THE CITY DOES NOT EMPLOY INDIVIDUALS WHO NOW USE OR HAVE USED TOBACCO PRODUCTS WITHIN THE LAST TWELVE MONTHS.
May 7, 2002 2:46 PM   Subscribe

THE CITY DOES NOT EMPLOY INDIVIDUALS WHO NOW USE OR HAVE USED TOBACCO PRODUCTS WITHIN THE LAST TWELVE MONTHS. - Is this legal? I myself do not smoke, but it seems dangerous that governments or corporations may be able to refuse to hire you based on something you may legally do on your free time. Is this common? More importantly, is this the start of a very slippery slope?
posted by eas98 (111 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
While I imagine that this has to do with health insurance costs, it still is daunting. Imagine what else they could tell you not to do, all in the name of keeping health insurance costs down...
posted by eas98 at 2:49 PM on May 7, 2002


3,2,1...
posted by brittney at 2:53 PM on May 7, 2002


Actually, what they seem to be saying is that if you have used that nasty stuff this recently you are going to cost them money for health care. Now, just imagine if lots of places began doing this. Soon, folks would think twice about giving up a habit that not only hurts them [physically but hurts chances of getting nice jobs.
Is it legal? I don't know. Can they also tell you that you will not be hired if you used crack within the last 12 months? Is that legal to state?
But the odd thing is that it is illegal to turn you away if you have physical disabilities...say, no arms or legs, but if you smoke, you are out of luck.
posted by Postroad at 2:54 PM on May 7, 2002


I think the point was that it's legal to smoke, and they're discriminating based on a legal activity. Smoking crack would be different because it's illegal. A more apt analogy is not hiring someone because they skydive, or something like that.
posted by LionIndex at 2:59 PM on May 7, 2002


Hrm. What if you have high colesterol? A family history of breast cancer?
posted by hob at 3:06 PM on May 7, 2002


My guess is that this has to do with the cost of providing separate facilities for smokers. Banning recent quitters may not be legal though, I doubt they can be forced to hire an active smoker.
posted by plaino at 3:18 PM on May 7, 2002


it's legal to drink alcohol but companies can test if you have alcohol in your blood stream and not hire you based on that fact. i don't buy the whole "it's legal to smoke so it's discrimination" arguement.

my health insurance rates at the company where i work are already throught he roof. why should i pay for people who don't take care of their bodies and in turn raise the rates of my health insurance?
posted by suprfli at 3:28 PM on May 7, 2002


Constitutionally speaking, if a court can concieve of a "rational basis" that the state might have for not hiring smokers, then the policy is constitutional. I'm sure that the health care costs alone would be plenty. The only way you might win is if you could produce compelling evidence of irrational hostility toward smokers by the government.

I suppose if you could convince a court that smokers as a group have been historically subject to invidious discrimination by the state, or perhpas that smoking is a fundamental right guaranteed by the constitution, that might change the analysis. But methinks that is unlikely.

The Supreme Court has upheld state hiring policies that discriminate against people that have used methodone in the previous 12 months. I'll bet that is what this policy is based on.
posted by boltman at 3:30 PM on May 7, 2002


oh, and the same "rational basis" analysis would apply for former smokers. The state would show how there was an x percent chance that they would start again, and that would probably be a rational basis for discriminating against them.
posted by boltman at 3:32 PM on May 7, 2002


What would we all think if this was a private company, rather than a city? Would a corporation be able to hire based on smoking/non-smoking?

Seems to me that corporations can hire based on the image, or whatever, that they want their empolyees to have, but when it's the government it gets a little sticky.
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 3:33 PM on May 7, 2002


Don't you get it? They don't want people stinking up the office.

Smokers SMELL BAD.

Anyway, since there is no widely available niccotine test, that really is all you could go by (although I suppose you could say you were at a bar or something)

Besides, don't you know that in our now PC whitewashed america smokers have been singled out by Free Masons as 'scorn sinks'
posted by delmoi at 3:37 PM on May 7, 2002


I'm promoting this smoking news from a dormant smoking thread I posted it to earlier today (just looking for interested readers):

Newly publicized smoking research:

Passive smoking dents kids' IQ
Secondhand smoke shaves points off kids' IQ, a study of over 4000 American children suggests. Even those exposed to small amounts of cigarette smoke have slightly lower cognitive abilities.

As little as one nanogram of [nicotine breakdown component] cotinine per millilitre of blood appeared to reduce IQ scores by an average of two points. One parent smoking less than a pack a day could produce that level in a child.
Even a Little Smoke Affects Children, Study Finds

A Lesson for Parents?
Secondhand Smoke Hurts Test Performance in Kids, Adolescents


This seems strongly relevant to this discussion about a proposed and withdrawn law to hold people responsible for tobacco smoke they introduce into their neighbors' homes.
posted by NortonDC at 3:40 PM on May 7, 2002


quite frankly i don't even know why its still legal to smoke. even if you were to smoke in your own home and were not causing any second hand smoke problems i think it should be criminalized. this isn't holland or some other super liberal country. smokers need to get it through there heads that they are the worst people on this planet, and because of this they have no rights (well, except the right to be scorned by non-smokers).
posted by m@L at 3:45 PM on May 7, 2002


...why should i pay for people who don't take care of their bodies and in turn raise the rates of my health insurance?

Then deny them health insurance, not a job. I bet you'll be singing a different tune when you're diagnosed with some genetic defect and then can't get insurance... But that's a different discussion. Methinks that when the insurance companies only cover the healthy, then there is no point in having insurance.

Anyway, this isn't about smoking. It's about an employer being able to dictate what you do with your 'free' time. What if they decide that people who drive fast cars are more costly to insure? People who live on the wrong side of the tracks? How about unmarried people? Supposedly, married people live healthier lives. Are they the only ones who should be hired? Oh, people who go to the beach. You know, that potential skin cancer can raise costs...

Would you like more examples of where this could go?
posted by eas98 at 3:47 PM on May 7, 2002


yea it's dumb.

Hrm. What if you have high colesterol? A family history of breast cancer?

or worse, black people have higher incidence of heart disease and sickle cell, white people have higher incidence of cystic fibrosis, gay people have a higher incidence of hiv, and on and on. if you want to not have people smoke, say "you can't smoke here" but you should be able to do what you want off-site.

lots of organizations have no smoking rules, texas department of health is a tobacco free campus, meaning you can't smoke or use any tobacco products on the land owned by TDH, the hospital i work at is tobacco-free, no smoking on the property, and no allowances or smoke-breaks or smoking areas are designated. that's fine, but when they go home the rules don't go with you.
posted by rhyax at 3:52 PM on May 7, 2002


THIS FIRM DOES NOT EMPLOY INDIVIDUALS WHO NOW USE OR HAVE USED OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE WITHIN THE LAST 12 MONTHS.
posted by quonsar at 3:53 PM on May 7, 2002


"smokers need to get it through there heads that they are the worst people on this planet..."

I respectfully disagree. Use and distribution of lousy grammar ranks right up there for me.
posted by swerve at 3:59 PM on May 7, 2002


As others have said, even if you look at it from an insurance point of view there are all kinds of things that are bad for you and I wouldn't want this precedent set/upheld.

Still, I would love to see smoking criminalized. I'm all for alcohol, heroin, gambling, prostitution, pot brownies. They're all a victimless crimes and it's ridiculous that we criminalize them. But smokers routinely intrude on my rights, and while I know it's a little hypocritical for a professes libertarian, I can't wait until smoking is completely removed from acceptable public behavior. There's just no excuse for it in polite society.
posted by willnot at 4:02 PM on May 7, 2002


Smokers SMELL BAD.

hear, hear!
posted by crunchland at 4:04 PM on May 7, 2002


I guess ultimately that policy doesn't bother me that much.

In a way, it's up to the voters of Coral Gables, Florida.... if they don't like the policy, they can elect someone as mayor/city councilmember/whatever who can work to change the policy.

And if I were a smoker, which I am not, I probably wouldn't want to work someplace that actively discourages smoking.

Hypothetically, if I personally saw an ad that said, "anyone who has used alcohol in the last 12 months is not eligible," which I can legally do, I just wouldn't apply. (Now, if that were the only job out there that I was otherwise qualified for, I would probably be angry....)

Part of the reason government exists is to protect people from themselves (e.g., the illegality of murder and drunk driving). Government in the US has increasingly become more activist about protecting people from the (proven) ill effects of smoking. It stands to reason that governments would be more active in attempting to protect the health of its own workers.

And really, employers have a fair amount of latitude in who they can hire, save for the laws against discrimination (and some obvious gray areas like this one). At least they posted it in the ad.... It would be infuriating to get most of the way through the application process and then find out they don't hire smokers.

on preview: Rhyax, you're right... your employer shouldn't determine what you do on your own time. Does Coral Gables have the right not to hire people who are endangering their own health, and thereby costing them more? I don't know.
posted by gohlkus at 4:06 PM on May 7, 2002


Part of the reason government exists is to protect people from themselves (e.g., the illegality of murder and drunk driving).

Umm...people don't murder themselves. Well, they can, but then it's called suicide.

Even so, I don't pay taxes so that the government can protect me from myself. The proper role of government is, among other things, to make sure that my rights aren't infringed by others.

Now, it does say that they're a drug-free workplace, and nicotine is a drug....

Interesting comment about the alcohol, though.
posted by charlesv at 4:44 PM on May 7, 2002


Legality doesn't make a difference. The reason they can test for drugs in your urine isn't because these substances are illegal, its because an employer/business/state can more or less do what it wants unless its violating non-discriminatory laws. All the more reason to question the legality of the tests themselves, not necessarily the intent.

I hope this catches on, with millions of smokers and civil right activists complaining it might mean that these horrible hiring practices (regardless of legality of item tested) will be declared discriminatory and a gross violation of privacy.
posted by skallas at 4:44 PM on May 7, 2002


And you don't even have to limit it to "people that put themselves in danger". Based solely on higher insurance premiums, couldn't you also not hire newlyweds based on the idea that they'll probably have children and incur costs for pre-natal care?
posted by LionIndex at 4:54 PM on May 7, 2002


if this really is to cut health care costs, then they shouldn't hire people that consume alcohol, caffiene, or are over weight.
posted by chrisroberts at 4:54 PM on May 7, 2002


Now, it does say that they're a drug-free workplace, and nicotine is a drug....

Smokers SMELL BAD.

Same goes for coffee. Is that next?
posted by HTuttle at 4:58 PM on May 7, 2002


Smoking is illegal in Oregon prisons and prison employees are not allowed to smoke, even at home. I have heard of possible missuse of pre-employment physicals: blood tests looking for 'genetic markers' which could predispose one for certain diseases being used to disqualify otherwise qualified applicants. Seems invasive and discriminatory.
posted by Mack Twain at 5:00 PM on May 7, 2002


There's just no excuse for it in polite society.

Fuck yer polite society! ;)
posted by RJ Reynolds at 5:16 PM on May 7, 2002


The place I work now does not allow smoking on the premises. Which makes easy to get into the building since you don't have to dodge smokers huddled around the door.

Smoking is one of the few "rights" people have that infringes on others rights. I bet you smokers wouldn't be so thrilled if I held a week old sack of dog crap 2 feet from you head while you're trying to eat.... well that's what smokes smells like to none smokers.

Want to do it in your house, go right ahead. Want to smoke in public, be careful... I might have a bag with your name on it.
posted by monkeyboy at 5:21 PM on May 7, 2002


So why should smoking be criminalized?

If I'm polite to non-smokers by not lighting up around them, but smoke in the bars, casinos and clubs which encourage it, and enjoy a cigar in the comfort of my own home, how the fuck does that bother you? When I smoke on my back deck, a minute amount of odor might waft yr way but you pay me back with yr unfixed Honda which belches smoke every morning, with yr kids who keep running through my garden even when I've asked you to stop, with yr fucking barbeque smoking up the entire neighborhood, and yr music bleeding out of the house at all hours.

May I please throw dogshit at you for any or all of these infractions?
posted by pandaharma at 5:50 PM on May 7, 2002


Crap...I just tried to make a bid, and it didn't work....

...oh, this isn't eBay? I thought the caps gave it away...
posted by adampsyche at 5:56 PM on May 7, 2002


Smokers SMELL BAD.

So do farters. They should ban anyone who has eaten a burrito within the last 12 hours.
posted by homunculus at 5:59 PM on May 7, 2002


ok... that's it... i've had it... i'm gonna start smoking just because i can... errr.... while i still can
posted by 10sball at 6:07 PM on May 7, 2002


As someone who has been refused 2 jobs in the last week because of the length of my hair (I have a pony tail and I am male) smoking seems a much more rational thing to discriminate based on.Apparently, it's unprofessional for a physician to have a pony tail despite the fact that he shows up wearing a $1000 suit and is otherwise dressed conservatively to the nines at the time of interview. That said, there are many things that are legal to discriminate against, only the limited protected classes are forbidden.

I am able to take a hint and cut the hair. The pony tail of a decade (it survived medical school, residency and numerous other doctor jobs) will die in the next 48 hours.
posted by shagoth at 6:17 PM on May 7, 2002


I just hope this is a case of a bored city council with too much time on their hands. If so, I am sure in the next few years they will demand that employees not use automobiles. Afterall, accidents happen.
posted by tdca at 6:23 PM on May 7, 2002


Coffee doesn't smell bad.
posted by blissbat at 6:24 PM on May 7, 2002


The "smokers smell bad" defense fails if someone DOESN'T SMOKE ON THE FRIGGIN' JOB. Unless the olfactory senses of the workers in this city building are of nearly superhuman powers (someone call Jack Kirby from the grave for a representative illustration here), if a freshly laundered and ironed shirt is worn and the worker does not puff up on his morning commute or on company time, is it safe to assume that sweat is more likely to produce a pungent odor than cigarettes that, have not, after all been smoke? And are we to assume that a smoker who has recently quit smoking will not, with that high five figure salary, prepare himself with new clothes for the job (if indeed the traces of second hand smoke has not been thoroughly obliterated from his other clothes courtesy of other dry cleanings, Febreze and Dryel)?
posted by ed at 6:54 PM on May 7, 2002


As much as I hate smoking and disrespect smokers, I am not comfortable with this hiring policy. No employer should have the right to dictate what one legally does away from work, period. Life > work.

OTOH, it is not much of a stretch for me to rationalize a reason for the policy. One generally wishes to optimize one's chances of hiring rational, capable people to perform the tasks one is hiring for, and someone who chooses to smoke is displaying poor judgement and irrational and self-destructive behavior that might well be part of a larger personality pattern that could negatively effect their job performance.
posted by rushmc at 7:12 PM on May 7, 2002


omg...Affect! Affect!
posted by rushmc at 7:14 PM on May 7, 2002


Ah well, we can just start cloning the perfect human beings, now, lets just do away with poor judgement and irrational and self-destructive behavior. We should just replace it with your larger personality pattern, that way job performance would never be Affected.
posted by bittennails at 7:22 PM on May 7, 2002


Regarding the "Smokers smell bad" comment...
well yes, they do, but twelve months after a cigarette?
And again, it's an issue of what you do in your spare time. If you can shower and put on clean clothes and refrain from smoking at work, where's the problem?

"yr kids who keep running through my garden even when I've asked you to stop"
pandaharma, I'd just bat the little f*cks with a four-by-two. One warning is enough. >: \
posted by Catch at 7:22 PM on May 7, 2002


If you don't smoke, you will live forever. Unlike smokers who can't get the butts out of their mouths, non-smokers will live to see the progeny of seven generations hence smiling beatific smoke-free smiles at them. But the dumb bastard smokers are doomed to hell, their asses are grass, just like it says in Ecclesiastes! Mortal! Days are numbered! Gonna punch in that ticket Real! Soon! Now!

Smoking is one of the few "rights" people have that infringes on others rights

monkeyboy, I'm hoping that you also go after (with a bag of dog crap) anyone who exercises their "right" to drive a car, or their "right" to operate a steel mill, power generation facility, or solid waste incinerator within a 50 mile radius of your domicile. Otherwise, the fact that MY secondhand smoke is shortening YOUR life by 0.000001 seconds doesn't mean a thing.
posted by WolfDaddy at 7:36 PM on May 7, 2002


tchht, he needs that 0.000001 seconds to justify his existence. Mentally pictures him piling dogshit in a bag, cursing loudly at no one in particular...
posted by bittennails at 7:41 PM on May 7, 2002


ahh, sorry, justify his existence as a contributing non-smoking member of society...would be rude without that :)
posted by bittennails at 7:43 PM on May 7, 2002


though I despise smoking, etc., etc.- it is still legal. In this "freedom-loving / citizen's rights-protecting" country, if something is legal, it should be protected. This is, however, not a federal issue and should be dealt with at the state level. I just hope this kind of thinking is cut off before reaching the federal level.

on the "smell of smokers" tip: why do smokers not believe that they stink all of the time...all of the smokers I tell this to insist that they haven't smoked yet and are wearing clean clothes, failing to hear the truth: the stuff is in your body- it oozes the smell from your tell-tale wrinkled skin.

signed,

gas-passing, stale beer smelling, coffee drinker (hey- my friends tell me when one of my legal vices makes me stink!)
posted by ayukna at 7:50 PM on May 7, 2002


(hey- my friends tell me when one of my legal vices makes me stink!)

Has this happened to you often? I believe (correct me if I am wrong) that smoking does numb the sense of smell a bit, and what with the eating habits and such like these days, I thank my lucky stars.
posted by bittennails at 8:08 PM on May 7, 2002


The "smokers smell bad" defense fails if someone DOESN'T SMOKE ON THE FRIGGIN' JOB.

A person who smokes probably doesn't realize that even if they only smoke at home, or out on the front stoop of their office building, their clothes absorb the smoke, and it follows them around like a vomit overcoat. Any non-smoker can smell it if they have to get within a couple feet of you.

I've never noticed that lingering stench of death around a coffee drinker.
posted by crunchland at 8:10 PM on May 7, 2002


lets just do away with poor judgement and irrational and self-destructive behavior.

Yes, let's. Or let's at least TRY.
posted by rushmc at 8:15 PM on May 7, 2002


If stink was the issue, the city could have a 'if you smell bad at work you will be fired' policy. I can think of a few non-smoking past cow-orkers who were particularly offensive.
How about THE CITY DOES NOT EMPLOY INDIVIDUALS WHO NOW USE OR HAVE USED CURRY POWDER/MUSK PERFUME/CHEAP AFTERSHAVE WITHIN THE LAST TWELVE MONTHS.
I should think that with all the SHOUTING and STRESS in the office, employees would need those cigarettes.
posted by Catch at 8:25 PM on May 7, 2002


A person who smokes probably doesn't realize

And smokers probably don't realize smoking can kill them, either. Thank god they have people to constantly remind them!

Isn't it easier to believe that smokers do realize non- and ex-smokers find the odor offensive ... and smokers just don't care? I'll take the stench of a Marlboro over whatever (tested! on! animals! with! big! sad! eyes!) cologne Calvin Klein has chosen to choke me with this day.
posted by WolfDaddy at 8:32 PM on May 7, 2002


Part of the reason government exists is to protect people from themselves (e.g., the illegality of murder and drunk driving).

Uhh, those laws exist to protect people from each other, not themselves. I imagine that if drunk driving posed no greater risk then normal driving (hmm, kinda like driving with a cigarette) it too would be legal.
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 8:41 PM on May 7, 2002


I know this is bad & I'll get flamed, but

FUCK ALL OF YOU ANTI-SMOKING HYPOCRITES!
posted by password at 9:02 PM on May 7, 2002


AAAAAAHHH!!!! THE DREADED SMOKING/ANTI-SMOKING THREAD!!!

Sorry. * takes puff *

Now. It is undeniable that smoking is bad for the smoker, and annoying (and, admittedly, harmful) to others. That point need not be argued. Smoking shortens our lives, and undeniably causes horrible and painful conditions in a predictable number of those who smoke. It also harms others who cannot or will not avoid passive smoke - again, to a predictable number of cases. That is the risk factor involved in allowing smoking tobacco to continue in society. Further, the practice annoys many others in ways short of being health-threatening - we can add all these into the risk factor, as well.

Now consider the risk factor in banning smoking outright. We have done the same thing with cannabis for about a century now, and the practice continues. How much have we spent on the drug war? Has it accomplished any positive results? We (again, America) also conducted a "grand social experiment" in which we banned alcohol. We wound up with more (illegal) outlets than there were before, and an entire criminal infrastructure dedicated to the production and distribution of spirits that did not exist before.

Don't get me wrong - I wish I didn't smoke. I wish NOBODY did. But I do, and others do. Some people are able to "quit" relatively easily. Others will try and fail a hundred times. But the practice will continue, because it is pleasurable. Ditto any drug. Caffeine, say. It's mostly found in soft drinks and coffee, but there's quite a lot of it in most chocolate bars. This may be a trite ending, but where do we draw the line? I, for one, do not want to have to fill out a chart of everything I have ingested over the past 12 months the next time I apply for a job. Smoking is the extreme example, but once we start down the slope, everything else is fair game.
posted by yhbc at 9:02 PM on May 7, 2002


What's the sound of half a brain posting?

smokers need to get it through their heads that they are the worst people on this planet, and because of this they have no rights.

Now back to the topic....
This seems to reflect of the fact [speaking strictly from my experience] that most HR departments and people in charge of hiring and firing don't have the balls to enforce a "No Smoking At Work" policy. Everywhere I've ever worked had such a policy but it was rarely, if ever, enforced. So here we have a case where throwing down some premptive strike is suppose to do the trick? Spare me. How about strictly adhering to already stiff smoking restrictions? How about having the gonads to fire someone who, despite knowing its not ok to smoke at work, does it anyway? If my job was on the line, I'd think twice and three times before lighting up.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 9:21 PM on May 7, 2002


How are we hypocritical?

(this is hypothetical, btw. Some of my best friends smoke)
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 9:22 PM on May 7, 2002


I don't think anyone is advocating for a general ban on caffiene and everything harmful. No one's even arguing for one on smoking, except idiots like m@L.

But this is a practice harmful to the smoker and (arguably)those nearby, and a declining portion of the general population indulges. I support the right of companies to hire who they want. In a free market, and that's their right, so I suppose they can test for whatever they want.

The only part of this that bothers me is that it's the government. Don't they have an obligation to be an equal-opportunity employer?
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 9:28 PM on May 7, 2002


Isn't it easier to believe that smokers do realize non- and ex-smokers find the odor offensive ... and smokers just don't care?

Quite so. Many smokers ARE, as you say, inconsiderate, antisocial boobs. Many, but not all.
posted by rushmc at 9:31 PM on May 7, 2002


Isn't it easier to believe that smokers do realize non- and ex-smokers find the odor offensive ... and smokers just don't care?

I didn't mean to imply that smokers were blissful child-like creatures, unaware of their own odious body odors. I meant that their sense of smell has either filtered out or been dulled by the pall. And as for not caring -- nah. Our society is too steeped in deodorant soapy goodness that it's inconceivable that anyone could ignore the putrid aroma on purpose.

Except maybe for the french -- there's no accounting for them really. I suspect that if the city had posted that they would not employ anyone who was french within the last twelve months, we wouldn't even be debating this topic.
posted by crunchland at 10:24 PM on May 7, 2002


The only part of this that bothers me is that it's the government. Don't they have an obligation to be an equal-opportunity employer?

Under the constitution, states have an near-absolute obligation not to discriminate on the basis of race, a somewhat milder obligation not to discriminate on the basis of gender, and a limited obligation not to discriminate against legal aliens for certain types of low-level jobs. They used to have an obligation under federal law not to discriminate on the basis of age and disability, but the Supreme Court has recently struck those laws down for violating the 10th amendment. Beyond that, they can discriminate against anyone they want as long as there is some concievable rational basis for doing so.

Sucks, doesn't it?
posted by boltman at 10:28 PM on May 7, 2002


There are only fou reasons that I can think of for why such a policy would exist:

1. Because of the hypothetical rise in insurance costs
2. To prevent "lost productivity" due to smoke breaks
3. As part of a "drug free" environment policy
4. Whoever is in charge is a fascist anti-smoking ass.

Regarding these point:

1. There are many many things that a person can do that will cause insurance premiums to go up. Many of them have been mentioned here: having children, skydiving, being overweight, driving fast cars, being old, WEARING GLASSES, etc.. And there are ways around this: many companies that I've dealt with in the past pay X number of dollars for your insurance, and you take that X and "purchase" the coverage you want. Some people need vision, others want extensive dental, or chiropractic, etc., and you use your insurance dollars to purchase the coverage that is important to you.

2. People stand around doing nothing whether they're smoking or not. And to be honest, I've had some of my most amazing code-related epiphanies while smoking. Perhaps a brisk walk would have done the same, but that's not the point. If the company has a no-smoking *at work* policy, then fire those that break it, and let me do what I want on my own time.

3. Again: don't do the drug at work, no problem. Enforce the no-drugs policy at work, and leave people alone.

4. There's no combatting this, really.

Now about you people that get on my shit (or anyone's) for smoking:

I live in sunny CA. California has got to be the worst place in the US to live if you smoke. It's banned freakin everywhere, and smokes are gawdawful expensive. You can't even smoke in bars or clubs here. There's a few bars you can smoke in, but only a regular will know that, unless it's one of those bars that has all of the Pro-smokers-in-bars propaganda on the walls. In addition to that, people here are a bunch of self-righteous do gooders. Yes, I know all about smoking's hazards, thank you. shut up.

Smoking may be hazardous to my health, but my *not* smoking is hazardous to your health. There are quite a few noses out there that are not broken due to my chosing to have a nice relaxing smoke instead of busting open a can of whoop-ass.

Getting pissy with smokers is like getting pissy with drivers. Just because I smoke doesn't mean I'm going to be an ass and blow it in your face, much like, just because I'm in a car doesn't mean I'm going to cut you off. There are good drivers and good smokers and bad ones too.

I can't wait until they start testing to see if you read the news everyday. That shit gives me heart attacks - and those are bad for insurance premiums.
posted by jaded at 11:02 PM on May 7, 2002


Quite so. Many smokers ARE, as you say, inconsiderate, antisocial boobs. Many, but not all.

Geez, have you anti-smoking types ever smoked anything? The smoker does not smell what you smell. Inhalation through the mouth isn't not the same as inhalation through the nose and there's a psychology of getting used to scents hard-wired into humans. The obligatory woman in the office who dips herself in perfume doesn't go crazy from the smell, but you do because you're not exposed to it long enough to ignore it.

Well, the smoker will eventually smell what you smell when he sniffs his dirty clothing after getting up in the morning looking for something clean.
posted by skallas at 2:05 AM on May 8, 2002


Also, this is the kind of shit that will continue to happen until there's socialized medicine or a very elaborate and consumer friendly patients bill of rights.
posted by skallas at 2:06 AM on May 8, 2002


This is illegal, and Coral Gables won't be able to continue doing this.
posted by engelr at 4:15 AM on May 8, 2002


Bingo, jaded. I've found nothing better than smoking for helping to unravel a tough mental knot. Too bad it'll kill me some day.
posted by DaShiv at 4:31 AM on May 8, 2002


Yeah, too bad.

Smokers will continue to be marginalized until the sale of cigarettes is banned outright. It's one of the few predjudices that's still politically correct to have. I think if you all claimed that your smoking is due to a mental illness, you'd be better off. At least the disgust might be tinged with and iota of pity.
posted by crunchland at 5:28 AM on May 8, 2002


I used to live in Coral Gables. very hoity toity part of south Miami. Anyways, this is not the first of it's kind, and it's quite possible they took the queue from my local sheriff's department (on the other side of the state) who was had the exact same policy for a few months now. It made front page headlines locally, and I think it's a bunch of BS.

And yes, the reasoning behind it is the mounting insurance rates for smokers. If you've smoked within the last 12 months, they won't consider you for employment. Can I expect to see the ACLU around here soon? :)
posted by shadow45 at 5:44 AM on May 8, 2002


FUCK ALL OF YOU ANTI-SMOKING HYPOCRITES!

Ah. That was sooooo refreshing. What a way to lend credibility.
posted by adampsyche at 5:55 AM on May 8, 2002


Umm..

Whoever said that 'refusing to hire someone who drinks is legal' is talking poop.

If someone tests positive for alcohol at their drug screening, sure, you can refuse to hire them, because they went to the test drunk, and therefore show cause that they would show up at work drunk.

However, you can't ask 'Do you drink?' at an interview and then refuse them a job. Just like you can't fire someone for being an alcoholic without paying for them to get counsiling first (although at that point, it is because it is classified as a handicap).
posted by rich at 6:45 AM on May 8, 2002


but my *not* smoking is hazardous to your health. There are quite a few noses out there that are not broken due to my chosing to have a nice relaxing smoke instead of busting open a can of whoop-ass.

Clearly, some anger management therapy is in order, if you possess so little self-control and must sedate yourself with chemicals in order to function in human society.
posted by rushmc at 7:08 AM on May 8, 2002


I would very much like to hear an argument made by a smoker that didn't contain hostility or trash talking. It is possible to not smoke and not punch people, it is done all the time.
posted by adampsyche at 7:48 AM on May 8, 2002


However, you can't ask 'Do you drink?' at an interview and then refuse them a job.

What parallel universe do you live in?

(Non-snarky translation: "Please provide evidence to support your assertion.")
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:23 AM on May 8, 2002


A potential employer can decide not to hire you for whatever reasons s/he wants. And provided you can't prove that they did it based on your age or your religion or the color of your skin, and depending on the area you live in, your sexual orientation, you haven't got a legal leg to stand on. There's no constitutional right to be employed, whether the employer is part of the government or not.
posted by crunchland at 8:37 AM on May 8, 2002


rushmc and adampsyche.

The comment about my not smoking being hazardous to your health was something of a joke.

Besides: smoking is considerably cheaper than (good)therapy. Especially for the un-insured who can't get a good job because they smoke ;-)

adam: I'd very much like to see an argument against smoking that isn't full of pissing and moaning about smokers are violating *your* rights.
posted by jaded at 8:46 AM on May 8, 2002


okay, here's a smoker who is not going to be hostile or trashtalking (although you could say the same thing about many of the non-smokers' arguments).

i smoke, but not every day at work. if i do smoke at work it's on my lunch hour and occasionally on a break--most of the time it's just to get away from office craziness for a few minutes. i also do not "SMELL BAD" since i don't smoke in my house and i wash my clothes and shower. i also wash my hands after i do have a smoke. i don't light up in people's faces, nor do i blow smoke in their faces. if people ask me to not smoke around them, i don't. i either go somewhere else or put it out.

i certainly would never apply at a place that was unfriendly toward smokers. i think it's well within a company's rights to say whether or not you can smoke at work, but i think it's ridiculous to dictate people's actions away from the office unless it directly affects the job performance or the company (eg: you work for a "quit smoking" campaign or somesuch).

on the whole i've found some smokers to be rude and others not to be. and i've found some non-smokers to be rude and some not to be. kind of like people in general.

when i do quit smoking, i fully intend to still use breaks (and maybe use them more). i think it's a great idea to get away from the cubicle for awhile (especially when you don't want to be there in the first place).
posted by witchstone at 8:52 AM on May 8, 2002


I have no argument against smoking. Smoke all you want, I don't give a shit. As long as there are protections for me and my family so that I don't have to be subjected to it, such as in work and my home, then smoke 'em if you got 'em.

Smokers fail to realize that if they are subjecting others to breathing their toxins, their right to smoke becomes moot.

As for this policy? I haven't looked into it much. I don't really care. But, I do think that smokers should either pay higher health insurance premiums, or maybe waive their right to have medical expenses paid for if they are related to their smoking. If I had the obsession to hack off my finger every week, and go to the hospital and have it reattached, wouldn't it seem silly that my health insurance should pay for my surgery, even though it was willful and knowledgable self harm?

i don't light up in people's faces, nor do i blow smoke in their faces. if people ask me to not smoke around them, i don't. i either go somewhere else or put it out.

If smokers would practice what witchstone says she practices, I think a lot of hostility towards smokers would cease. See how easy that is? Practice some courtesy.
posted by adampsyche at 9:53 AM on May 8, 2002


Devil's Advocate;

If someone has drank a beer in the past 12 months, you could not refuse them a job on that basis alone.

If the job requires something like a camp counselor where they're going to be 'on the job' for 8 weeks straight, ability to refrain from alcohol use is directly related to the job, so it's perfectly valid to ask if they can refrain from drinking for 8 weeks. Because they will be working the whole time.

Just like employers have the right to say 'no alcohol on company grounds'.

From a law firm's interpretation of the law:

"The guiding principal behind any questions to a job applicant is: Can the employer demonstrate a job-related necessity for asking the question? Both the intent behind the question and how the information is to be used by the employer are important to determining whether a question is an appropriate pre-employment inquiry.

Do you drink alcoholic beverages?
An employer may ask an applicant questions about his drinking habits, unless a particular question is likely to elicit information about alcoholism, which is a disability under the ADA. An employer may ask an applicant whether he drinks alcohol, or whether he has been convicted for driving under the influence of alcohol. These questions do not reveal whether someone has alcoholism. On the other hand, questions about how much alcohol an applicant drinks or whether he as participated in an alcohol rehabilitation program are not permitted. Questions of this nature are likely to elicit information about whether the applicant has alcoholism."


Now, while the question of 'do you drink alcohol' may be deemed ok to ask, it still has to pass the 'job-related necesssity' test, in which case you could make that kind of argument for the camp counselor job, but maybe not for a programmer. The question, in relation to a job for a programmer has more tendency to elicit information pertaining to alcoholism and habit rather than having anything to do with job function.

So, I'll say you are correct that 'do you drink' can be a valid question to ask, but depending on the job and circumstances, as I would wager in many cases it could be viewed as a discrimatory question under ADA by trying to elicit information on if someone is an alcoholic (especially if you get into history of drinking questions), even if the person does not drink or is not an alcoholic

In the same vein, smoking has no job-necessity relation in most, if not all cases and instead may be shown to be a discrimatory question.

adampsyche

As for smokers having to pay more for their health benefits; then in the same spirit, I demand that HIV positive people pay more for their benefits, since they are probably sapping money out of my HMO at work way more than smokers. How dare they, after they've had sex. They should know better than to have ever had sex.

Really.
posted by rich at 10:01 AM on May 8, 2002


Smokers fail to realize that if they are subjecting others to breathing their toxins, their right to smoke becomes moot.

I bet smoking a cigarette releases fewer toxins into the atmosphere than driving to the movies.
posted by DaShiv at 10:12 AM on May 8, 2002


They should know better than to have ever had sex.

Uh, having sex does not necessarily give you HIV. And there are more ways to get it than to have sex with an infected person. I think that I was referring to the repetitive, every day decision to smoke, when they don't have to. I have never met one HIV+ person (and I knew quite a few) who engaged in risky behavior when they knew the other person was infected. In most cases, it is a mistake, although a careless one. However, I can not think of one person who smokes, who does not know that they are significanly increasing their risks of life threatening illnesses. Life insurance costs more if you smoke. Ever wonder why?

I bet smoking a cigarette releases fewer toxins into the atmosphere than driving to the movies.

That certainly is possible. But the topic is smoking. And, if you were driving to the movies, and had someone's face held in position in which they had to breathe fumes directly from the tailpipe, then I would say that that would be violating someone's rights. As I stated before: I don't care if you smoke. Just practice courtesy and don't smoke around those who don't want to be smoked around. It's fucking courtesy. Who can argue with that?
posted by adampsyche at 10:44 AM on May 8, 2002


adampsyche -- if your idea of courtesy is for me to smoke only in home, then I can easily argue with that. There are lots of things that I don't "like" in the city: annoying kids, unleashed dogs, etc.

You know what? I deal with it.
posted by hummus at 10:57 AM on May 8, 2002


(belated clarification) In an earlier post, I wrote, in an unclear fashion: "...to protect people from themselves (e.g., the illegality of murder and drunk driving)."

What I meant was "to protect people from people," -- that is, from other people. Should have been obvious, but sorry about that.

Also, smokers do smell like smoke -- at least the heavy smokers, or at the very least the ones who get in the elevator with me after they've taken a smoke break. Though the very identifiable smell reminds me somewhat of my parents, it's still kinda nasty.

Interesting that "alcoholism" is protected by the ADA but "nicotinism" isn't....
posted by gohlkus at 11:03 AM on May 8, 2002


Uh, having sex does not necessarily give you HIV.

Um, smoking does not necessarily give you cancer/add your disease. Some folks just have better genes, and never get affected.
posted by bittennails at 11:20 AM on May 8, 2002


adampsyche -- if your idea of courtesy is for me to smoke only in home, then I can easily argue with that. There are lots of things that I don't "like" in the city: annoying kids, unleashed dogs, etc.

I didn't say to smoke only in the home. So, you are easily arguing with what I didn't say.

Um, smoking does not necessarily give you cancer/add your disease.

Right you are. I said, above, "significanly increasing their risks of life threatening illnesses." There are always exceptions.
posted by adampsyche at 11:32 AM on May 8, 2002


This thread has made me want a smoke. Off to stand in the entranceway of my building!
posted by hummus at 11:42 AM on May 8, 2002


bittennails; that is the point I was making in comparison to HIV, thank you. In addition, it can be related to alcoholism in that only in the past 5 years or so has there been any significant truth campaigning to keep people away from starting smoking in the first place. I'd say the majority of people in the workforce today started smoking way back when there was a stronger culture supporting or at least tolerating smoking, not to mention activily encouraging it.

Remember, we are talking about legality here. That is the only purpose to my comparisons.

As for smell, I think we should also discriminate against people who have body oder problems, since that offends my senses. And then there are always other things, like greasy hair or people who are too thin or too fat, since that offends my sight senses. (this paragraph has been sarcasm)

adampsyche - if there are always exceptions, why are there exceptions? Because of your personal subjective deliminations, or some other thing? Saying you can endanger your life in one way, yet not another and then ahve people discriminate against you for it can lead to the same kind of issues surrounding right to life vs. right to choose. (smoking may not have the same moral implications, but are analogous)
posted by rich at 1:13 PM on May 8, 2002


adampsyche - if there are always exceptions, why are there exceptions?

In the same vein that if you shoot yourself in the head with a shotgun, you will most likely die. But, some people have done this, and have lived. I am not trying to compare odds of that happening, but that is the point I was trying to make. It is a reasoning used by smokers when confronted with irrefutable evidence of harmful effects: some will point to an elderly person they know and say "see, she isn't dead, so smoking isn't bad for you!" ignoring the 440,000 deaths per year that it does cause, in addition to the 11.8 percent of all US medical expenditures in 1993 spent on smoking related illnesses.

For the record: smoking is reported to cost $157 billion per year, with "$3.45 per pack was spent on medical care costs related to smoking, and a cost of $3.73 each more in lost productivity because of premature death from smoking, totaling $7.18 per pack." On the other hand, "the expenditures for the estimated 335,000 HIV-infected adults seen at least as often as every six months were $6.7 billion, which is about $20,000 per patient per year." That figure was from 1996, and I am open to anyone who can find more recent figures.

I'm just sayin'.
posted by adampsyche at 1:41 PM on May 8, 2002


I do not refute any of the related costs of smoking. But singling out smokers for costs because you perceive it as smoker's ignorance of the ill effects is misguided. It is an addiction for the majority of smokers just like alcoholism.

(you also ignore the costs associate with every other issue - medical or otherwise some percentage of the population may have that you don't, or the majority don't, yet are called on to fund through higher rates.. if you start picking out people who should pay more, those with rarer diseases won't be able to afford, or even find a cure because they would have to fund the entire thing)

Like the obesity thread we had, people complained 'what don't fat people just loose weight?' you are asking 'why don't smokers just quit?' Many people try, some succeed in quiting.

How about this; someone is not a smoker, and gets hired by this county in question. After years of excellent service, they start smoking for whatever reason. Do they get fired?
posted by rich at 2:29 PM on May 8, 2002


It is an addiction for the majority of smokers just like alcoholism.

I am very familiar with this. It certainly is an addiction, and it is a bitch to put either down. But the resources are available for those who want to quit. No one is doomed to smoke. Likewise with other addictions. Ultimately, the pain of one's addiction needs to be sufficient enough for an addict (alcohol or otherwise) to quit. Unfortunatly, for the smoker, by the time the pain is great enough, it is a little too late.

How about this; someone is not a smoker, and gets hired by this county in question. After years of excellent service, they start smoking for whatever reason. Do they get fired?

I don't know whether I agree with the policy that was put forth by the article. Offhand, I would have to say no. I have not in this thread come out and said that I support this policy, but honestly, it is hard for me to have a problem with it. As hard as it is for me to have a problem with it, I would have to say that I could not support it. How about a $7.18 per pack federal cigarette tax? That I could thow my weight behind.

Also: what a wonderful world it would be if those who have HIV or other illnesses could relieve themselves of such just like one could simply quit smoking. It is hard, no shit, but it is far from impossible. This is my fourth time longer than a year without them: my previous three "attempts" lasted nine months or so. I have not smoked since Feb 14, 2000. I do not say this in anyway to say that I am better than anyone who smokes; quite the contrary, for it would be very hypocritical of me to look down on someone who does. I simply say it to demonstrate that it is possible. Maybe if more people knew people who quit successfully, they would have a little more hope.
posted by adampsyche at 3:34 PM on May 8, 2002


Wow, I sure f'd up one of those links. Here it is.
posted by adampsyche at 3:40 PM on May 8, 2002


Stepping out of the smoker/anti-smoker dichotomy for a moment, what about users of smokeless tobacco?

To me, the idea that I am excluded from candidacy for a job because I might dip/chew/put a pinch between my cheek and gum while puttering around the yard (or punching around the keyboard) at home is, well, a bit hard to swallow if you'll allow the pun.

But I'm guessing I'm the only confessed smokeless tobacco user in these parts.
posted by gee at 4:22 PM on May 8, 2002


It is an addiction for the majority of smokers just like alcoholism.

Oh, cry me a river. Anyone who starts a habit knowing it is addictive and then, lo and behold!, becomes addicted (gee, whoda thunk it?) and looks for my sympathy is barking up the way wrong tree.
posted by rushmc at 9:14 PM on May 8, 2002


rushmc, your simplistic view of life makes me giggle.

Gee - smokeless tobacco holds its own group of health related issues (as well as the whole asthetic thing about spitting) that people have been offering up as support for the anti-smoker policy.

And I agree - it is hard to swallow. I wonder if they include 'occasional' cigar smokers in their little grouping.

adampsyche - people who have those diseases probably could get rid of them if more money and effort was directed at them in the right way. As it is, due to HIV's visibility, a lot has been accomplished in a relatively short time span.

But also, if you want to compare smoking to alcoholism or other drug use (wasn't there a study that said nicotine was more addictive than heroin?), is anyone ever 'cured' of being an alcoholic? Isn't it that they just manage the affliction, always able to relapse at any point? So, it may be more like an incurable disease than you think.. witness yourself having quit 3 times and gone back.
posted by rich at 8:10 AM on May 9, 2002


is anyone ever 'cured' of being an alcoholic? Isn't it that they just manage the affliction, always able to relapse at any point? So, it may be more like an incurable disease than you think.. witness yourself having quit 3 times and gone back.

I never envisioned myself getting personal at all on a forum, but you are absolutely correct, and I can personally attest to that. "Managing the affliction," though, along with "always able to relapse at any point," does not mean that you are doomed to. It is possible to stop using ___ and stay stopped, it is up to the individual and how much effort they put into thier recovery. Incurable does not mean hopeless. I went back three times, and every time it was a decision that I made, and I could have, with better effort and coping skills, made the decision not to. I don't defend it, I am human, and that is the way it is. I could smoke or do whatever today, and if I did, it is a decision that I would make. Getting time away from the habit gives you that decision, and the addiction stops being "active," but remains dormant. That is a good portion of the prevailing theory, and the only evidence to support it are those who have used it and succeeded at quitting.

If the topic is how easy it is to quit smoking, it is painful but not impossible, and certainly less painful than the alternative.

people who have those diseases probably could get rid of them if more money and effort was directed at them in the right way.

Absolutely.
posted by adampsyche at 8:22 AM on May 9, 2002


For what it's worth, Rush, I agree with you... moronic teenagers, in an effort to rebel/fit in/be cool start smoking, and end up taking on a $5 a day habit that will last them for the rest of their stunted lives.

It'd be one thing if it were still 1940, and every media outlet told you that smoking was ok, in fact good for you, but any asshole who started smoking after 1965 pretty much gets the lung cancer they deserve.
posted by crunchland at 9:07 AM on May 9, 2002


I'd say 1965 is a bad cut-off. Mid 1990's would probably be a better one, since you still had media and cultural acceptance/tolerance/active encouragement of smoking without any real strong counter-education movement.

(and I'm ignoring the whole class/economic differentiations)
posted by rich at 11:18 AM on May 9, 2002


Nah. That gives too many people an out on their own responsibilities... an excuse for their own action. The warnings on the labels have been there since the mid sixties. Aside from the illiterate and the retarded, people who took up smoking after that fact have no excuse for their own deathwish.
posted by crunchland at 12:02 PM on May 9, 2002


who needs an excuse for a deathwish anyway?
posted by witchstone at 12:12 PM on May 9, 2002


I do think one should never smoke whenever anyone else is present, even if they seem not to mind. I stopped smoking for eight years and - never mind the health risks - hated the smell. Cigars, pipes... everything was disgusting. And I'd been smoking, non-stop, for 30 odd years.

So smoking, I'd say was like sex or masturbation. Something nice but best left to one's own space and time.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 4:16 PM on May 9, 2002


Something nice but best left to one's own space and time.

And that's why I don't smoke around my 3 year old boy, or my wife for that matter, even though she is a social smoker. But I will defend one's right to do so. How, you are welcome to argue.
posted by bittennails at 4:33 PM on May 9, 2002


Not for nothing, but personally, I find smoking when you have a kid, whether you do it around them or not, to be pretty damned selfish. I mean, doesn't he deserve parents who are in good health? And who are making every effort ot be around and provide for them?

But, I guess your rights are more important. Can't argue with that!
posted by adampsyche at 5:05 PM on May 9, 2002


How do you assume that I am selfish? How do you know I am not in good health? How do you know I do not provide for my son/wife/family?
posted by bittennails at 5:09 PM on May 9, 2002


You know, sorry if I came off a little strong on that last one. All I can say is that the above is what was going through my head when my son was born, and that helped me quit promptly. Respect your right to smoke, don't want to step on any toes.
posted by adampsyche at 5:10 PM on May 9, 2002


If I am unable to defend my rights, how can I presume to protect their lives/rights?
posted by bittennails at 5:11 PM on May 9, 2002


I appreciate the regret in your last comment, do answer my last question though.
posted by bittennails at 5:13 PM on May 9, 2002


And smokers probably don't realize smoking can kill them, either. Thank god they have people to constantly remind them!

Great big soft warm smoke-scented-cardigan hugs to WolfDaddy.

I must say, as I do in all these threads---hello, NortonDC---that I find cigarette-smelliness a far, far less repulsive personality trait than all that walking around telling people they deserve to die of lung cancer. Now *that*, kids, is really gross.

I can quit smoking; people with that attitude are going to be hateful assholes til the day they die. Pity on you.
posted by Sapphireblue at 7:03 PM on May 9, 2002


Yeah, well, I got that attitude over the course of a couple of days...

The first day was when my father died of emphysema. The second day happened 18 months later, when my mom died from the cancer that took half a lung, and then started working on her brainstem.
posted by crunchland at 7:17 PM on May 9, 2002


Hola, Srta Azul.
posted by NortonDC at 7:42 PM on May 9, 2002


I truly feel for your loss, crunchland, and I have no way to comment on that, since I do not share the experience. Let me say though, I am only, in this/these arguments (of smoking) expressing my desire for a freedom of choice, and a lack of policing, whether governmental, or personal, regarding my choice. [no facetiousness here at all]
posted by bittennails at 7:57 PM on May 9, 2002


Freedom of choice, bullshit.

What would you do if someone you know routinely reached into his desk and pulled out a loaded 9mm with a touchy trigger, put it in his mouth and sucked on the barrel, fondling the trigger for 10 or so minutes every hour.

"But I find it soothing, it helps me solve tough programming problems" he says. "And lots of people suck guns into their 90's. I've got strong genes, and I'm fast, too! I can probably dodge the bullet! And I can quit any time I want. Besides, it's my life!"

I suspect that if you were a compassionate type of person, you'd call the nuthouse before you called the cops. You wouldn't think twice about whether or not sucking on a loaded gun was a personal choice or not.
posted by crunchland at 6:00 AM on May 10, 2002


Freedom of choice, bullshit.

It's selective for you then, right?

Besides, it's my life!

See that's the point, so go back to sucking that gun you mention. That was the stupidest analogy I have read in a long time. Thanks for the laugh.
posted by bittennails at 2:59 PM on May 10, 2002


I apologize, I keep returning to your comment above about your parents, and well, I am going to stop talking about this. I don't really mean to be quite so personal. Sorry.
posted by bittennails at 3:23 PM on May 10, 2002


Ah, but sucking on the barrel of a loaded gun hasn't been an accepted cultural norm for hundreds of years, re-enforced by the media and society even now, although you finally do have real counterpoint education going on to change that fact. (well, unless you think of that Lethal Weapon movie, then Mel Gibson could be promoting the use of a gun barrel, but I digress).

Crunchland, you have a perceptional view highly augemented by your personal emotions. But even then, I highly doubt that everyone who is smoking a cigarette you instantly visualize with a loaded gun barrel in their mouth, and rather shake your head depressed or angry.

But also, your comparison may be accurate in final result, but not in reason or cause. We are still talking about an addiction, which your gun barrel visual doesn't take into account.
posted by rich at 8:08 AM on May 13, 2002


Ah, but sucking on the barrel of a loaded gun hasn't been an accepted cultural norm for hundreds of years, re-enforced by the media and society even now

How is that relevant?!? Are you confessing to being a mindless dupe of media and/or society, unable to assess risk and act in your own best interest? Or are you merely accusing all the young smokers of the world of same?
posted by rushmc at 7:32 AM on May 14, 2002


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