One more company is refusing to hire smokers... and somehow, the feds and media are perfectly O.K. with it.
St. Luke's Hospital & Health Network in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, says it won't hire smokers ever again. Candidates for jobs will take nicotine tests... and if they fail, they're out.
Doesn't matter if they only smoke at home, at night, on weekends or once a month at Uncle Al's barbecue -- if they have nicotine in the system, they're not allowed in the St. Luke's system.
The saddest part is that this isn't the first time it's happened... and I'll bet my best cigar that it won't be the last. (Read, "Hospital tells tobacco users: You can't work here.")
Let's think about this for a minute.
Imagine companies that refused to hire blacks, fired all the Asians or told gays to go elsewhere. The media would go to town on them, and the Justice Department would have these people in court faster than you can empty an ashtray.
Not smokers. Smokers have no rights... even when they only smoke in their own homes. Left and right (but mostly left) they're being banned from honest work.
Companies say smokers cost more because they boost the price of health insurance for everyone. Yet they wouldn't dare fire all the fat people, despite the fact that obesity is a much bigger burden on the health care system.
It's time to either end discrimination -- or just bring it all back. If it's OK to send smokers packing, then it should be fine to refuse to hire blacks, Jews, Hispanics, Irish, the handicapped and heterochromiacs.
One or the other -- take your pick. But you can't have it both ways.
A fighter for the lighter,
William Campbell Douglass II, M.D.
Author's note: I am reprinting an article I received from William Campbell Douglas (who's one of the most common sense sources of health information I know). Even though I am a non-smoker, ban smoking in my home, and am convinced my daughter and son should stop smoking -- I happen to agree with Dr. Douglas's position - that prejudice on the basis of personal choice, possible future health cost risk, genetic pre-disposition, or any other criteria is still prejudice.
Let's face it ... with six billion plus of us running around ... there are a lot of differences, and it's human nature to want to associate with those most like themselves and to spurn those who are different. World history is full of stories about the consequences when one group uses the differences ... to whip up fear and promote their agenda to marginalize the "others", even to the point of "termination with extreme prejudice".
Maybe the ones we should ban from the workplace are the ones who are prejudiced ... but of course, that will never happen.