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Should smokers be barred from jobs?Posted Monday, January 18, 2010, at 10:21 AM
Memorial Hospital in Chattanooga will no longer hire smokers begin Feb. 1, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reports.
Job applicants' drug tests will include a test for nicotine, the newspaper reports.
I'm not a smoker, never have been and don't care to inhale others' clouds of smoke.
But I also tend to think that what someone does off the job isn't an employer's business as long as that action doesn't infringe on their work.
A hospital official told the newspaper the move is due to "an extension of the hospital's commitment to health" and not due to savings in health care costs.
I could see, maybe, reducing the hospital's employee insurance costs.
But if it reaches the point that smokers can't find jobs anywhere -- and many people aren't going to be able to stop -- does welfare for unemployed smokers become a burden on the country?
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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.
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