Should businesses be allowed to tell

Should businesses be allowed to tell

Should businesses be allowed to tell employees they’re not allowed to smoke – even at home?

According to an article in Inc. magazine, due to rising health care costs some businesses have enacted “Wellness Policies” that state that cigarette smoking, even during off hours is a firing offense. (They measure employee nicotine levels randomly)

Cigarette smoking according to the CDC “…is the leading preventable cause of death in the US, resulting in approximately 440,000 deaths each year and resulting in an annual cost of more than $75 billion in direct medical costs.”

However…obesity is also a HUGE problem in this country as well.

According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services “300,000 deaths each year in the US are associated with obesity and the economic cost Of Obesity in the US was about $117 billion in 2000.”

Well, if businesses start telling people they can’t smoke at home…how long do you think it’ll be before they start telling people “Put down that Big Mac, ya big fatty!” Who died and made businesses the god of our lives?

The Libertarian (and smoker) in me screams “NO” to this question. However, part of me thinks an employer has a right to hire whomever they choose, too.

Where DO you draw the line? Health risk? Certain races are more prone to certain health problems than others, have shorter life expectancies, get in more accidents, etc etc. Married people live longer. Women tend to live longer than men. People with pets seem to get on later in years. So once again, where to draw the line?

I don’t know. I think I’ll crawl into the fetal position under my desk and think about it because it hurts.

P.S. My wife just smacked me in the back of the head and said you don’t draw the line—Hiring someone on the basis of health risks or for doing anything legal is wrong. After repeated beatings, I’m taking her side.

Autum weighs in on Time Magazine article





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