With every little puff that you take, you may be ruining your chances of that job that you dream about. Over the last few years, some companies have started refusing to hire smokers.
Some healthcare officials say that this is a good idea because coxing smokers to quit with incentives and rewards has not shown a large improvement in the number of smokers in the workplace. They say that the ends justify the means in this case if it lowers the number of people who smoke. Other healthcare professionals say that it crosses an ethical line that borders on discrimination and singles out poor and less educated groups as they are the groups that tend to smoke more.
Hiring bans are legal in 21 different states. Four in ten employers however opt to reward people who do not smoke or quit smoking, such as giving them extra cash from their health insurance plan and penalize those who do smoke with higher life insurance and health insurance costs. Most employers that are choosing to adopt the hiring ban stance will ask the candidate if they smoke. Others will make them take a urine test that detects tobacco. Mostly, these bans have been adopted by healthcare employers.
The supporters of these hiring bans say that it is necessary for companies to get tougher with smokers, not only for the health and safety of the other employees who do not smoke, but for the health of the ones that do. When going through nicotine withdrawals, problems can arise in the workplace.
Many employers have tried different measures to help their employees to stop smoking, such as smoking cessation programs that offer patches and gum to help people quit, but these programs have not seen a huge success rate.