David Melson

Should smokers be barred from jobs?

Posted Monday, January 18, 2010, at 10:21 AM
View 47 comments
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  • Are they going to do blood tests for high cholesterol, blood pressure and weigh the applicants, too? What about drinkers? Blood sugar? Driving record?

    Many companies have gone to charging smokers a higher rate and I can understand that. But smoking is not the only contributing factor in increase health costs. Obesity, High blood pressure ... If they deny job opportunities for the smokers because of health issues, the obese ones and those with diabetes or HBP are next. Eventually, only the triathletes will be able to get jobs. All six of them.

    -- Posted by MotherMayhem on Mon, Jan 18, 2010, at 10:53 AM
  • In defense of the hospital, it IS a health care facility and the commitment to the promotion of a healthy lifestyle is important.

    It is doubtful, however, that reduction of health care costs, insurance premiums, and loss of productivity is not what drives this new policy. In the end it's the bottom line that counts and It's been well documented that 50-70% of all health care costs, along with loss of productivity, are driven by issues that result from an unhealthy lifestyle. Any manager worth his salt would be attempting any policy to minimize this costs.

    I also offer that smoking is somewhat different than the others. Smoking employees are often seen in sight of 'customers' puffing away on their breaks. It is truly unsightly and the smell that lingers is disgusting. Other unhealthy habits are easily remedied by regular exercise, proper diet, and possibly pharmaceutical intervention and corporate wellness programs can help with all but the medications. Smoking cessation is difficult (maybe impossible for some) and does not easily lend itself to less clinical interventions.

    -- Posted by gottago on Mon, Jan 18, 2010, at 11:10 AM
  • It is truly amazing how many health care folks you see outside smoking, but I do not think a "no hire" policy is reasonable.

    Are they able to define between smoking and chewing, or snuff? Not that I agree with any of those, but this policy does not appear to be well thought out.

    There is a monetary reward for stopping smoking, you don't have to buy cigarettes. In the long run there is also the health savings.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Mon, Jan 18, 2010, at 11:49 AM
  • We gave the highest job in America to a smoker..

    -- Posted by Dianatn on Mon, Jan 18, 2010, at 12:09 PM
  • That is true Dianatn . . . should we fire Obama because he doesn't adhere to a healthy lifestyle?

    I think not hiring people due their smoking habits is a bit extreme and if it becomes acceptable for this kind of practice to occur, what other people will start being discriminated against and denied jobs?

    -- Posted by jaxspike on Mon, Jan 18, 2010, at 12:56 PM
  • I wrote this a few years back on a related topic and it seems to apply here:

    "We have fewer and fewer rights because everything we can do, want to do and will do is being regulated according to the whims of those who think they know better than the rest of us. So, hold on folks, as we slide faster and faster down the slippery slope to eventual government control over every aspect of your life.

    For your own good, of course."


    -- Posted by Brian Mosely on Mon, Jan 18, 2010, at 12:59 PM
  • Absolutely right Brian Mosley!!

    With obamacare being closer to reality there will no limit to how far this could go uder the guise of "saving money".

    How many studies are already out there showing increased medical costs for people who smoke, don't exercise, have longer commute distances, own guns, etc.?

    Ronald Reagan warned against health care being used by liberals as a back door route to socialism back in 1961.


    -- Posted by quietmike on Mon, Jan 18, 2010, at 1:39 PM
  • I cold turkeyed 8 years ago but it was my choice, not some blasted brataflatblitaflitz beaurocrats decision. I wonder if I could possibly kick them in the mouth from the back side. Exactly how many freedoms do we have left now anyway? And by the way if anyone wants to quit smoking, E-cigs are great. My wife quit after a 2 pack a day 40 year habit 3 months ago and hasn't had a hacking cough in 2 months. They really do work and are perfectly safe and legal.

    -- Posted by cherokee2 on Mon, Jan 18, 2010, at 1:48 PM
  • What about current employees? Are they going to be terminated?

    If we want to talk about the rising cost of health care, I think we should also consider the cause and effect of limiting the number of medical personel who will now qualify for employment. What will a shortage of these people do to the cost of healthcare?

    I think this is a slippery slope and should be stopped. What's next? Alcohol? Obesity?

    I know if my employer tested me for excessive chocolate consumption, I'd most certainly be canned. I think that until cigarettes become illegal, no employer should be allowed to discriminate against people who smoke on their own time.

    -- Posted by Nobody'sFool on Mon, Jan 18, 2010, at 2:23 PM
  • I am a firm believer that a privately owned business should be able to hire whomever it sees fit.

    If it is deemed that a smoker or obese person is not in line with the company's ideals and mission than that business has every right not to hire him.

    -- Posted by gottago on Mon, Jan 18, 2010, at 2:25 PM
  • What about my rights. I want to work in a smoke free environment, I don't want my insurance rates increased due to diseases caused by smoking. I think Memorial should be commended for taking a stand. They have a right to hire healthy nondrinking, nonsmoking, drug free, honest dependable people. Smokers who insist on smoking are inpacting my rights as a non smoker, it's time to say enough!

    -- Posted by chs61 on Mon, Jan 18, 2010, at 8:50 PM
  • Whats next people who drink coffee because caffiene isnt all that great for you aswell???

    -- Posted by ipledgeallegiancetotheCSA on Mon, Jan 18, 2010, at 9:59 PM
  • What about my rights. I want to work in a smoke free environment-- Posted by chs61

    Since every hospital is already a smoke free environment, your complaint is a non-issue.

    -- Posted by quietmike on Tue, Jan 19, 2010, at 4:27 AM
  • I'm a 42 yr. old smoker! Im not over weight, have no health problems, and probably live a healthier lifestyle than most. I just wonder who would have to make up for the loss of the tax revenue paid by smokers if we all quit??? Let me guess, all the non-smokers!

    The day I start receiving welfare and my smoking does cost the general public I will quit!

    -- Posted by Disgusted on Tue, Jan 19, 2010, at 8:20 AM
  • Smokers who insist on smoking are inpacting my rights as a non smoker, it's time to say enough!

    -- Posted by chs61 on Mon, Jan 18, 2010, at 8:50 PM

    Why would you think your rights are any more important than anyone else's rights?

    -- Posted by Dianatn on Tue, Jan 19, 2010, at 9:14 AM
  • We might start doing more to see that youngsters don't start smoking.

    People who take up the habit as adults tend to be able to quit with little more than the decision not to take that next puff.

    The younger a person is at the time of addiction,the harder it is for them to get past the psychological and physical demands of their dependency.

    Past generations have had the excuse that the dangers of the legal recreational drugs were unknown and their use was deeply embedded in the culture.

    That's been less true as our awareness has grown.

    Those who create our smoking addicts now are working to promote their product at the expense of our youth as surely as the dope peddler on the street.

    Their trade doesn't become any more seemly when the cigarettes are offered to under-developed countries.

    They can't stay in business if they can't recruit customers by using fancy colors,flavors promotional materials and other gimmicks to make smoking seem "cool" enough to take on its hassles.

    After the glamour and the lure of the forbidden have faded,all that's left is the addiction and its costs.

    A pound of cure is more expensive than it once was.

    A beefed-up focus on prevention makes more sense-especially as smoking becomes less acceptable and seen as more of a weakness than a right.

    For the last several years,the one-time rebel has been replaced by the perception of a victim.

    Whether it's justified or not,post-boomer era smokers can be seen as too unwise to employ if they take on a habit known to be detrimental.

    (That would apply to any "self-inflicted" sin.)

    We're approaching a time when the job market will be so tight that workplaces won't need to rely on folks who use recreational drugs-or demand a "right" to skydive without a parachute.

    We can insist on the right to retain our vices,struggle to overcome them to have a higher quality of life-or just take on one less burden while we have the choice.

    It's easier to never form a habit than to break one.

    Let's give our youth more help in keeping their health and freedom and let's come down harder on those who would exploit our most vulnerable populations for the sake of their greed.

    -- Posted by quantumcat on Tue, Jan 19, 2010, at 11:42 AM
  • If you think this is a hot topic now, just wait until the government starts both the funding and rationing of health care. Whatever you do that the "government" determines to be harmful to you will be grounds for determining the type of health services you will either recieve or be denied. Isn't socialism just wonderful?

    -- Posted by Tim Lokey on Tue, Jan 19, 2010, at 3:49 PM
  • On the subject of smokers, can any one explain why they think they have a right to litter our lives with their butts? I am so sick of aving to pratically sift the sand at beaches to protect children, don't they realize the difference between a beach and ash tray? Or the ones that will sit at a light and throw them out the window nearly hitting the cars next to them? I've watrched them dump car ash trays at street corners, throw butts in my yard , ect.... They feel they can just stand and blow smoke where ever in peoples faces - they do not even notice they are doing it. Perhaps if they could respect those around them, not be slob throwing them everywhere ( they have ash trays in their cars, there are garbage containers all over if they look, and there is no excuse for them to blow smoke on anyone, it is rude and just ignorant at best.)

    Fine if you must smoke, go for it but do not force it on others, clean up after yourselves, you know have some class and consideration for those around you. We can not remove your smoke from the air around us, but you can take it where it will not bother others. For example, the way smokers group around the entrance of restaurants, and make others walk through their smoke, when all they have to do is stand respectfully to the side. That shows the lack of consideration that they have for anyone but themselves, children are forced to breath that smoke.

    Why do they feel that because THEY smoke they have the right to ruin the air and litter the areas with their habit? Just because you choose to smoke does not give you the right to act like a low class slobs. To blow smoke in a persons face is akin to a drunk spitting his beer on your boots -and tossing the can in your yard, you don;t want their stinky habit stinking and trashing the world around you you?

    Go smoke if you want but be considerate of the people around you, they choose not to smoke, don't force your on them.

    -- Posted by wonderwhy on Thu, Jan 21, 2010, at 11:33 AM
  • Seriously wonderwhy, Get a grip! I've somehow missed the sandy beaches of Bedford Co. and unless your spending alot of time in smoke filled bars no one is forcing their smoke on you. Remember they passed a law against smoking in public places!

    Also, not all smokers are slobs. I dont throw butts out of my vehicle, on the ground, or in anyones yard including my own.

    I smoke outside at work and if anyone that doesnt smoke decides to come out to talk to me that doesnt smoke, thats on them! Stay away from my little designated area of the universe if you dont like it....

    -- Posted by Disgusted on Fri, Jan 22, 2010, at 12:57 PM
  • Disgusted , you want me to get a grip, how about you and the other smokers out their think for once how your habit effects others around you. Yes there is the stench, butts everywhere, I have had them hit my windshield from cars in front of me, watched them dump full ashtrays at street corners, blow smoke where it goes in the faces of people trying to get through the swarm of them huddled around entrance door to places they can't smoke. I see the streets lined with butts they toss out when they are done. Rescued young ones at play grounds and beaches from the nasty butts people drop when done there. Gosh but you seem to think it is even worse that we force the idea of fresh air and clean butt free streets on you. Some of you are even so selfish and ignorant to smoke around your children, to smoke with them trapped in the car with windows up, then claim you love them, obviously not as much as you love to smoke. I remember feeling like I was going to suffocate in the car when I was young and my parents smoked in it, and my Mom always cracked the window a bit. It is cruel to do that to a child (or anyone for that matter but kids can't say anything to stick up for themselves. SOme constantly smoke around their children then can't figure out why the kids are always sick, duh.... even if you don;t believe it causes them to GET sick you can't possible think it won't make it worse. How selfish can a person be? From what I have witnessed when it comes to smoking very.

    How about you get a grip on this-

    Every time you take your so beloved puffs, you are choosing to put your loved one through hell in your name. You are telling them that a piece of paper full of tobacco is more important than they are. You choose to possibly set them up to watch you die from a self imposed horrible death from the cancer you choose to beg for. The chemo, throwing up, radiation, followed by a long painful death. You set them up for the nightmare that will be with them the rest of their lives, of what their loved one suffered and they could do nothing to stop or prevent. You are forcing them to have to explain to their (or perhaps your) children why Nana or Papa (or whom ever you are to the child) would rather smoke than be with them. You think I am being dramatic. I am not. I know too may people whom have gone through this because someone they love thought smoking was more important, I am one of them.

    I know a woman who went to her grave bragging about never smoking a cigarette she did not love, my kids were to young to understand why she would rather smoke that be with them. My son once came home from church so happy so excited, his grand parent were going to quit smoking, he prayed to God for it. Later when they did not (they knew about his prayer story) I had to find away to explain to him why God did not answer his prayer. My kids lost 3 of grandparent to smoking related deaths, the one left is disabled and his quality of life has been traded for the years of smoking he felt was such an important right. In the last few years we have had 2 aunts, 2 uncles, a sister, both sets of parents and a grandmother, all with smoke related cancers, 3 of them have died. Well I have gotten a grip, a big grip, I have had to watch my loved ones go through their self imposed hells. I have lost some of the most important people in my life. I have the nightmare of seeing my mother on her death bed, and the memory of my children when I told them she was gone. I saw my son after he personally out the key in and locked her casket and helped carry it at her funeral. I watched the innocence and sadness on my grand daughters face as she stood next to Moms casket rubbing her arm, crying. Because Mom chose to smoke, after all as you say it was her right. I am sorry but Mom did not have the right to make that the last memory her great grand daughter has of her. Mom was only 71, and other than smoking related problems she had nothing wrong that would cause her death. This is just one family, think of how many there are.

    Here is what I hope this post does, I hope it puts all the pain and grief,the feelings of loss, the visions of your loved ones looking at you on your death bed, perhaps your grand child standing next to your coffin like mine had to.... in your mind every time you CHOOSE to puff away. I hope that every time you exercise your RIGHT to smoke you also see that you are choosing to take their RIGHT to not go through that hell from them. You have a right to smoke but is it worth putting your loved ones through what it will do to you ? I may sound unreasonable, so what, I am very hurt and very angry and have had that right forced on me. SO you get a grip - a grip of what could become reality for your family and friends because you think your right to smoke is ohh so important. Go look in the mirror and ask yourself is it really worth it???? Do they mean so little to you that you would wish that upon them?

    As far as your little part of the universe, you don't live there alone, you have a lot of people who live you whom can not, will not leave you there no matter how sick you make yourself. You will point out all the other stuff that is not good for people but that does not change the proven facts behind what smoking causes, it is only a cop out to make you feel better about what your doing. At least now you can not say you did not realize, it never dawned on you or that you did not know , you know the possible future you will cause your loved ones when the right to smoke collects on it's right to take your life.

    -- Posted by wonderwhy on Sat, Jan 23, 2010, at 1:40 AM
  • Wonderwhy, will you perhaps be the one who locks the cages of those that dont conform to your ideals. Our country is rife with those who would impose their values on others. Are you one of those who will one day remove our bibles from our homes because it conflicts with the governments ideas on religion, or take our guns. I mean, we might actually try to defend ourselves.Will you ask our children to inform on us to our all wise government, that can take care of us ever so much better than we can. Just look what government control has done in England. They can't even defend their own homes. You may think this is a stretch but believe me it can happen and will if we relax our guard. When our choices and freedoms are slowly stripped away,eventually we have no choices or freedoms. Can you say Sig Heil? This may seem like a small thing to you but is only a small portion of a far more dangerous scenario.

    -- Posted by cherokee2 on Sat, Jan 23, 2010, at 1:55 PM
  • cherokee2, you my dear are funny, my guess is I really hit a nerve, was it the nasty habits of many smokers? The pain their family and loved ones suffer when smokers die the horrible deaths that go with the cancer? Perhaps your the one I saw dumping your ash tray in the parking lot the other day, or the one blocking the door smoking I almost tripped over to get into the restaurant.

    You totally over reacted to an imaginary threat, I never mentioned government banning , only personal responsibility. I never said forbid smoking but rather said consider how it effects those who love you. I did mention that the rights of others who don;t want smoke should trump those who do want it since you can get your smoke where it does not have to bother others where as they can not avoid it when your so selfish as to fill the air up around them, such as when you swarm around the entrances of building where people must walk through with your nasty clouds of smoke. Considerate classy people know that the right thing to do is to goes several feet away to smoke, thus keeping all parties happy you get your smoke others don;t have to. I did say that it is selfish and ignorant to smoke in cars with children in them.

    I did imply that it is low class to use beaches as ash trays, dump ash tray on the side of the road, toss butts out windows and on the ground. You see those are all lazy, selfish and nasty habits that other people should not have to put up with. Now true it is your right to be like that, but just because you call it a right does not make it right.

    How do you explain that your right to be nasty should trump another persons right to not have to be effected by your nasty habits? You can have your right and do so with out bothering others if you chose to be a honorable considerate person.

    Go back and reread you post, and explain how personal accountability, consideration for those around you, and not causing your loved one the hell of watching you die a horrible death that may haunt them the rest of their lives will cause all your babble. And then take my challenge mentioned in my post above. Look in mirror and tell yourself smoking is more important, and that it will not matter if your loved ones go through hell because your puffing was more important than them. Your right is the most important thing not them.

    Your rant was really out there, and so goofy in relation to the subject, way out there honey ,way out there. If anything if we let people force negitive actions on us it may end up the opposite, what will you do when pedophiles start to use your logic?( no it's nowhere near the same as smoking other than it is some putting their selfish desired about the welfare of others)

    All citizens have right honey not just smokers.

    -- Posted by wonderwhy on Sat, Jan 23, 2010, at 4:34 PM
  • Wonderwhy, perhaps you should consult a new fortune teller. The one you use steered you wrong. I am a non smoker, but I do believe in person freedoms.

    -- Posted by cherokee2 on Sat, Jan 23, 2010, at 5:18 PM
  • And I stand by my statment of our personal freedoms being eroded.

    -- Posted by cherokee2 on Sat, Jan 23, 2010, at 5:22 PM
  • Ha ha , So at one point does ones personal right trump the rights of the people around them? At what point by your logic do we throw our personal responsibility and consideration? By your logic anything goes, can't step on any ones toes. Do explain, I would love to see where your coming from. You have a smoker and a non smoker, whose rights trump , the one who want clean air or the one puffing away? How do you think it should be determined? Where should the line be drawn ? When you have a parent that smokes with heir children in an enclosed car, whose rights trump? The selfish ones of the parent who does not care about the health of the child or the child who has no say? Whose rights should trump at the entrance of a building the smoker who could goes several feet away but chooses to pollute the entrance, or the others who in order to get inside must walk past the area? Whose rights should trump a child who wants to make a sand castle or the smoker who is to lazy to find a proper place to put their butts?

    Tell us , oh do tell us how to decide whose rights should trump, why shouldn't the right of a positive action always out weight the right on a negitive one?

    With smoke when it done in public, it infringes on everyone rights of all those around them, one person can ruin it for many at once, while that person can also exercise the right to be considerate and classy by not imposing their nasty habit on others.

    Yep it is their choice, too bad their choice can cause sure misery to others. To bad others will have to pay a price for the selfishness of the smoker. Have you ever watched a person die from lung cancer? Have you ever sat in the ER wondering if your loved on will start breathing again because their lungs are shot from smoking? Have you ever had to tell a child they can't visit their grand parents, because the smoke will put them into an asthma attack?

    Yea they have a right, but what is that right doing to others rights around them? My goal here is to let them know that their RIGHT has a big effect on those around them, that it will cause hurt and pain to their loved ones. I am here to make sure the smoker has the RIGHT to know what they are doing to those who love them. I am exercising MY RIGHT to express my hurt and anger for all those I have lost because they chose their right to smoke over family. I hope the smokers read what I have shared with them and actually think about it, think about what they are doing when they exercising their right.I took away their right to play dumb like they did not know they are hurting others - they are and they have been told.........

    So I will look for the answer to my questions about how to choose which rights trump, that should be interesting.

    -- Posted by wonderwhy on Sat, Jan 23, 2010, at 5:51 PM
  • live and let die. you cant always control what other people do, and if they choose yo smoke, whos to tell them they cant. we can tell them where to smoke, how much its gonna cost them, all that good stuff but keeping jobs from them would be wrong. it be like saying. if you eat fast food your gonna get fat and die from a heart attack so, you cant work here. your a risk.

    -- Posted by mrs.v.raney on Sun, Jan 24, 2010, at 2:37 AM
  • wonderwhy, you elaborate and pontificate so well. And if ya cant stand smokers (such nasty people), then my suggestion is avoidance. And I do agree with you on smoking around children. Are you surprised. I bet you are.

    -- Posted by cherokee2 on Sun, Jan 24, 2010, at 5:12 AM
  • cherokee2 , why do you consider the rights of non smokers as less important than those who smoke? My right to clean air is every bit as important as those of smokers PERIOD. There are too many non smokers who have been brain washed by the likes of you to feel their rights are not as important as the smokers are.

    Why should my right to go out and have a smoke free environment be denied because they are slaves to tobacco? DO you back up the rights of chewers to spit as freely as you do smokers to throw their butts around? By your logic they should be able to spit any where they choose, pipes and cigars should be allowed where ever after all they have rights too just like smokers. A man should be able to read porn anywhere he wants.... How do you determine what rights trump?

    I am sorry but at some point we as a society have to decide between two opposing rights, in these cases what do you suggest we do? Can't have it both ways, as in the example of porn, the obvious answer is the rights of those to be protected from it are more important than that of the person who choose the porn. How do YOU determine whose rights you want to protect?

    And as for the rest of my points thank you for the complement because my intent was to make people think about how their slavery to tobacco does in fact effect others besides just themselves. That they are not just hurting themselves but their loved ones as well. I do not want any of them to blindly puff another not knowing what they are doing. If they can still enjoy that smoke and give a darn about those they are knowingly setting up for heart ache and loss well that is their selfish cross to carry. But I hope they see the look of pain and sorrow of loved ones faces every time they light up , I hope every time they light up they see the look on my Grand daughters face as she stood their rubbing the arm of the woman she loved so dearly , dead in a coffin because the cigarette were more important that those who loved her. I exercise my right to try and prevent as many people from the senseless sorrow the families who lose loved ones to the horrible cancer deaths caused by smoking as I can. My hope is to make the smokers find that smoking is ugly, horrible and destructive, and harmful to those they love and to subject them to it is a very selfish hateful thing for them to do. No I am not trying to take away their rights, I know I can't do that, but I can appeal to their hearts, I can paint a picture of what their actions are doing to their loved ones, of the pain and suffering the ones they leave behind will have to endure should they get the cancer they beg for every time they puff. I want them to be aware,to not be able to act like "oh had I only known" They know, they have a choice, no excuses now.

    Oh and you avoided my questions once again. Could that be because you do not like what the answers would be? Where do we draw the line about "rights' that harm other people and the ones who want to avoid the harm? How do we determine what rights should be trump over others and how do we decide? And why are you against accountability, if you choose to harm someone you have every right to know your doing it and every right to feel guilty for doing so. Why would you want to protect them from what they are doing to those they love? If you don't have the guts to answer these questions I understand. The subject might just hit to close to home. Do you back the rights of things that offend you as strongly as those that do not?

    -- Posted by wonderwhy on Sun, Jan 24, 2010, at 4:29 PM
  • Not smoking is no guarantee you will not get cancer. These tobacco related diseases you speak out about plague people who have never smoked or been around smoke in their lifetime. I am not by any means saying smoking is good for you but it can not be contributed to all cancer deaths. But we all do things that are not good for us, don't we? Parents let their children eat junk food, candy and soft drinks don't they realize they are killing them? Do you want the government to control what you should feed your children also?

    I back all rights personally you have the right to smoke, drink, eat McDonalds, drink Pepsi, marry which ever sex you choose, have a baby or don't. Until they make smoking illegal it is a smokers right to smoke them. If an employer does not want a employee smoking on their property that's fine but do not pretend to believe they should be able to tell you what to do after you leave his property!

    -- Posted by Dianatn on Sun, Jan 24, 2010, at 11:29 PM
  • Wonderwhy!

    I've lost several loved one to cancer that never smoked a day in their lives and I've never trapped my children in a vehicle to choke on smoke. I don't have to explain my smoking to anyone except the Lord and that's between me and him, not me and you!

    As for my little piece of the universe, guess what we smokers have a few designated areas like it or not.

    I hope you are as concerned about exhaust fumes and people burning things that are a health hazzard as you are about second hand smoke, that effects everyone, right? I hope you are as concerned about children that are abused, molested, starved, or living in filth as you are about second hand smoke, that affects everyone too, right? What about abortion, do you take a stand against that? Did you pick up the last starving cat or dog that you came across driving down the road?

    Did you hear about little 5 yr. old Shaynia Davis whos mother prostituted out and was raped and suffocated to death by a perverted monster in a motel room over a drug debt her mother owed? I would have gladly taken that child in and loved and protected her.

    Don't assume you know anything about me and what kind of person I am, you don't have a clue what keeps me awake at night!

    -- Posted by Disgusted on Tue, Jan 26, 2010, at 2:44 PM
  • How do we deems whose rights trump? Disgusted, your all over the place yet you don't answer my question. What do you think should be the deciding factor when two peoples rights come against each other? How should we decide? The things you bring up are all very important things but not the subject that was at hand. I never said don't smoke in designated areas, I was not referring to people who die from other causes they could not help. I was referring to one thing, the effect that a persons smoking has on those around them, mainly the one who love them that are CHOOSING to possibly put through the hell of watching the horrific death from cancer the smoker is choosing to get by smoking. I guess we agree to disagree, I think it it sad that a person would chose to put a nasty stinky, totally unnecessary habit, above the people they love. You don't seem to have a problem with it. We can not control a lot of what you referred to, we can only do what we can to help.

    The 5 year old girl, is a terrible thing, but how does that in any way relate to this? Just a dodge to change the uncomfortable subject to something worst. Any of us would have saved that young girl if we could.

    I have reported illegal burning of tires and such, I avoid stinky cars, but I have to get to work and can not control exhaust. Some pollution is out of our control - smoking is not.

    All I know about you is that seem fighting mad about the very thought of anyone calling smokers to be accountable for what their habit does to others. I lost too many loved ones to that nasty habit, if my speaking up makes someone find the desire and will to quit, then it's is worth every word I spoke. If it helps good, if not at least I tried. What does a smoker have to lose if they stop smoking in comparison to what their loved ones may lose if they do not?

    None of us are perfect, we all have room to improve in our life styles, but most of those improvements are against only ourselves and do not harm those around us. If a person eat an unhealthy food next to someone, the other person does not gain weight, if you smoke next someone me, they get poisoned. We all need to consider those we love when we have self destructive habits.

    This is a dead subject, only when you light up from now know you are making a choice about what means more to you, that smoke your puffin on or your family, because your choosing between them every time.

    -- Posted by wonderwhy on Tue, Jan 26, 2010, at 5:58 PM
  • Like I said I hope you have such strong convictions where other things effecting our society are concerned! You fight your battles and I'll fight mine!!!

    Fighting mad, you make me laugh...

    Have a great day :)

    -- Posted by Disgusted on Wed, Jan 27, 2010, at 8:02 AM
  • Disgusted, I thought you would at least explain how to decide how to decide which rights should trump in when they were in conflict with each other. Oh well.

    -- Posted by wonderwhy on Wed, Jan 27, 2010, at 9:45 AM
  • They are in conflict however at this point we are not deciding whos rights TRUMP whos, when smoking becomes illegal your rights certainly will.

    When alcohol becomes illegal (wont happen) we wont have people dying from alcohol related illnesses or people getting killed by drunk drivers. Those people have loved one too!

    -- Posted by Disgusted on Wed, Jan 27, 2010, at 4:05 PM
  • Disgusted, What?? Who said anything about being legal or not? Just because something is legal does not say that the rights of others should be denied to accommodate it. Porn is legal, by your logic we should allow the rights of those who choose to view it do so where ever they like, so as not to infringe on their rights. But common sense says that's not really a good thing because it would not be in the best intrest of the majority who do not find it a healthy thing to be forced on others. At what point is the rights of some ones selfish desires more important than the ones they are harming? It's funny how many smokers standing on their right to smoke where ever complain and want the pipe and cigar smokers to be banned because they smell so bad. That's funny. I would love to see you defend the right for the person next to you to sit there smoke a very stinky pipe and read their porn, would your stance be just as strong on the rights of that person? Or would you say they need to take it somewhere else to their own little universe?

    You keep dancing around answering my question which gives me the impression that your not so concerned about the rights of "others" as you are concerned about you and what you want to do. SO one last time I'll ask you:

    How do you think we should determine which rights should be concerned most important when two or more conflict with each other. When you have 2 people ,say You who smokes and some one who does not, how do you decide which persons right is most important? You can't have it both ways because in this example once you light up you have stolen the right to that other person( and all those around) to have a smoke free environment. Consider other instances of conditions when there are groups of people who wish to exercise different rights, how would you suggest we decide whose are considered first and whose will need to be set aside for that time being? It not possible to honor every bodies rights at all times, in the same place when they are in opposition of each other, we must choose between them. That's not to say that the one that is inappropriate for that place and time need made illegal or forbidden only that for the best intrest of the others,a person may need to take their right to what ever to a different place that does not take away the rights of those besides themselves. Another simple example is a persons right to talk, does their right to talk in a theater count as much as the people who want to watch the show? They can talk in the hall but others can not take the move out there. They all have rights, yet they can not exercise them at the same time in the same place.

    How would YOU discern which right should be honored in situations where they conflict with each other ( other than the smoking issue )? Does it matter at all what is in the best intrest of the majority? What is the safest? What is most or least disruptive to others? Does appropriate behavior have any value or place in the decision? Perhaps some just think that THEIR rights are first and all others there after, no matter h ow much they disrupt those around them.

    -- Posted by wonderwhy on Wed, Jan 27, 2010, at 8:02 PM
  • Im not really interested nor do I have the time to read your book, I got as far as the pipe smoke. I walk outside with a male co-worker daily that smokes a pipe!

    I dont have to justify my actions to anyone other than the good lord above so you will have to continue your rant with someone other than me!

    -- Posted by Disgusted on Thu, Jan 28, 2010, at 8:43 AM
  • wonderwhy.

    i wonder why you dont just shut up? i cant control the world or what anybody does in it, neither can you. tolerance... simple as that. non-smokers have to deal with smokers. racists have to deal with other races, pro-choice vs. pro-life. its all there, nothings EVER going to change. you cant argue people into another way of thinking. it doesnt work like that. {you shouldnt judge a book by its cover... remember that.}

    do you ever try to level with smokers. ask why do they smoke? you might be suprised.

    a lady lost her 2 year old mentally ill son because of some drunk (non-smoking) man jumped the curb and ran him over in his own front yard. that kinda of loss... it pushed that lady into smoking...

    things happen you cant change them.

    -- Posted by mrs.v.raney on Thu, Jan 28, 2010, at 10:36 AM
  • 'When alcohol becomes illegal (wont happen) we wont have people dying from alcohol related illnesses or people getting killed by drunk drivers. Those people have loved one too' DISGUSTED

    Ummm, ever hear of prohibition? There were certainly alcohol related deaths then.


    No tragedy MAKES anyone start a horrendous habit. It's the inability to deal with the sadness that drives people to crutches.

    -- Posted by gottago on Thu, Jan 28, 2010, at 10:55 AM
  • thats true... but whos to say people cant smoke if thats what helps them greive. the addiction to smoking could be the only thing that helps her crawl out of bed everyday and face this messed up world of childmolesters, drunks, killers, drug addicts, non smokers, racists, and every judgemental -think they know better than u and me- kinda people...

    -- Posted by mrs.v.raney on Thu, Jan 28, 2010, at 11:10 AM
  • http://www.tdot.state.tn.us/environment/beautification/litter.asp

    Wonderwhy, Heres a link just for you! Now, you can go online or call the litter hotline @ 1-877-8-LITTER. Thats right, you can call OR go online to report anyone throwing a cigarette butt out of their vehicle. It even has a little drop down menu and you can check cigarette butt!

    Now, go do something productive before you get carpal tunnel

    -- Posted by Disgusted on Thu, Jan 28, 2010, at 1:17 PM
  • Wow Discusted your funny, i really did hit a nerve, sorry about that. If the thought of concideration for those around you is such a threat, please don;t put yourself out. Perhaps you like the litter of butts all over, and pulling them out of toddlers hands in the park. i don;t know. I was not out to "attack" anyone. Only to perhaps save their loved ones from the hell so many of us have had go through watching someone they love with all their heart go through Chemo and radiation and then die because of smoking. I also did point out how along the way there are many ( not all) who are really ignorant about how they dispose of their butts, and blow the nasty stuff at others. So let me tell you I'm sorry for upsetting you. You go right ahead and please "yourself" don't worry or give a second thought to anything or any one who gets in your way ( not that you do). Smoker are by far the most important people and we should all be honored to wallow in your 2nd hand smoke. We should rejoice over your graves knowing how happy that puffing made you. Loved ones should be thrilled that they are no where as important as those white sticks of tobacco. Why on earth would they want be chosen over smokes? How silly of me.

    There now, you win, you can go relax, this big bad person who thinks that there are people with rights that don't spoke has been it my place. Puff away, I'm some doctors are will love the extra profits down the way. I did not realize how much the puffs mean to some. My bad.

    -- Posted by wonderwhy on Thu, Jan 28, 2010, at 2:40 PM
  • I have been through my mother having cancer, radiation,chemo, and a half a dozen surgeries she's not a smoker! I have lost a nephew to suicide, brother-in-law to cirrhosis, aunt to lung cancer (non smoker), father in law to complication from emphasemia, uncle to heart attack, grandmother to stroke,and another brother in law to murder. 6 of those within 14 months so dont try to tell me anything about losing loved ones or watching people I love die a slow painful death.

    I wasnt angry and felt sympathy for your loss but you just want to keep on ranting. So now that I am angry, I have to tell you, you are no different than anyone else, your grief is no more or less painful than anyone elses and you are not an exception.

    We all have a designated day to come into this world and a designated day to leave it, you cant change Gods plan. I really dont care how I die, I know I'm going to! The only thing that matters to me is where I go when I leave this world and I already know the answer to that.

    I wish you the best of luck dealing with your grief and I honestly mean that.

    -- Posted by Disgusted on Fri, Jan 29, 2010, at 9:05 AM
  • As for my children, they have a designated day too so dont even go there with me. My main concern is if they without a doubt where they will spend their eternity.

    That being said, I'm finished with this conversation!

    -- Posted by Disgusted on Fri, Jan 29, 2010, at 9:12 AM
  • Your informed choice and personal priorities. We are all winners and losers. Some lose more than others because of the personal choices of others. Enjoy yourself. We each must chose for ourselves where our values will guild us. None are perfect, we need to follow our hearts, speak up for those we feel have no voice for themselves, and do our best not to cause pain or harm to anyone when we can avoid it.

    -- Posted by wonderwhy on Sat, Jan 30, 2010, at 4:25 PM
  • I'm sorry it was guide us not guild.

    -- Posted by wonderwhy on Sat, Jan 30, 2010, at 5:02 PM
  • Tidbits in here I found amusing, or thought-provoking:

    ALL of wonderwhy and gottago's stuff was brilliant! Loved it! :D (I just hope saying that doesn't antagonize you...)



    "The day I start receiving welfare and my smoking does cost the general public I will quit!"

    a) People on foodstamps seem to manage this by selling their EBT value in exchange for cash, to purchase their non-food 'needs', like cigarettes and alcohol...

    b) It does cost the general public, in health care costs & insurance rates

    "Isn't socialism just wonderful?"

    When it works as intended, yes; it can be.


    "SOme constantly smoke around their children then can't figure out why the kids are always sick, duh...."

    Even worse, those who know their kids have asthma, STILL smoke around them constantly, and then want you to help them out when they're back in the hospital for an attack...

    "Wonderwhy, will you perhaps be the one who locks the cages of those that dont conform to your ideals...Can you say Sig Heil? This may seem like a small thing to you but is only a small portion of a far more dangerous scenario."

    Cherokee2, thank you for making clear the definition of a "slippery slope" argument...

    We can't do anything proactive, as it may lead to WWIII.


    "Do you want the government to control what you should feed your children also?"

    If you're using government funds, such as food stamps or family first, I say "HELL YEAH!"

    "If an employer does not want a employee smoking on their property that's fine but do not pretend to believe they should be able to tell you what to do after you leave his property!"

    Be great if smokers would remember that company vehicles, or rented and expensed to the company, ARE company property, in this context...

    "Did you hear about little 5 yr. old Shaynia Davis whos mother prostituted out and was raped and suffocated to death by a perverted monster in a motel room over a drug debt her mother owed?"

    Yes, I agree; allowing addicts to become dependent on a stimulant at great risk to the health and well-being of their children IS the issue at hand here. You are correct; smoking addiction is a HORRIBLE thing... (how did you NOT make this connection when you posted that, Disgusted....?)

    "When alcohol becomes illegal (wont happen) we wont have people dying from alcohol related illnesses or people getting killed by drunk drivers."

    Who said that people will stop drinking, just because it's illegal? ESPECIALLY the ones breaking the law to drive drunk...?

    "Porn is legal, by your logic we should allow the rights of those who choose to view it do so where ever they like, so as not to infringe on their rights."

    Wonderwhy, that was an AWESOME point! :D

    "i wonder why you dont just shut up? i cant control the world or what anybody does in it, neither can you. tolerance... simple as that."

    TOLERANCE is how you would describe that sentence...?

    "No tragedy MAKES anyone start a horrendous habit. It's the inability to deal with the sadness that drives people to crutches."

    Gottago, took the words right out of my fingertips!

    "thats true... but whos to say people cant smoke if thats what helps them greive. the addiction to smoking could be the only thing that helps her crawl out of bed everyday and face this messed up world of childmolesters, drunks, killers, drug addicts, non smokers, racists, and every judgemental -think they know better than u and me- kinda people...

    -- Posted by mrs.v.raney on Thu, Jan 28, 2010, at 11:10 AM"

    LMAO!!! Wait, so it's okay to be addicted to smoking (nicotine), but what messes up the WORLD is people addicted to molesting children, alcohol, murder, illegal drugs; racists & prejudiced people; and people AGAINST being addicted to smoking...!?!

    Wow, I'm glad you know so much better about this than the rest of us!!!

    "We all have a designated day to come into this world and a designated day to leave it, you cant change Gods plan."

    I have a personal hatred for this attitude and blatant disregard for life. If you truly believe this, then you won't seek medical attention when you are sick or injured; if you die, it won't be because you didn't consider the advice of the medical field, it'll be because it was your time to go. Who are you to disagree with God by seeking to prolong your life, and listening to those silly medical people...?


    The biggest mistake our government made in this discussion was giving-in to anarchy, and repealing the Prohibition Act. That paved the way for the 'right to be stimulant dependent' attitude that many people profess today. :p

    If you get the $3.25 pack of cigarettes, and go through a pack a day (she went through 2), that's nearly $1,200.00 spent EACH year of shortening your predicted lifespan, for that little bit of an 'edge' it takes off. That's $12,000 in ten years - a NICE downpayment on a new home, a new car, or funds towards your child's college education.

    If you want to do yourself a HUGE favor for an idea of where your health is, Hendersonville Medical Center has an outpatient procedure called a Heartview. It's basically a catscan of your heart. It's currently listed as an experimental procedure, so it's not covered by insurance at all. Because of this, the cost is set at $75. IF insurance were to cover this, it would be the same as other medical imaging services, and with good insurance, cost closer to $150. They will send you the reults in the mail, or you can wait 15 mins and they will burn it for you onto a CD, which you can have your doctor / cardiologist review as well.

    -- Posted by Analytical Mindset on Tue, Feb 2, 2010, at 11:06 PM
  • "(she went through 2)"

    I had deleted two paragraphs of irrelevance, & missed this reference to it. Oops.

    -- Posted by Analytical Mindset on Tue, Feb 2, 2010, at 11:37 PM
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