, I’ll be sure to tell that to my 84 year old mother — a smoker all her adult life.

      • Reallybilly

        Well Billy I agree, and since my IQ is higher and I am younger than you, You should die too. Since you are the accused you have no rights on this matter as me and my ‘peers’ will descide what is best for you. At this point, I think you should just go back to mommys apron strings but when your ready, step back up and try the debate again.

    • scott duck

      Smokers shouldn’t concern themselves with trying to work right now. They should live out the rest of their final days with family and making it count, as time is short.

    • Charlie

      So any private employer or business should be able to allow smoking too. Without any say of the government or local laws that say so. Enter at your own risk signs should be just as good as NO Smoking signs. Just wondering.

      • SEAN


      • Jestah

        Shouldn’t an employer have a right to hire who they want though, mhoram?

      • Chris

        YES Charlie! Absolutely. It’s called PRIVATE PROPERTY. It’s what makes our country great.

      • mhoram1881

        Unfortunately the government doesn’t see it that way If a private business allowed smoking the government would swoop in and shut them down right away for violating the non-smokers rights. I myself am a non-smoker.

        To those that think this is no problem, wait til you start getting tested for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, genetic disposition to cancer, and denied a job because of any of those. Thats where this is all heading.

    • Susan Bennett

      A feeling widely shared in thestates of the Old Confederacy until quite recently as I recall

      • Charlie

        So Susan Bennett, Do you believe in the free choice or everybody should do as you do.

    • reese

      Employers have no right to tell us what to do in our private lives regardless. I bet this employer allows people to drink on their off time. Or I bet it allows them to skydive. So this no smoking thing is just silly. We should boycott these kinds of control freaks. With business practices like this, do you really believe they are looking out for the consumers best interest?

      • Borleksj

        This hospital should ban any attractive females because they could distract male doctors during surgery – a definite health risk for the patient.

      • Burt J

        Why not test for cholesterol, sugar, alcohol, etc. – anything and everything potentially harmful? While I’m on the subject, what ever happened to good grammar, spelling and punctuation. many of these comments are borderline illiterate

      • Sheri

        This needs to be stopped or employers will try all kinds of abuses. One of the last couple of places I applied for a job wanted to do blood tests – for what they wouldn’t say. Another wanted a list of all my prescriptions. All that info is none of their business.

    • Craig Henne

      How about gay men, don’t they have a much higher HIV infection rate? CDC says yes. Can you imagine the cost factor in having someone contract HIV and having to cover them?

      • Sheri


        I’m a pharmacist. Cholesterol levels are none of an employer’s business. They have no right to force anyone to take medicine.

      • Totalschmuck

        Who really cares that about the fact that you are a pharmacist. Just because you can count pills doesn’t mean you understand anything better than Craig does….. (except maybe counting pills)

      • cynic

        Burt J… it isn’t that thery are Illererate…It’s just that the wbesite coler scheme makes it almost imposible to read to make corrections.


      I think people who have high cholesterol and refuse medication and have a BMI reading above normal should not be allowed to work in hospitals.

      • Russ

        BMI is the biggest load of BS and people are not questioning it!!! BMI was intended as a way to compare overall populations, i.e. the people on island “A” with the people on island “B” to see which island had the larger, more developed or better fed people. It does not take into account an individuals muscle structure or frame size or age and IT WAS NEVER MEANT TO BE USED AS A DIAGNOSTIC TOOL FOR INDIVIDUALS!!!

        TOM CRUISE’S BMI INDICATES THAT HE IS NOT ONLY OVERWEIGHT BUT OBESE. I never noticed it but he IS a big blubberly flubbery weeble whose flab wobbles and jiggles when he walks.


    • boiz

      And when someone discriminates against you because you’re not very smart, who will stick up for your rights?

    • CBC

      John, when you are discriminated against for lack of intelligence, don’t ecpect smokers do defend you.

      • Russ

        Anyone who is too weak-willed and weak-minded to get themselves to stop sucking smoke a few dozen times a day is nobody I’d want to defend me. People like that – including our so-called President – are pathetic. I feel sorry for them. Well, except not for the President. I’d like him to smoke two cartons a day.

    • Bubba

      Well you cannot discriminate based on religion, sex, age, race, sexual orientation, social status, household income, or if you are handicap.

      What is next? Blood tests to see if you are more prone to any illness and rejection based on say diet?

      • cynic

        Russ to you they are too weak-willed and weak minded to quit… Maybe it’ds just that they don’t want to quit thathey don’t. They is no reason why anyone ahouldn’t smoke if they want to. Beacuse there are sick people like you in the world has no bearing on the subject.

    • Barcellona

      Sure, can we have AIDS tests, Weight tests, cholesterol testing as well??

    • Mark Jasper

      Next week those taking opium based products will not be allowed to work either. Sorry cancer patients.

      • Russ

        Geez, if anything is going to convince me that online posting is a waste of time, it’s dumb comments like this person’s.

    • Freeman

      Unless, of course it’s a gay person, or a black person, or a professing christian, etc. God bless America.

    • Greg

      Based on that you can discriminate because of race and ethnic backgrounds right? It is after all your own private business.

      Think before you type dummy, that is a asinine statement you just made. Completely uniformed of real world realities.

  • AmyInNH

    If they’re going to only hire people who’s behavior endorses their mission, then they should also screen for overweight, disease afflicted, high risk activity, alcohol consumption, etc..

    • Borleksj

      The irony here is that smokers are usually the most productive workers, in my experience.

      • RaulJones

        How so? They’re always off taking smoke breaks.

      • scott duck

        Exactly! Borleassj nailed it. How can they ever get anything accomplished when their lives revolve around the next drag?

      • David S.

        For the same reason that when you want something done you give it to the busiest guy in the office! It’s just the way it works.

        Smokers are more productive, because we have to be in order to have the time to get our needed nic-fix.

    • chipgiii

      You are right on the money. I wonder if they are dismissing existing employees who smoke. This is anti-smoking nazis run amuck. Not an advocate of anyone smoking, but last time I checked it isn’t illegal to smoke in this country.

      • RaulJones

        Not illegal, but it is a health risk. Look it up sometime.

      • n/a

        People with hiv can be considered a health risk. What should we do with them?

      • Craig Henne

        Why can’t they tell people they may not ride a motorcycle or engage in other “risky” types of sports or activities? No snow skiing ,etc.

      • Borleksj

        Life is fatal. So maybe we should ban all life.

    • TB

      Personally, I am a smoker; when i’m not working. I do not take smoke breaks, I do not smoke on my lunch. I do not go to work smelling of smoke; my personal choice doesn’t effect my job in any way. I don’t feel they have a right to not hire someone b/c of smoking. That is just silly. They do have the right to keep it off of campus, yes. But that’s about it.

      • Think about it

        “I drink a great deal. I sleep a little, and I smoke cigar after cigar. That is why I am in two-hundred-percent form.” – Winston Churchill (lived to age 91)

      • Russ

        TB – you THINK you don’t go to work smelling of smoke. Trust me, you smell worse than a cat’s litter box with a fresh load of “sausage” in it. You just can’t smell it because your sense of smell is mangled from smoke.

        I thought I didn’t smell bad, except RIGHT after a cigarette, when I was a smoker, and now I realize how bad I DID smell from smoking. I will agree they should not refuse to hire a smoker, unless possibly their experience is that smokers cause problems handling and working around patients because of their smell. I can smell someone smoking even outdoors at quite a distance.

  • PBoston

    These are the same companies who serve alchohol at the company Christmas party to employees they know will get behind the wheel and drive home. You can see the hypocrisy.

    • Craig Henne

      Maybe they should ban people who imbibe in alcohol consumption? Look how many people who drink cause trouble or expense? I could site a hundred examples of risky activities. Stay out of peoples private lives.

  • mark

    Every time a smoker goes out to have a cigarette it takes time from their work. Add this up over a year and it is like a paid vacation. This is not fair to the rest of the employees.
    Why should smokers be giving this right. I would not hire them.

    • Austin

      That’s irrelevant. They’re discriminating against people who just have nicotine in their bodies. They’re free to prohibit smoking on the premises, even on lunch or breaks. Lots of places do that. Interesting how people still support discrimination, as long as it’s popular.

      • chris

        but its ok for them to screen for drugs? nicotine is a drug! whats the difference?

      • Mike

        “Interesting how people still support discrimination, as long as it’s popular.”

        Austin that is the first intelligent comment I have read. It doesn’t matter that the hospital is private they don’t get to discriminate arbitrarily.

    • jimboo2

      Your attitude is why we have unions – maybe you should start thinking your lucky that these people are even willing to work for a clown with your attitude.

      • Russ

        I’d rather hire a smoker than a union member, ANY day. You get more work out of a smoker.

    • chipgiii

      Most places you can’t leave anytime you want ot have a smoke; you have to do it on a break. One thing is for certain, if you were having heart failure and the best heart surgeon available happened to be a smoker, you would change your tune, fast. And yes Mark, you would be very surprised at how many doctors are smokers – most are very discreet, but many do smoke.

      • RaulJones

        And if he had HIV…?

    • Ron

      The majority of smokers I know only do it during breaks/lunch. As for not hiring one, some of the best and most dependable folks I have ever worked with were smokers. Also, the last I heard, it is against the law to refuse to hire someone only baseed on the fact that they have partaken of a completely lawful item. That would be the same as saying that you would not hire someone for drinking kool-aid which is probably what you are drinking since your argument is so lame.

  • Ryan

    Well first off this is a hospital so they have every right to weed out the people who are doing unhealthy habits. Should they not hire “fat” people? They probably are doing that right now. It costs the employer money for health insurance so if they can show that their employees are non-smokers they probably get a break on the cost. I think that in this economy that everyone should be doint the same thing. Stop drinking soda, stop smoking cigarettes, stop drinking a ton of alcohol. Start growing your own vegetables and fruits and start eating healthy. Or simply choose another place to work.

    • n/a

      Yes. So now a company can hire only blonde hair and blue eyed people? Let’s get to the heart of this. Only the approve class of human, physically and ideologically will succeed financially in society. Are these thin, nonsmoking, bicycle riding, volvo driving, obama voters the new ubermensch?

    • Martin Hale

      Ryan, without endorsing or disparaging your the rest of you ideas, I suspect you’ve hit on the real motivation for this action – the cost savings on health insurance.

      It’s no coincidence that this story is being reported just ahead of the New Year – I’d bet years of HR experience that their new health care policy takes effect on 1 January and they’re just getting their ‘ducks in a row’ to be compliant with the new policy.. Smokers just plain cost more to cover with heath insurance and at a time when health insurance premiums are rising 15% and more, it makes a certain sense in requiring your group to be smoke free in order to get a discount.

      • JaniceK

        Surely you aren’t saying that Obamacare is going to increase my rates? He promised me that wouldn’t happen! /sarcasm off

  • Joe

    So I take it we should cut out bathroom breaks, lunch breaks, and breaks in general so people can’t just decompress for a few minutes.

    I personally hate smoking, but to state that they can’t do it because they’re taking a break is a stupid argument!

    • Russ

      I used to be a smoker and like many others I might go outside four times a day for maybe five minutes or so to have a smoke. (Of course you stink so bad for the first ten minutes after you come in you can hardly work around anyone, but…) Say 20 minutes a day, an hour forty minutes a week, that’s like 80 hours a year being paid to suck on cigarettes. Oops, that adds up. And don’t say ‘yes but non smokers do XYZ’ because smokers do the same other things just as much.

      • cj

        Oh, Russ. Unlike you will refrain from calling you names. My comment only noted the practice of selective discrimination leads to dark places. Cigarettes are legal, and smokers have the right to smoke. The act of smoking does not alters one’s ability to provide excellent medical care.
        That said, I agree any employer has the right to fire someone for cause. If a smoker regularly calls off because of their habit, the employer has the right to fire them. I’ll further stipulate that an employer does not need offer heath benefits to smokers — which are artifacts of enticing people to apply for a job.
        What an employer should NOT be allowed to discriminate based on a legal right we all enjoy.
        And for your information I am a life long registered Democrat, not “democra-tic.” I am a conservative who has been voting mostly for Republicans because I more a libertarian in my beliefs. Freedom means I will be offended by what others believe and/or lawful activities — that is my right. Freedom means I will NOT prevent anyone from perusing their happiness simply because I disagree with their choices.

      • cynic

        Russ..with all due (None)respect …you are FOS.

  • Shay

    people smoke on their breaks genious…. non smokers get breaks to

    • RaulJones

      I don’t get any breaks where I work. Not even a lunch break. Shoots down your “theory”, doesn’t it?

      • Kim DryGuys

        Breaks are mandatory per Federal Law. Workers rights and all that. Why cant someone use their breaks to do as they choose? Its nicotine, not heroin. jeez.

      • frank

        So you are ok firing someone who smokes at home, and never while at work?

      • CW

        Then you should call the State & start asking about labor laws.

      • DoAsISay

        Well Raul if you work for someone else than they are violating federal law not allowing you a break or lunch during an 8 hour day. If you work for yourself, well that’s your choice.

  • cj

    When they came for the Jews, I said nothing. When they came for me, there was no one left to say anything. Don’t be so willing to restrict the freedoms of others — that’s not ‘fair’ either.
    Tabaco is a legal product. All posting here had best be ready to lose their own freedoms, whatever they may be.

    • RaulJones

      Gads, that argument got old years ago. I have the right to be free from stinkin’ ass smokers. So there.

      • tsp

        Mr. Jones,
        “I have the right to be free from stinkin’ ass smokers. So there.”

        No you don’t.

        In a society we all have to tolerate things we may not like. ‘I have a right to be free from your car’s exhaust’, ‘I have a right to be free from your BO as I pass you on the street’, ‘I Have the right to be free of the eye pollution of your appearance’.

        When a majority of society becomes as intolerant as you appear to be it’s all over.

        No company should be able to dictate the behavior of their employees when they are ‘off the clock’.

      • n/a


  • Shay

    it’s like someone said above… can;’t lay off the big mac’s… don’t apply… got health problems, your out to,… rediculous and hypocritical

  • reggie

    You submit to a screen for illegal drugs awhen you pply at even McDonalds. What is different? Both illegal drugs and cigarettes are PROVEN to be harmful to your health. How is this any different other than cigarettes are still legal?

    • KD

      There are some cases where tobacco is actually therapeutic. You will never hear about it from the anti tobacco Nazis though. Just something to consider.

      • Russ

        I’ve heard that tobacco is sometimes therapeutic, but only up til about age 63 when you die of lung cancer.

    • Reggie

      Look at the amount of time lost in your own workplace to “smoke breaks” and sick days. With the gov’t making it nearly impossible for a hospital to financially break even, why not screen out the less productive employees?

      • Shay

        are you seriously implying that non smokers don’t take sick days?

      • julaine

        how about the workers who have kids and need to take time off for sick kids, etc

    • Shay

      very simply ILLEGAL drugs… are not legal… tobacco products are… you really need that spelled out for you?

      • Reggie

        Legality is only a formality. The FDA has banned a lot of drugs that are MUCH safer than cigarettes, but because tobacco has the money behind it, it isn’t regulated by the FDA. You’re not seeing the big picture here. I assume you are a liberal.

    • Borleksj

      You’re kidding, right?

    • Whitewitch

      Therein lies the difference….cigarettes are different. Wait until something you do is considered unhealth or unliked by others in society – then we will hear screaming of unfair. But I guess you don’t smoke so it is okay if they go after smokers.

  • Shay

    no one is saying these people are out smoking during non break times. Non smokers get breaks to… are they being more productive on their breaks than smokers are? no
    What I do on my break, as long as it’s legal, is my business

  • Sandra Day

    Question: Why is tobacco still legal if it’s so lethal? America – wake up! Insurance companies are the true thieves of liberty and it is they who are making the rules as they go. No problem to pay out the wazoo for coverage, but when it’s time to pay for coverage, they will find every reason not to. It’s nothing more than a casino game – the odds are always in favor of the house. Insurance companies are ruling all of the occidental countries of today. Think about it – what rules dont’ apply to insurance companies that are set up to help them avoid paying?? It all goes back to them.

    • Reggie

      Sandra, do you smoke? Do you participate in other hazardous activities? If so, your chances of injury are higher, so if you are more likely to get injured = use benefits, why shouldn’t you pay more in insurance costs? What incentive do you have to stay healthy if there are no penalties?

      • Charlie

        REGGIE How about the state laws that allow drivers to operate motorize vechicle with a .08 alchol level in their system. Is this a good idea?

      • Sandra Day

        You’ve proved my point – it’s all set up so that insurance companies can “level” the playing field in their favor. NO – I don’t smoke. But it doesn’t matter. I like to travel, which involves a lot of pollution in terms of jet fuel. I like adventure. And I think life should be lived to the fullest. Who are you to tell me what I should and shouldn’t do that’s LEGAL? Make cigarettes illegal and then we can talk.

      • Reggie

        Charlie, you bring up a completely irrelevant point with alcohol level. Thank you for admitting i was right by not having anything constructive in your rebuttal.

    • dareisay

      In my State, insurance compannies are also the reason for dictating the use of seat belts.
      Before long the only people they will insure will be Monks!

      • Reggie

        You really think seatbelts are a bad idea? Wow darwinism is alive and well. In your case, I’d make an exception and let you drive around without one.

    • JustMe

      You have a 1:6700 chance of death in an auto. Should cars be banned as well?

      • frank

        So according to those that think it is ok not to hire smokers because of the time, Is it ok to not hire women since they might have kids and need time off for the pregnency?

  • eddie too

    they should not hire promiscuous people either since they transmit std’s.

    • wink

      Oh Come on! I like working with promiscuous people!

  • dareisay

    This is an infringement on one’s lifestyle, using a legal product..while we spend millions on drug addicts, using an illegal product…and organizations try to find jobs for the drug addict.

    I can tell you this, when you keep allowing things like this to take place, you will eventually see more rights taken from you!
    Seat belts, smoking, salt, sugar, they are dictating what you can and cannot use or do.
    We are not children, everyone should be responsible instead of having government dictate to us! If you smoke, go where it won’;t bother someone, but do not deny them a job!

  • eddie too

    and promiscuous people are not a protected class just like smokers.

    they slhould certainly test for std’s and not hire those who test positive.

  • julaine

    I would think having a weight problem should disqualify one from working. So lets eliminate fat people, smokers, anyone with a health problem as well.

  • FearArDoiteain

    This is great. Make this a condition of running for president. Then we can get rid of the kenyan president in 2012.

    • dareisay

      Plus any candidate should be required to take skills tests, IQ tests, any drug tests, just like we have to do in order to get a job!

    • Shay

      “It is better to keep silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt”


      • FearArDoiteain

        shay, “It is better to not Post if you don’t know how to spell”. Your earlier Posts indicate you never learned.

  • Beauxdog

    I work in a hospital and it is a high stress environment. People deal with stress in different ways. So… who do you want caring for you? A highly qualified and skilled nurse who smokes… or a less qualified nurse who doesn’t?

    I am implying that your status as a smoker doesn’t impact your qualifications. Non-smokers could be just as qualified. However, by eliminating smokers from the hiring pool, they are lowering the quality of available applicants.

  • Pat Walsg

    what about the patch? electric cigaretts ect ect if you use any of them on your own time, you can’t work there? Stupid, and these are doctors

    • Whitewitch

      Excellent comment Pat – well said. Patches and electric cigs are also legal!

  • WeThePeople

    Sounds like an intrusion into the personal lives of the employee?
    But it is not.
    It is simply a cautionary reaction to ObamaCare.

    The hospital is responsible for the lion’s share of the cost of health care for it’s employees, and therefor is just trying to mitigate their cost.

    Healthier, non-smokers will enable better group rates.
    Simple math.

    And you can be sure that following the same thought process and ObamaCare to the obvious end, that there will soon be an age limit for new hires.
    It is very likely that you will see new hires be of the age of 30 or less in the near future.
    Again, ObamaCare and Insurance premiums.

  • JEW

    @Reggie So your a liberal if you are for smokers rights?
    I am a Conservative that also smokes, drinks, and enjoys “dangerous activities” Heck my job will kill me before smoking does! What a person does on their OWN time is their business! Not yours, so get a life and stop trying to intrude in others with your nanny state agenda! I remember a time when a Man could be a Man now most have been BANNED!

    You call someone a “liberal” when your own personal agenda screams that you are nothing but a hypocrite!

    Well time to go smoke another.

  • Tim

    You are all missing the point! As a smoker of 30 yrs I quit 5 yrs ago and have never felt better! The fact is that smoking is an addiction and leads to nothing but health problems and eventually death, and is terrible way to die! KICK THE ADDICTION!! DO IT FOR YOURSELF. PEACE!!!

  • Danny

    They are DRUG ADDICTS!!
    Why WOULD a hospital hire drug addicts??

    Why do you who oppose it, hate freedom so much?

    • Robyn

      Caffiene is a drug also. Maybe they should not hire people who drink coffee or soda.

  • markjohn

    they should also keep track of the internet histories and tv shows people watch, and if it isn’t wholesome then they don’t get to work, and who they vote for, and if it isn’t who they want you to vote for you don’t get to work, and gay people, and blacks, because they are bad

  • David Davis

    Does this hospital get funding from the state and federal government? The same state and federal government that collects taxes on cigarette sales? If so it’s only right that they forgo being given ANY FUNDING from any state and federal grants since they feel so strongly about the smoking issue. Someone in Boston should look into that. See if their hospital “spokesperson,” would like to comment on that….

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