Nanny State

The Right to Discriminate Against Smokers

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The New York Times reports that "more hospitals and medical businesses in many states are adopting strict policies that make smoking a reason to turn away job applicants." The Times concedes there are "no reliable data on how many businesses have adopted such policies," so the evidence of a trend is thin. But the shift from smoke-free to smoker-free workplaces (assuming it is in fact occurring) is interesting because it provokes objections not only from cigarette manufacturers (who years ago lobbied for bans on employment discrimination against smokers, which most states have adopted) but also from civil libertarians and even some anti-smoking activists. Michael Siegel, the Boston University public health professor who regularly criticizes anti-smoking groupthink, pseudoscience, and extremism, says:

If enough of these companies adopt these policies and it really becomes difficult for smokers to find jobs, there are going to be consequences. Unemployment is also bad for health.

The American Civil Liberties Union and the National Workrights Institute likewise want to protect smokers from employment discrimination. Lewis Maltby, president of the latter group, says:

There is nothing unique about smoking. The number of things that we all do privately that have negative impact on our health is endless. If it's not smoking, it's beer. If it's not beer, it's cheeseburgers. And what about your sex life?

Reinforcing Maltby's slippery slope argument, the head of the Cleveland Clinic, which pioneered the "no smokers need apply" trend (assuming it really is a trend!), "mused in an interview two years ago that, were it not illegal, he would expand the hospital policy to refuse employment to obese people." Even the American Legacy Foundation, the anti-smoking group funded by the Master Settlement Agreement that the states reached with the leading tobacco companies in 1998, says job discrimination is unfair to smokers because (as the Times puts it) "refusing to hire smokers who are otherwise qualified essentially punishes an addiction that is far more likely to afflict a janitor than a surgeon." Ellen Vargyas, the group's chief counsel, adds:

We want to be very supportive of smokers, and the best thing we can do is help them quit, not condition employment on whether they quit. Smokers are not the enemy.

Anyone who has paid any attention to anti-smoking propaganda over the years could tell you that smokers are the enemy whenever it's convenient. They are portrayed as victims in product liability suits and pleas for limits on tobacco advertising but villains in campaigns for higher cigarette taxes and ever-more-comprehensive smoking bans. If anti-smoking activists truly believed that smokers are helpless nicotine slaves, why would they support policies that "punish an addiction" through punitive, regressive taxes and restrictions that make it increasingly difficult for these addicts to get their fix (for example, by banning separate smoking rooms in workplaces and smoking near the entrances of office buildings)?

In any case, these objections, however sincere, strike me as fundamentally misplaced. Employers may well have sound financial reasons for declining to hire smokers. Although smokers seem to have lower lifetime medical expenses than nonsmokers do because they tend to die sooner, they may be more costly to insure during their working careers and more likely to take sick days. In addition, medical businesses such as hospitals may see modeling healthy behavior as part of their missions and therefore may want to avoid hiring nurses or orderlies who smoke. Whatever their reasons, they should be free to apply the criteria they consider appropriate; freedom of contract means people should not be forced to hire smokers, any more than they should be forced to hire nonsmokers.

The real slippery slope threat comes not from increasingly nosy employers but from an increasingly intrusive government that considers promoting "public health" part of its mission and interprets that concept broadly enough to encompass everything people do that might increase their own risk of disease or injury. That totalitarian tendency is reinforced by the government's ever-expanding role in health care, which transforms a moralistic, pseudo-medical argument into a fiscal imperative by giving every taxpayer a stake in his neighbor's lifestyle. A smoker or fat guy turned away by one employer can always look for work elsewhere, but citizens subject to the state's coercive health-oriented interventions cannot easily pick a different government.

NEXT: Are We All Originalists Now?

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  1. I fucking HATE “Nico-Nazi’s” so much I can actually TASTE it in my BALLS! I miss when I was in the Navy, a smoke/coffee break was the ONLY kind of break that you were allowed (besides a shit break)! I didn’t smoke but I used to hang around the smoke pit and claim that I was a second hand smoker just so I could have ten minutes to relax, bullshit, and drink my fucking coffee in peace!

    1. nobody ever mentioned smoking when they packed my ass off to iraq to get shot at. and a lotta dudes who didnt smoke took it up. civilian REMF rubbish

      1. You’re a veteran?

        Jeeze I am sorry for all the bad things that I have thought of you, Ohio.

        Congratulations on being the first combat ready retard.

        1. Please call him Orrin, not Ohio. I really don’t like the association.

          1. OhioUrine works for me.

            1. How about PFC Dipshit…

              Reporting For Duty (ala John Kerry Heinz).

              1. dont compare me w idiot kerry who couldnt toss a hand grenade far enough to avoid the shrapnel.

                1. Good point, but I am sure that John Kerry knows what an apostrophe, comma, and shift key are.

                  1. thx sister magilicutty. may i have another…

                    1. I can do this all day long, asshole.

                  2. I went to Harvard law and I can’t handle the objective case so I wouldn’t bet on it.

        2. Actually, a bullet lodged in his skull might explain a whole lot.

          1. Oh Gawd, I just imagined PFC Dipshit weaving around Cuyahoga county like a maniac(running over the elderly and shit) with one of those Purple Heart license plates.

      2. I was a submariner and on my first boat, about six hours after reporting aboard, I met with our Hospital Corpsman as part of my check in progress to get a long lecture about various health hazards aboard a submarine. He then TOLD me that “he was required by Federal Law to explain the dangers of smoking and how the Navy would help me to quit”. He THEN told me that if I ever wanted a quick break that didn’t involve the “evacuation of bodily waste” that I better carry around a pack of smokes and a coffee thermos!

        I very RARELY used said smokes but I DID trade them for various things. Once, I knew that we had a 72 day underway coming, so I bought an atomic fuck ton of cigarettes from Turkey; I was treated like I owned a fucking Swiss Bank after day 40! Our Engineer quite literally sold me his soul for a case of Turkish made Marlboros.

        He ACTUALLY typed out a contract that gave me his soul on official Navy letterhead and even had the Captain sign and notarize it! It had started out as a joke but I got his soul, he got his smokes, and I would spend the next six months taunting his Catholic wife with the soul until she bought it back from me in exchange for a date with her big sister!

        Last I knew, that soul was framed and hanging in his wife’s home office and she would literally throw the damn thing in his face to remind him of how stupid he was whenever they got into an argument!

        1. awesome…and i knew an underwater quiddy once, y’all are some strange birds man…strange.

        2. I would spend the next six months taunting his Catholic wife with the soul until she bought it back from me in exchange for a date with . . . .

          I was getting a little worried at this point.

      3. OhioOrrin|2.11.11 @ 1:30PM|#
        “nobody ever mentioned smoking when they packed my ass off to iraq to get shot at.”

        And here you thought you signed up with the army to hang around state-side bases! Surprise!

        1. i just wanted to bang chicks at the local college on the GI bill!

  2. I recall one hospital was instituting a ban on nicotine, not just smoking. They were going to test for it. No smoking, no chewing, no e-cigs, no nicotine gum, no patches, no nasal spray etc. I wonder if that might run afoul of the AWDA as the nasal spray is a prescription medication.

    1. No e-cigs? WTF?

      1. I know, right?
        No candy cigs either.

      2. Already seeing state bans on e-cigs. I know my home state (NY) has a bill in the legislature now to ban them. I’m going to have to have an out of state friend buy the juice and ship it to me.

        Don’t worry NSA/CIA/FBI – I’m just kidding. I would never.

        1. I’d be happy to help. Vaping probably saved my life (although I still smoke a cigar or two every week). I could definitely recommend some quality juices.

          1. I appreciate that. I have a few friends across the country who also vape, so I have the resources.

            Started vaping Thanksgiving weekend, have had a total of one cigarette since then. I really never wanted to quit, so this is a happy medium for me. I vape less than I smoked, and I prefer it to smoking in every way.

            Where do you like to order juice from? PG or VG?

            1. A couple places I like. For selection at a good price I’ll go to indyvaporshop.com. I’ll get some of their standard generic juices or sometimes their Halo juices. I’m also a big fan of vaportalk.com. Their tobacco is probably my favorite tobacco flavor, and the grape soda is probably my favorite all time. If I’m feeling something sweet, I’ll go mstsbakery.com and get snickerdoodle and bananas foster coffee.

              1. And AFAIK, they’re all PG juices, which I think I have a preference for anyway.

                1. Cool, I’ll have to take a look. I’ve been ordering from vaporkings.com. Good fruit flavors, even have cheescake flavor (which is surprisingly tasty), and multiple tobacco blends. I always find it amusing that tobacco e-juice tastes more like uncharred tobacco – earthy, nutty, with a taste similar to the smell of a just-opened pack of smokes.

                  I’ve also gone with PG. VG is really viscous and tends to gum up the atomizers.

                  1. STEVE SMITH INTERESTED IN THIS “VAPING.” IS THAT VIRTUAL RAPING? STEVE SMITH WOULD LIKE TO THINK THAT TRUE. IT WOULD HELP DURING THE COLD, LONELY MONTHS WHEN YUMMY HIKERS AREN’T AS PLENTIFUL. MEAN SNOWMOBILERS ONLY RUN STEVE DOWN WHEN HE TRY TO CATCH THEM.

                    1. If your pinned under a 1000 pounds of snowmobile, then you should just rape your way right through the chassis!

            2. I like BlueMist Vaping, too. They sell in bulk, for one, and it’s top-notch.

      3. Didja hear the news story this morning that the FAA is issuing an interpretive rule today to clarify that no smoking on airplanes also covers e-cigs? Yup – no e-cigs on airplanes, either.

        1. Well, you have to understand that some people are very sensitive to water vapor.

          1. Second-hand water vapor is just as harmful as first-hand water vapor.

    2. Well that’s the issue. It’s one thing to say that any company has a right to hire or not hire who they want, which I agree with. It’s another thing to say a company should have the right to the testing that tells them whether or not you use tobacco. I was looking into an internship at the Cincy Zoo for my son and I see that they have a no nicotine in any form policy. Jesus, you know, a company buys your time. That doesn’t mean they are entitled to your life.

  3. I don’t think you have a right to smoke around me so I support restrictions in public places, but you do have a right to smoke. I guess libertarians would have to say it is up to the employer to decide who they want to hire but I’d support protections from discriminating against hiring smokers.

    1. I don’t think you have a right to smoke around me so I support restrictions in public places

      The tolerance of the statist “liberal”. No “live and let live”. No “do your own thang.” Nopers.

      Instead, we have the State enforcement of preferences, wherever they State can stick its jackboot in the door.

      I’d support protections from discriminating against hiring smokers.

      You lost me on the third swerve, there.

      1. It’s not statist liberal to say you can’t do things that directly effect me. I should not have to breath your smoke. If it does not directly effect me, smoke to your heart’s content.

        1. How much smoke are you going to breathe in a public place?

          1. So there is some quantitative threshold of significance to be established here?

            1. “So there is some quantitative threshold of significance to be established here?”

              Pretty much, yep. Unless you want to claim you shouldn’t have to smell garlic around an Italian restaurant. Your distaste for odors is your problem.

              1. But, but, but, second-hand smoke deaths! No wait, THIRDHAND smoke deaths!

              2. Your distaste for odors is your problem.

                Keep that in mind when I sit next to you in a theater after a dinner of beans and cabbage and proceed to fart all the way through the movie.

                1. Do you think you should be able to have other theater goers removed for having bad gas? Do you think you should be able to remove them yourself? Do you really think you should have legal recourse against me for offensive smells?

                  I’d love to see the look on the theater manager’s face when you tell him that you can’t tolerate his theater because another moviegoer ripped a nasty fart.

                  1. Hmm… I’m looking for the part where I indicated a belief that I should have legal recourse as you suggest.

                    1. Oh, so you were just agreeing that “your distaste for odors is your problem” but wanted to complain about them more. Gotcha.

                      Well, let’s see, I’ve ridden in cabs that smell like stale coffee and urine, I’ve sat next to people who have farted at work, on the train, and on an airplane; I’ve seen people microwave fish at the office; I personally like to eat gyros, and lord knows that when I belch you can still smell it four hours later; let me know what other ones you come up with.

        2. “I should not have to breath your smoke.”

          You breathin’ my air, boy?!

          1. WHATCHULOOKINATMUTHAFUKA?

            1. TRYTOKEEPUPMOTHAFUCKER

        3. It’s not statist liberal to say you can’t do things that directly effect me. I should not have to breath your smoke.

          What about breathing my car exhaust? In a city, you’ll find far more air pollution from cars than you ever will from cigarettes; how can you justify banning public smoking on health grounds yet say nothing about the vastly worse air pollution spat out by automobiles?

          1. People who can afford cars don’t need jobs.

        4. I repeat:

          No “live and let live”. No “do your own thang.”

          ZERO TOLERANCE for anything that “affects” me.

        5. Breath deep, MNG. I want the exhaust fumes from my diesel truck to directly affect you.

        6. MNG is right. It’s just like how I shouldn’t have to watch fags parading around, holding hands, either. While it’s just as physically harmless as a bit of smoke in the air, it makes me feel uncomfortable and therefore directly affects me. Thanks, MNG. You get it.

        7. It’s not statist liberal to say you can’t do things that directly effect me. I should not have to breath your smoke.

          Your vote directly affects me. It should be banned.

      2. The tolerance of the statist “liberal”. No “live and let live”. No “do your own thang.”

        What about the standard libertarian notion that your right to do whatever you damn well please is limited to the extent it infringes on someone else’s right to do likewise?

        This is the standard point/counterpoint with the smoker/non-smoker argument.

        Sure, I don’t give a flying flip if you want to smoke, but I and lots of other former smokers like me find tobacco smoke nauseating. It stinks, it stings my eyes, it makes me want to gag and then I go home and can still smell that skanky ashtray odor on my clothes.

        So the debate comes down to an argument over who’s rights outweight the others. Is a person’s right to walk down a public sidewalk without being exposed to noxious fumes greater than the smoker’s right to stand on the sidewalk and smoke?

        Either way, someone has to yield some degree of liberty. The non-smoker has to either cross the street or otherwise try to avoid the objectionable smoke, or the smoker has to find somewhere else to engage in his habit.

        It does seem that smokers tend to understate or downplay how objectionable non-smokers find the smoke, though.

        Just because you like how it tastes, smells or makes you feel doesn’t mean anyone else does. I mean, hell, I think my raunchiest baked bean farts have the most amazing, sweet odor, and everyone should partake and enjoy of the miasma!

        To be clear, though, this is not to say I’m a big proponent of government restrictions on smoking, particularly outdoors. My default position as between government restrictions and individual liberties is individual liberties. As good ol’ TJ said: “I would rather be exposed to the inconveniencies attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.”

        1. “It does seem that smokers tend to understate or downplay how objectionable non-smokers find the smoke, though.”

          Not to mention those who just *won’t* use deodorant!

        2. What about the standard libertarian notion that your right to do whatever you damn well please is limited to the extent it infringes on someone else’s right to do likewise?

          What right is being infringed when I light up a cigarette?

          So the debate comes down to an argument over who’s rights outweight the others.

          First, identify the right (not the preference) of the non-smoker that is being infringed.

          Since the role of the state is to protect infringement on your rights, the burden is on you to identify what rights are being infringed.

          1. There, like, has to be a right to not be annoyed outside of my house somewhere in some legal document of some sort.

          2. First, identify the right (not the preference) of the non-smoker that is being infringed.

            It must have the same origin as the “right” of the smoker that is being infringed.

            1. I ask:

              First, identify the right (not the preference) of the non-smoker that is being infringed.

              It must have the same origin as the “right” of the smoker that is being infringed.

              Aside from being a non sequitur, this misses the part about how the proponent of outlawing an activity has the burden of identifying the right being protected.

              The smoker has the right to do any damn thing he pleases that does not infringe on the rights of others. The fundamental freedom, as it were.

              See how we keep coming back to having to identify the right being infringed when a third party lights up a cigarette?

              The non-smoker, of course, has exactly the same right to do any damn thing he pleases that does not infringe on the rights of others. I don’t see how this right is infringed by the smoker.

              1. Well if you believe that second hand smoke causes cancer (esp. if you believe that it is worse than smoking outright), then you could shoe-horn a “right to life” argument in there.

                But then we’re going to have to ban cars and all kinds of stuff.

                1. Also you could say that exhaling smoke onto someone else is more like an assault than it is minding your own business.

              2. the proponent of outlawing an activity

                Well that plainly leaves me out. Quoting myself, above:

                To be clear, though, this is not to say I’m a big proponent of government restrictions on smoking, particularly outdoors. My default position as between government restrictions and individual liberties is individual liberties. As good ol’ TJ said: “I would rather be exposed to the inconveniencies attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.”

              3. See how we keep coming back to having to identify the right being infringed when a third party lights up a cigarette?

                It would seem that your proposition is that the smoker has a right to smoke anywhere, and that by doing so on a public sidewalk where non-smokers walk through his smoke, he’s not infringing on the non-smoker’s rights.

                But that pre-supposes a right to smoke on a public sidewalk.

                Sure, the smoker has a right to smoke, as you say, “that does not infringe on the rights of others.”

                So we might posit that non-smokers have a “right” to walk down a public sidewalk, or through the entryway of a public building, without having to walk through a cloud of cigarette smoke, and that by “inflicting” (can’t think of a better word right now) that smoke upon the non-smoker, the smoker is infringing on that right.

                The counter-argument would have to be that by expecting the smoker to refrain from smoking, the non-smoker is somehow infringing on the smoker’s right to smoke???

                Like I said below, I don’t really see it necessarily as a conflict of “rights”, so much as “preferences” or “conveniences.”

                And neither the smoker nor the non-smoker wants to be inconvenienced, and neither one gives a leaping shit if the other one is inconvenienced.

                Seems to me to be a case of “and ne’er the twain shall meet.”

                1. Since anyone with an internet connection and five minutes to spare knows that the “second-hand smoke gives you cancer” argument is bullshit, what you’re really asking for is a right not to be offended. The smoke doesn’t harm you, it offends you. So you’re correct, there is no conflict of rights. The smoker has the right to do what he wants as long as he’s not hurting you, and there is no right to not be offended.

                  1. I see sevo beat me to the point downthread.

              4. “The smoker has the right to do any damn thing he pleases that does not infringe on the rights of others. The fundamental freedom, as it were.”

                Axiom Alert!!!

          3. “First, identify the right (not the preference) of the non-smoker that is being infringed.”

            The right to choose which drugs one ingests.

            Tobacco contains nicotine, a drug. That drug can be delivered into one’s system by inhaling the smoke emitted by burning tobacco (which is why smokers smoke in the first place). If I do not want to ingest nicotine, I must avoid inhaling tobacco smoke. I could do this by detecting areas containing tobacco smoke and refusing to approach close enough to those areas to inhale the smoke. However, the most common method of detecting tobacco smoke is by smelling it, which requires inhaling it. Successfully exercising one’s right to refuse to ingest nicotine in this manner is not a realistic outcome, so leaving the burden on the non-tobaco-user is, in any practical sense, the same as declaring he has no right to not ingest nicotine.

            There are, however, alternative methods to deliver nicotine-patches, gum, even sodas theoretically-that do not require exposing non-nicotine-users to the substance. Therefore, we can place the burden of respecting the rights of others on the smoker without rendering it impossible for him to exercise to choose which drugs he ingests.

            This being the case, it seems the logical place to impose the burden is on the smoker.

            To choose smoking as your drug delivery system, regardless of the drug in question, is to disregard the rights of those around you. Unless, of course, you only smoke in an opium den type of situation, where everone in the enclosed area has gathered there for the purposes of smoking.

            1. However, the most common method of detecting tobacco smoke is by smelling it

              Are you blind?

              the same as declaring he has no right to not ingest nicotine.

              Just how much nicotine do you think you injest from second-hand smoke outdoors?

        3. I do believe that, if you actually read what I wrote, I characterized the issue as a point/counterpoint. Each side has, as far as I can tell, a reasonably valid argument.

          It’s simply an argument as to who is inconvenienced more – because it really is a matter purely of convenience and inconvenience – particularly when we’re not talking about government action. If the claim is there is no “right” of non-smokers not to be exposed to cigarette smoke while walking down the sidewalk, it is equally valid to say there is no “right” to smoke on a public sidewalk.

          And why does there need to be a “right” involve anyhow? Is that the only determining factor – or do “hardcore” libertarians truly not give a flying fuck how any of their actions affect anyone other than themselves, in any way? “Hey, as long as I’m not affecting anything that *I* perceive to be cognizable as a “right” that you have, suck it up, bitch”?

          Is this akin to the notion that you have no “right” to not have a door closed in your face, so I have no reason to hold a door open for you?

          It’s pretty neat how easily a person can claim victim status when a preferred activity of their own is threatened. I note that I never claimed non-smokers are being victimized by smokers; nor did I vilify smokers. I also note I expressly did not ever advocate government action on the matter.

          As far as why don’t I ask smokers not to smoke around me, it’s because I’ve done it and the experience is pretty much what you get here when you bring it up – they’re always very gracious and understanding and pretty much say “go fuck yourself, you fucking wimp.” And then there are those who will go out of their way to blow the smoke right at you as soon as they know you don’t like it – haha!! Isn’t that cute?

          1. Is this akin to the notion that you have no “right” to not have a door closed in your face, so I have no reason to hold a door open for you?

            So you’re talking about manners, not laws. So that means smoking in a public place should be dictated by manners, not laws.

            1. So you’re talking about manners, not laws. So that means smoking in a public place should be dictated by manners, not laws.

              Give the man a ceegar!!

              Oh wait, no, don’t – I mean, uh…

            2. Of course, never let it be said that hardcore libertarians have manners – bunch of ruthless fucking pigs, that lot is.

          2. It is not about the smoker or non-smoker. It is the right of the property owner.

            Public sidewalks should not exist.

        4. …but I and lots of other former smokers like me find tobacco smoke nauseating.

          I’m a former smoker that feels the same way, except that I’ve found that holding my breath for a second or two handily alleviates the problem whenever I cross paths with a smoker.

    2. You know what also stinks? Axe, perfumes, B.O. and diesel fumes. If I have to put up with those in Public, then you’ll just have to put up with smoke.

    3. If you don’t want people to smoke around you, why not ask them to stop smoking around you? Does it really seem fair to use the smoker’s tax dollars to tell him he can’t do something in a place his tax dollars paid for? Do you really want your tax dollars to go to having a cop you that you can’t do something you like to do even if others find it obnoxious?

    4. “”I don’t think you have a right to smoke around me so I support restrictions in public places, but you do have a right to smoke.””

      Rights are not about you per se. If people have a right to smoke, it doesn’t matter who they are around. That’s one reason for civil court. If my smoking does you actual harm, you can sue me for the damages.

  4. The libertarian method for dealing with unwanted smokers is to attach a device that emits sulfur.

  5. How would an employer not hire a smoker? What qualifies as a smoker? Sometimes when I’m drunk I’ll smoke a cigarette (more likely an e-cig though). Do I qualify? Who makes the ultimate decision that one is a smoker?

    1. “Who makes the ultimate decision that one is a smoker?”

      A nicotine drug testing kit.

      1. That sounds expensive.

    2. Who makes the ultimate decision that one is a smoker?

      Are you now, or have you ever been a member of the Smoking Party? Have you ever harbored any sympathy towards smoking or smokers? Have you ever had one or more cigarettes on your person, in your domicile, or in your vehicle?

      A nice, friendly interrogation under environmentally-friendly CFL full of mercury should get to the bottom of who is or isn’t a smoker.

      1. Who else was smoking that night? NAMES! I WANT NAMES!

  6. I’ve often contemplated — and I’m not sure how much of this is a joke and how much is serious — that societal hatred/scapegoating is a zero-sum game, almost as though society HAS to have a group of people it can point to and say “Eew.” Here in America we’re mostly moving away from scapegoating people for how they were born — among mainstream Americans, it is thankfully declasse to hate “the blacks” or “the Jews” or “the Christian sects whose opinion of the Pope differs from MY Christian sect’s opinion of same”, and gay scapegoating seems to be on its last legs, but it’s been replaced by hatred of (pick one or more): smokers, fatties, kids whose rambunctious play might possibly result in a skinned knee or even a broken bone … you know how scientists speculate that the reason so many people today have asthma or allergies compared to previous generations, and the theory is that it’s because today’s environment is too clean and too sterile, so when the kids grow up and their immune systems have no germs or bacteria to fight with, the immune systems instead pick fights with pollen or animal dander or other things? I wonder if the “societal hatred” part of the brain operates similar to the immune system: “We’ll find a threat to fight whether we need to or not!”

    1. I think most people who hate smokers hate smoke, they don’t like to smell it or breath it and don’t want it around them. It’s not quite like being anti-Semitic or sexist or something.

      1. Tru, that. If I am around someone who smoke then I end up smelling like smoke. And if a few min utes later I happen to bump into a hot female, there’s a chance my moves won’t work on her because she assumes from the smell that I am a smoker. So basically, that smoker owes me sex with a hottie.

        1. The war on e-cigs makes it perfectly clear that this isn’t about smoke or health at all.

          It is yet another Puritan crusade against the impure.

          1. Yes and no. I guarantee that one of the major drivers of the war on e-cigs is tax revenue. The e-cigs threaten to kill to golden egg laying geese.

          2. I’m cool with e-cigs.

          3. The war on e-cigs and just the usual regulator reflex reaction. Which, as usual, makes no sense. Real cigs with all their known problems OK! E-cigs. Banned. Like Sudden says below. They are just protecting their cig tax collections.

          4. true that, my hubbie was told he couldn’t smoke an e-cig in a Mellow Mushroom pizza place . . . I guess celebrating the groovy 60’s is okay, judging by the decor, but anything that even resembles a cigarette has got to be banned.

        2. We all know you weren’t gonna score with her anyway.

          1. Well a guy’s got to have a list of rejection rationalizations, right?

      2. I think most people who hate smokers hate smoke, they don’t like to smell it or breath it and don’t want it around them. It’s not quite like being anti-Semitic or sexist or something.

        If mere “dislike of the smell” were the cause, then you wouldn’t find non-smokers who’d go out of their way to stroll across an empty park so they could stand right next to a smoker and start coughing ostentatiously.

        And if mere dislike of smell were the cause, then apartment buildings which banned smoking would also ban incense, backyard barbecues and similar things.

        And “dislike of smells” would also not explain the desire to ban e-cigs, Snus or even nicotine patches. No — this has naught to do with public health or even with the solipsistic idea “My sainted nostrils have the right to never encounter a scent they dislike.” This is just people wanting/needing a group to scapegoat.

        1. It’s also worth remembering the outright lies the anti-smokers resort to. Not that I am saying smoking or secondhand smoking is good for you, but secondhand smoking isn’t nearly as dangerous as opponents claim. Until the mid-1990s you could find smokers everywhere in the public sphere — I personally remember ashtrays in shopping malls and even doctors’ waiting rooms. If secondhand smoke were truly as dangerous as people say, most contemporary Americans over 30 would already suffer from emphysema or other lung problems, and most of the Baby Boomers and their elders would already be dead.

          1. Anti-smokers aren’t satisfied with smokers not smoking around them – they want smokers to have nowhere to go where they can smoke.

            1. Anti-smokers aren’t satisfied with smokers not smoking around them – they want smokers to have nowhere to go where they can smoke.

              Why not just outlaw tobacco like cocaine and heroin?

              1. Because they can’t. Public hatred of smoking hasn’t hit the tipping point yet, and even they have learned that prohibition of a currently legal substance needs overwhelming public support to have a chance at success. Instead of straight-out prohibition, they’re going with MADD-style prohibition by other means.

                1. Taxes bitches.

        2. And if mere dislike of smell were the cause, then apartment buildings which banned smoking would also ban incense, backyard barbecues and similar things.

          Here in NYC we’ve already got a lot of buildings like that. Please don’t give anyone any more ideas.

      3. It’s more than just the smell. Some people just go nuts about it. Take a guy whose clothes smell of smoke, a smelly homeless guy, a lady with too much feminine hygiene product, and an old lady wearing four ounces of Chanel #5. All of them will get the eeew, but only smoker will be elicit outright hatred.

        1. You know what I hate to smell? Jean Nate Friction pour le Bain. That shit is nasty; makes me want to fwo’ up.

      4. Re: MNG,

        I think most people who hate smokers hate smoke, they don’t like to smell it or breath it and don’t want it around them. It’s not quite like being anti-Semitic or sexist or something.

        I hate nosepickers. I hate them, all. I can’t stand the sight of them! I hate their nosepicking! But it’s not like hating Jews or women or something, no…

    2. Jennifer that is a very astute point. It is human nature to create scapegoats. Every society in history has done this. I agree that it is not a coincidence that in the last 50 years, as it has become no longer acceptable to scapegoat minorities, society has found other scapegoats like fat people and smokers.

      1. I agree that it is not a coincidence that in the last 50 years, as it has become no longer acceptable to scapegoat minorities, society has found other scapegoats like fat people and smokers.

        But are not fat people and smokers minorities?

        1. In modern America, smokers might be a minority but fat people sure as hell aren’t.

          1. Black people were not a minority in South Africa. But that didn’t stop the people at the top fron hating on them. If you look at it, most fat people are poor. Hating on fat people is just another form of class snobery.

            1. But that didn’t stop the people at the top fron hating on them.

              So what kept black people in South Africa from being on the top, if they heavily outnumbered white people?

              I mean, few people would claim that the Chinese run Malaysia, or that Jews run the United States.

      2. While I don’t mind hating on smokers and fat people, I don’t want to regulate the activities that make them that way.

      3. +more props for the John.

  7. I hear you can smoke in Egypt

    1. Kisses and hugs, Kitten.

    2. And Somalia too.

  8. The Chinamen have already surpassed us in smoking and these employers want to make it worse? Rucky Stlikes Goes To War!

    1. Dude; “Chinaman” is not the preferred nomenclature. “Asian-American”, please.

      1. Fuck you. They are Chinese National so “Chinaman” is accurate.

        1. Pretty sure that’s not the next line.

        2. It’s not like he build the railroads, man.

      2. I have to agree with MNG – I think the term you’re looking for is “Chink”

        1. I am still old school. Until they change their political ways, they will always be the Chi-coms.

      3. A bunch of you need an emergency viewing of the Big Lebowski.

    2. Damn! You didn’t tell me there was a smoking gap!

    3. The Chinaman’s not the issue…

      1. That rug really tied the room together, Dude.

    4. “Rucky Stlikes Goes To War!”
      Not a bad spoof, but the R/L conflation is a trait of the Japanese language, not any Chinese dialect AFAIK.
      Plick.

      1. Wong…. Kowean.

        1. “Wlong…”

          FIFY.

      2. Spooftistic license. I did have a Chinese professor who grew up in Formosa when it was under Nip occupation. He conflated the R/Ls something fierce. He spoke Japanese, English, Mandarin, Cantonese and several other languages/dialects. All, presumably, with a Jap accent.

  9. “That totalitarian tendency is reinforced by the government’s ever-expanding role in health care, which transforms a moralistic, pseudo-medical argument into a fiscal imperative by giving every taxpayer a stake in his neighbor’s lifestyle”

    A dollar spent on a smoker is a dollar that can’t be spent on some other disease. When government becomes the arbiter of every health decision, from licensing of a drug (with rather arbitary criteria), medicare reimbursement rates, licensing, prohibitions, allocation of research dollars for the diseases or conditions that are “popular,” etcetera – well, you can bet that soon there will be a debate about how much should be spent on lung cancer.

    My objection is that not every activity should be in the realm of government decision making. It should not matter to anyone but the smoker.
    Whatever money is “lost” due to medical treament, it is “made up” by less years collecting social security and getting medicare.

    1. smokers are actually a cost savings. the NEJM did a study and found that if nobody smoked, costs would drop at first and would eventually increased as we all lived longer (and got sick with something else away).

      it’s a bit dated, but essentially the end of life costs of the non-smoking population more than makes up for the costs associated with treating smokers who died at a much younger age.

      “However, the annual cost per capita ignores the differences in longevity between smokers and nonsmokers. These differences are substantial: for smokers, the life expectancies at birth are 69.7 years in men and 75.6 years in women; for nonsmokers, the life expectancies are 77.0 and 81.6 years”

      http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/1…..0093371506

  10. I’m all for criticizing government overreach, but really? You clutch your pearls about a reported but not statistically confirmed trend among private employers, then do a double-backflip at the end to support the right of contract of those employers and criticize government overreach–of which there seems to be zero in the the described hiring trend. I expect better.

    1. So, it’s not discrimination until it’s statistically significant?

  11. Wow, I can’t believe purported libertarians are having a kitten over an employer deciding who it wants to employ.

    You want to smoke? Don’t get a job with that employer. Work for an employer who doesn’t care if you smoke. You do want to work there? Don’t smoke.

    Where does this lead? Lawsuits declaring a constitutionally-protected right to smoke? Smokers are not a protected class, nor should they be, anymore than people who choose tea over coffee should be a protected class or have some right to work in any particular place.

    As Sullum writes: Whatever their reasons, they should be free to apply the criteria they consider appropriate; freedom of contract means people should not be forced to hire smokers, any more than they should be forced to hire nonsmokers.

    As far as the slippery slope argument that it will lead to employers requiring you not to have beer or cheesburgers or engage in unsafe sex, how about the libertarian mantra of letting the marketplace finds its level? If an employer imposes such draconian levels of scrutiny into its employees’ personal lives, it ultimately will either find itself with an office full of puritanical, vegan prudes, or with insufficient employees to enable it to engage in its desired business.

    1. I’m not sure who’s having a kitten, but clearly it’s not Sullum:

      Whatever their reasons, they should be free to apply the criteria they consider appropriate; freedom of contract means people should not be forced to hire smokers, any more than they should be forced to hire nonsmokers.

      Clearly if you want to entertain notions that private companies and individuals have the right to discriminate against race (see, e.g., the whole Rand Paul/Civil Rights Act flap) you also have to permit for companies to discriminate against smokers.

      1. Um, didja read what I wrote?

        A person’s race in no way is comparable to a person’s choice to engage in smoking. Or are you arguing that smokers should be a protected class?

        1. Um, didja read what ClubMedSux wrote? Or are your arguing that you should have *more* right to discriminate on the basis of race than on the basis of tobacco use?

          1. Oops. I missed your 1:10 pm post.

      2. As far as who’s having a kitten, didja see the first post, and Jennifer’s?

        OK, so maybe they haven’t self-identified as libertarian; I dunno.

        1. Sorry, jumped the gun after reading half your comment. I was agreeing with what you said; I just thought you might be conflating people suggesting it’s a bad idea (which is entirely consistent with libertarianism) with people suggesting it should be illegal (which obviously isn’t).

          My latter point–again, not refuting what you said–was that lots of folks jumped to Rand Paul’s defense in the whole Civil Rights Act flap, and that if you’re going to allow for private discrimination against minorities (who have a fairly credible basis for claiming protective class status even if you disagree with it) then you definitely have to allow for private discrimination against smokers (who clearly have a much weaker claim to protective class status than racial/ethnic minorities).

    2. I don’t think the people in the comments are agitated over the policy, or, maybe agitated but still willing to accept it within the sphere of right to contract (and we’d be happy to extend those freedoms to discriminate against currently “protected” classes as well).

      But I do think that the comments do reflect a generally contempt for the way society at large views smokers as some almighty evil.

    3. “people who choose tea over coffee”

      Hang the blasphemers!!!

      1. “people who choose tea over coffee”

        In America? Seriously, we should be able to tattoo a gigantic picture of Juan Valdez upon any teabagging tea drinkers that we find.

    4. “”Wow, I can’t believe purported libertarians are having a kitten over an employer deciding who it wants to employ.””

      If you own your company you are exercising your individual liberty. If the company is publicly owned, you are not. Since I’m a believe in individual liberty, I would support the individual liberty of the smoker over a non-individually owned company.

      But for the most part, if the company doesn’t want you for who you are, find one that does. You’ll probably be more happy there.

  12. I’m also reminded of the old Steve Martin bit from way, way back:

    “Mind if I smoke?”

    “Well no! Mind if I fart? It’s one of my habits. They have a special section for me on airplanes. I quit for a year once, but I gained a lot of weight…”

    1. Or the Honeymooners:

      Norton: Mind if I smoke?

      Ralph: I don’t care if you burn!

    2. I used to think that Steve Martin bit was funny. Then I realized he answered “Well no.” Why a smoker give a shit if he farted? The smoke smell will cover up the fart smell.

      If you mind, then answer “yes” or shut the fuck up. ASSHOLE!

  13. Particularly apt is the shot of FDR just below; cigarette holder at a jaunty angle!

    1. Too bad the federal government didn’t have a no-smokers policy.

    2. You just KNOW that Obama has a cigarette holder like that in his man cave. Ya know, for when he watches SPORTS.

      1. I thought his man cave was wear Michelle jammed the strap on.

        OK, I think I disturbed myself with that one.

  14. if this is about private property, owners should be able to discriminate anyone on whatever basis (race, sex, gender preference… etc.)

    if this is about public property, there is a case for ‘nondiscrimination.’

    from Sullum’s piece we don’t know which one is being talked about. there are public hospitals and private hospitals, public schools and private schools… blah blah blah

    1. How is there a “case” for nondiscrimination? That presupposes some constitutional or other legal standard requiring government to treat smokers exactly the same as non-smokers.

      1. “How is there a “case” for nondiscrimination? That presupposes some constitutional or other legal standard requiring government to treat smokers exactly the same as non-smokers.”

        I used to eat garlic and I quit. Now I just hate the smell of garlic, so those who eat garlic should have to cross the street when I come by.
        BTW, I have no problem with a private company not hiring people who smoke or, say, get tattoos.

        1. Private individuals, who represent only their own interests, have every right to discriminate, associate, etc. Governments (and their agents), who represent all the people, have no such right. They must remain neutral.

      2. That presupposes some constitutional or other legal standard requiring government to treat smokers exactly the same as non-smokers.

        Have you ever heard of the 14th Amendment?

        1. Yeah, I seem to recall something about it in those con law classes I took in law school. I don’t see it as establishing a “right” to be a smoker anymore than it establishes a “right” to not be exposed to smoke.

    2. Re: Zeb,

      if this is about private property, owners should be able to discriminate anyone on whatever basis (race, sex, gender preference… etc.)

      Yes. They should and they can. It’s their right. Just because there’s a government to step on our rights does not mean we suddenly lost them – government does NOT grant rights.

      1. the power of the OM. So piss off all who disagree really screw you.

  15. I would agree that hospitals & insurers should be able to hire who they want if hospitals & health insurance companies operated in the free market. Today they are so in bed with government they are nothing more then a contracted out corporatist government agency. In my state, if you want to open a hospital. You must first get certificate of need. The state won’t approve the certificate of need if it will harm existing hospitals. Now we aslo have a law that everyone has to buy medical insurance from the state approved insurer.

  16. I am all for right of contract. But I also think that any employee with any nuts at all should say “fuck you” to any employer asking them to pee in a cup or otherwise prying onto their outside of work lives. Not a political issue, but one of people standing up for being judged by actual performance on teh job.

    1. If the company is going to purposely not hire competent people because they smoke, said company’s prices are going to be too high and their quality of service will probably suffer, too.

      But it’s easier to do this kind of discrimination when unemployment is over 10%.

  17. Whatever happened to the FREE HAND OF THE MARKET garble bargle?! Being a Libertarian means never having to stick to your founding principles! Hilarious.

    1. And being a liberal means you get to look like an asshole when you try and make a point. Read the article again, stupid-

      “Whatever their reasons, they should be free to apply the criteria they consider appropriate; freedom of contract means people should not be forced to hire smokers, any more than they should be forced to hire nonsmokers.”

    2. Real libertarians believe in freedom of association, which includes the right to “discriminate,” which, after all, is simply the right to make choices (but not the right to harm someone through force or fraud).

  18. I discriminate against motorcycle riders, basejumpers and snowboarders.

  19. “Anyone who has paid any attention to anti-smoking propaganda over the years could tell you that smokers are the enemy whenever it’s convenient.”

    If you believe this, you’ve brainwashed yourself. Smarten up.

  20. “Anyone who has paid any attention to anti-smoking propaganda over the years could tell you that smokers are the enemy whenever it’s convenient.”

    If you believe this, you’ve brainwashed yourself. Smarten up.

    1. Nice BL dipshit.

  21. secondhand smoking isn’t nearly as dangerous as opponents claim

    Depends upon what you mean. Lots of opponents use very specific results from studies about the danger in their claims. Some, of course, don’t understand the science and distort things. No different than how you distort things in your comment. The whole everyone over 30 would have emphysema thing is a blatant strawman used to discredit the real concerns about the health effects of smoking. One of the main ways the health consequences of second hand smoke get distorted is by focusing on cancer and other deadly diseases. Most of the health effects of second hand smoke in children are not life-threatening, but they are significant (increase Asthma etc…)

    1. And yet the rates of allergic or asthmatic children have been spiking since the smoke bans were implemented, not before. And no, my comment about emphysema in Americans over 30 is not a strawman — at least, no moreso than the logic used against secondhand smokers. Seriously: if you’re older than 25 or 30, and spent your whole life living in America, then even if your parents were strict non-smokers, you STILL spent your childhood exposed to far more secondhand smoke than a similar child today — secondhand smoke in every shopping mall, restaurant, bar or doctor’s office you went to — so if secondhand smoke exposure causes such immense health problems, where are the hordes of American adults doomed to lifelong lung problems because of all the secondhand smoke they inhaled during their formative years? And among American adult non-smokers who DO have such problems, where is the evidence showing the cause was “breathing secondhand smoke” rather than “breathing in car exhaust” or all the other nasty chemicals found in today’s atmosphere?

      The premise “We must ban outdoor smoking lest we contaminate our pristine air” — yeah,I could maybe understand that attitude coming from the residents of some bucolic rural farm community without too many cows, but in downtown Manhattan? Bullshit.

      1. you STILL spent your childhood exposed to far more secondhand smoke than a similar child today — secondhand smoke in every shopping mall, restaurant, bar or doctor’s office you went to — so if secondhand smoke exposure causes such immense health problems, where are the hordes of American adults doomed to lifelong lung problems because of all the secondhand smoke they inhaled during their formative years?

        Here is the strawman. The medical risk has to do with chronic exposure…usually from living with a smoker or working in an enclosed environment with smokers (think bar tender). There is no reason to expect incidental second hand smoke exposure to be significantly dangerous. That said, thousands of deaths a year can be attributed to second hand smoke. (American Cancer Society estimates it at around 3000 per year).

        We must ban outdoor smoking lest we contaminate our pristine air” –

        Outdoor smoking bans have no medical basis, for sure.

        1. The medical risk has to do with chronic exposure…usually from living with a smoker or working in an enclosed environment with smokers (think bar tender).

          You just made her point for her – you’re just making up a causal relationship between second hand smoke and health disorders, while simultaneously waving away the fact that there aren’t hoards of baby boomers – all who have been exposed to much higher levels of smoking in their lives – dying from lung disease and emphysema.

          You use the term “chronic” as a catch-all to distract from the fact that you have no idea what the actual causal relationship is between exposure to 2nd hand smoke from cigarettes (as opposed to other particulate matter – diesel, etc.) and so called ‘smokers’ diseases.

          The Cancer Society can “attribute” deaths to 2nd hand smoke, but I think they’d be very hard pressed to actually prove it.

        2. “The medical risk has to do with chronic exposure…usually from living with a smoker or working in an enclosed environment with smokers (think bar tender).”

          Clearly these bar tenders are are children who grew up in anti tobacco america.

      2. my comment about emphysema in Americans over 30 is not a strawman

        Are you threatening us?

    2. Re: Neu Mejican,

      secondhand smoking isn’t nearly as dangerous as opponents claim

      Depends upon what you mean. Lots of opponents use very specific results from studies about the danger in their claims. Some, of course, don’t understand the science and distort things. No different than how you distort things in your comment. The whole everyone over 30 would have emphysema thing is a blatant strawman used to discredit the real concerns about the health effects of smoking. One of the main ways the health consequences of second hand smoke get distorted is by focusing on cancer and other deadly diseases. Most of the health effects of second hand smoke in children are not life-threatening, but they are significant (increase Asthma etc…)

      I believe you have been around the block at least as long as I have, Neu. Almost all the cries against second-hand smoking have been unequivocally about the risks being higher with second-hand smoke inhalation than with actual smoking. You’re suddenly toning it DOWN – does that mean you also found the allegations a tad too preposterous as well?

      1. I believe you have been around the block at least as long as I have, Neu. Almost all the cries against second-hand smoking have been unequivocally about the risks being higher with second-hand smoke inhalation than with actual smoking.

        I have never seen this claim made in any serious discussion of the topic.

        1. Re: Neu Mejican,

          I have never seen this claim made in any serious discussion of the topic.

          Ok, so you’re new to this World. I got it…

          http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspo…..-that.html

          That blog is old, so many of the links it used to point to are no longer working [probably because of the preposterousness of the allegations], but they do quote verbatim what medical journals and journalists have said IN THE PAST about SHS or so-called “passive smoking”.

          1. Words matter…

            “serious discussion of the topic”

            Yes, there are all kinds of claims out there in the world.

    3. “”Depends upon what you mean. Lots of opponents use very specific results from studies about the danger in their claims.””

      Then cite one.

      But take a good look to make sure a report actually supports the claim someone says it does. Even the report that the Surgen General used didn’t support his claim.

  22. The government should not have a role in “public health?”

    Can you say “smallpox?” “E.Coli?”

    The author of this piece apparently is not familiar with human biology.

    This article is a 250 word refutation of Libertarianism.

    1. Contagious diseases are not the same as smoking.

      1. Agreed. But exactly where in the article did the author make that distinction. He thinks that the problem is that the government thinks that “public health” is part of its “mission.” Do you agree or disagree that public health is part of hte government’s mission?

        1. Protecting citizens from contagious diseases is not the same as the government dictating how healthy we should be. There is a difference.

          You can’t “protect” someone from eating too many cheeseburgers (although that may change in the next few years), but you can try and stop an outbreak of disease by using federal resources to fight the spread of said disease.

          Ultimately I agree that the government should not have a role in “Public Health” but should have a role in protecting people from contagious diseases. There is a clear difference between the two that you are trying to ignore for the sake of your point.

        2. “Do you agree or disagree that public health is part of hte government’s mission?”

          I’d have to think about that, but for the sake of argument, let’s say yes.
          Now, what does that have to do with the article?

        3. Re: dollared,

          Do you agree or disagree that public health is part of hte government’s mission?

          What do you mean by ‘public’? Because my health is MY mission, not someone else’s.

        4. Define “public health.” Smoking, transfats and caffeine (and anything else the health Puritans are railing against) is not comparable to, say, polio.

      2. Infectious diseases that are influenced by an assortment of variables. Exposure to tobacco or any other noxious fumes (compared to ambient) is not an infectious disease (ID).

        ID’s come from bacteria, viruses, and parasites and each ID have estimated transmission rates:

        D=nV/R were:

        D = probability of disease for a given host
        n = extent of exposure (number of organisms, inoculum size, dose)
        V = virulence of infecting organism, that is, its ability to infect the host, persist in the host, cause disease, or lead to severe disease
        R = Resistance of the human host to the infecting agent or the disease process.

        Tobacco smoke does not fit into this equation.

    2. Hi, I’m conducting a poll of trolls that are new to this site; a “troll poll,” if you will. Please answer the following:

      1) How did you find this article?

      2) Do you troll at other sites? If so, which ones?

      3) Do you have to shield your eyes when coming out of your parents’ basement?

      Thanks for your time.

      1. pointing out that the government has had a public health mission for centuries, as a logical human response to the problems of disease and infection related mortality, is not trolling. Arguing that this mission is a bad thing is moronic.

        1. Just answer the questions please. I don’t have space on the form for extra comments.

          1. I often wonder myself how hte(sic) trolls get here, sage. Excellent poll.

            I actually found Reason through WND. I used to go there for a chuckle, and followed the link here on a lark. Worst mistake of my life; now I’m stuck here with all of you loserdopians.

        2. Re: dollared,

          pointing out that the government has had a public health mission for centuries, as a logical human response to the problems of disease and infection related mortality, is not trolling.

          No, it is not. It is simply being historically inaccurate and naive. Whenever governments have shown sudden concern for ‘public health’, it was always stemming from fear of revolts and public anger, not some sudden humanistic epiphany.

          1. it was always stemming from fear of revolts and public anger, not some sudden humanistic epiphany.

            Now you’re just making shit up.

            1. Re: Neu Mejican,

              Now you’re just making shit up.

              Sure I am.

        3. pointing out that the government has had a public health mission for centuries

          Again, define “public health.” Perhaps we should take up the old Spartan practice of bathing newborn children in wine and throwing the ones with visible defects off of a cliff. It would certainly ensure that the public as a whole was healthier in the long run.

      2. Answers:

        1) searching for impotence cures on the internet.

        2) Yes. Buttplugs.com is always a good one.

        3) What do you mean coming out? Stop, you’re scaring me.

    3. Walking down the street whilst infected with smallpox exposes bystanders to substantially more risk than does walking down the street whilst smoking.

      Also, as far as I know, most people didn’t contract smallpox voluntarily.

      The “responsibility” over “public health” here discussed is a matter of micro-managing legitimate personal lifestyle choices.

      1. Agreed. Next: how do we handle the health care costs of smokers?

        1. “We” don’t. Smokers have lower lifetime medical expenses than nonsmokers do because they tend to die sooner.

          Does anyone ever read the whole article anymore?

          1. Look, insurance companies can’t issue just any policy they want to people. They have to follow our rules. And you can’t just go to anyone that claims they’re a medical professional for treatment – you have to go to one we approve. And you can’t just take care of your own health care – you have to buy insurance, and it has to be one of our approved insurance policies. And if we think an activity is unhealthy, well you can’t do that either.

            So you can’t legally be responsible for your own health care, and because you’re forcing us to take responsibility for your health you have to follow our rules to healthy living. Your vitamin enriched, flavorless, fatless, government approved gruel will be coming right up. No victory gin for you. And no victory smokes unless underwater in a one man submersible.

        2. “Agreed. Next: how do we handle the health care costs of smokers?”

          “We”? Got something stinky in your pocket?

        3. “”Next: how do we handle the health care costs of smokers?””

          Well that’s the rub, should “we” handle the health costs of anyone other than our own?

  23. The real slippery slope threat

    I tend to find most slopes have more traction that feared.

    1. “I tend to find most slopes have more traction that feared.”

      I tend to find the opposite.

      1. I wonder if bathmophobia is more common among libertarians than the general population.

        1. “I wonder if bathmophobia is more common among libertarians than the general population.”

          I wonder what your posts would look like if you had more than one brain cell.

    2. well put.

    3. Re: Neu Mejican,

      I tend to find most slopes have more traction that feared.

      Not my slippery slopes! Mine are slippery!

      1. Not my slippery slopes! Mine are slippery!

        The cry of the bathmophobic reverbarates throughout society.

        1. You have your sarcasm-o-meter in ‘energy saver’, Neu… Crank it up.

          1. Right back at ya…it was recognized and responded to in kind.

            1. I think I bought mine from the same place you bought yours…

        2. “The cry of the bathmophobic reverbarates throughout society.”

          The cry of the brain-dead ignoramus reverbarates throughout society.

  24. What’s next? No sexually-active need apply? No people with high-cholesterol need apply? No fat people need apply? No Jews, no blacks, no dogs?

    Stupid hospitals, may they face a 100 lawsuits.

    Oh and smokers, if you want to help the companies that hire you make sure you mark “non-smoker” on the application form, that way the asshole HMO will not charge your employer more because you smoke. After all, it’s your body, it’s your business, the HMO has no right to charge you more based on silly statistics and generalizations that have nothing to do with you.

    American Apocalypse: The Day China Takes Over. Interview with author.
    http://libertarians4freedom.bl…..night.html

    1. You had me at no Jews.

      1. Who are these goozzzzzzz?

    2. make sure you mark “non-smoker” on the application form,

      Ah. Insurance fraud. Thataway lies rescission, my friend.

  25. Scott’s Lawn Care fertilizer plant in Marysville, Ohio bans employees from smoking at all. That is there not allowed to smoke whether they’re at work or not. I guess it’s ok to smell like fertilizer though.

  26. I wonder why anti-smoking activists do not push for a federal ban on possession, sale, and use of tobacco.

    1. Because much of the tax money that comes from tobacco, pays for anti-tobacco programs (ie their salaries). It’s a parasitic relationship.

      1. fucking zero sum bitches.

    2. I think that’s part B, but first they have to ban it in a wide range of places and situations first.

      The line will be, “It’s universally acknowledged that sixthhand smoke is the most prevalent cause of asthma, lung cancer, and leukemia in children and kittens. We’ve established some common-sense rules to protect them, for public health reasons, such as a ban on smoking with 15 miles of children under the age of 27. We passed the Tobacco-Safe Schools bill, which makes it a federal crime to expose children, parents, teachers, grandparents, babysitters, great-grandparents, and kitten caretakers to dangerous thirdhand smoke. Yet these anti-social tobacco abusers continue to endanger our children. Therefore, we propose expanding our already extremely reasonable restrictions on who can buy tobacco to include anyone without a Federal Tobacco License, which will be available to anyone who gets a basic background check and undergoes a waiting period of 80 years.”

  27. Everything will be all right. You are in my hands. I am here to protect you. You have nowhere to go. You have nowhere to go.

  28. Ultimately I agree that the government should not have a role in “Public Health” but should have a role in protecting people from contagious diseases.

    It seems the idea of promting the general welfare of citizens goes beyond just contagious diseases. Think, for instance, of lead poisoning or other environmental hazards. Surely the government has a role in promoting the general welfare by helping to reduce the incident of these kinds of exposures. It is debatable when and whether tobacco smoke falls into the category of concern…but contagious diseases are hardly the only intersection between general welfare and public health.

    1. Re: Neu Mejican,

      It seems the idea of promting the general welfare of citizens goes beyond just contagious diseases. Think, for instance, of lead poisoning or other environmental hazards[…]

      Or head cracking or glue sniffing or Drano drinking or unprotected intercourse or hang gliding or mountain biking or marriage or tatooing or shampooing your hair or ice skating or any other sort of activity that retentive assholes find ‘too dangerous’ for the peons, the mere mortals, the little people, to perform.

      Surely the government has a role in promoting the general welfare[…]

      There’s a big difference, a HUGE chasm, betweem ‘promoting’, and IMPOSING.

      The market promotes… Statist fucks and fascists IMPOSE. Oh, which side were you on, again??

    2. “Surely the government has a role in promoting the general welfare by helping to reduce the incident of these kinds of exposures”

      You beg the question here.

    3. Seriously, NM, you might want to think twice before reading the General Welfare clause to give the government plenary power over people’s lifestyles.

      1. Seriously, NM, you might want to think twice before reading the General Welfare clause to give the government plenary power over people’s lifestyles.

        OK. Where did I imply this plenary power?

        1. Surely the government has a role in promoting the general welfare by helping to reduce the incident of these kinds of exposures.

          I find it difficult to find a principled stopping place on the continuum of “threats to public health” once you cross the line from contagious disease, because the biggest threat to “public health” as it is now envisioned is, in fact, people’s lifestyles.

          1. once you cross the line from contagious disease

            Why are contagious diseases so special?

            because the biggest threat to “public health” as it is now envisioned is, in fact, people’s lifestyles.

            You are working too hard to fit this into some narrative that remains murky and unclear to me.

  29. If enough of these companies adopt these policies and it really becomes difficult for smokers to find jobs, there are going to be consequences. Unemployment is also bad for health.

    Another demonstration of the left’s schizophrenia when it comes to public policy: Smoking is bad, ‘we’ should ban it, but ban employers from banning smokers…

    Uh, wha…???

  30. As an ex-smoker, fuck the government. I’m not thrilled with the employers, either, but it’s their company – were I a smoker still, guess I’d have to look elsewhere for work. Sa da tay.

    And you motherfucking wusses with the “second hand smoke ZOMG! and your right to smoke ends where my nose begins…”? I hope you drown in a teaspoon of your own spittle generated by your ridiculous overreaction, you delicate pussies.

    That is all.

    1. Going on 8 months since I quit. That first month was the capL is really being a dick phase of my commenting career.

      The more people bitch about smokers the more it makes me want to light up again. Every time that I am at the bus stop and someone standing near a smoker does their little *cough cough* routine I feel like bummin’ one just to blow in their fucking face.

      *steps up on to soapbox*

      I, being the cosmo urbanite that I am, don’t own a car. I cannot escape the fumes of automobiles as I walk around my sooty city, should we ban cars because I don’t like the smell of exhaust, or that the benzene produced is only one of many carcinogens coming out of a car’s tailpipe. No. I weigh the risk of living around this air with the benefits of living in a city and make that choice; I can leave any time that I see fit.

      The analogy isn’t even fitting because to escape a smoker’s fumes all one has to do is move a few feet. To escape the carcinogenic gases of combustion one would have to move to manitoba, or something.

      Smokers are easy fucking targets.

      You don’t like the smell of my smoke, well I don’t like the smell of your righteous indignation; it reeks of monkey cum.

      *steps down, gets beer*

      1. hands single malt scotch to monkey. monkey says thanks in ASL.

    2. You didn’t call them fobs?

  31. There’s a big difference, a HUGE chasm, betweem ‘promoting’, and IMPOSING

    I agree. Your point?

    1. Re: Neu Mejican

      I agree. Your point?

      That you should not read “To promote the General Welfare” as to mean “To impose the General Welfare”, because that is what you’re doing every time you justify every sort of imposition from the State by relying on the “General Welfare” canard.

  32. Barely Suppressed Rage|2.11.11 @ 3:02PM|#
    “First, identify the right (not the preference) of the non-smoker that is being infringed.”
    “It must have the same origin as the “right” of the smoker that is being infringed.”

    No, it’s not. *YOU* are requiring action on the part of another, the rights of that other are “unalienable”, meaning that other can do as s/he pleases so long as that action causes no harm.
    And, no, the fact that you don’t like a smell is NOT causing you harm.

  33. That you should not read “To promote the General Welfare” as to mean “To impose the General Welfare”, because that is what you’re doing every time you justify every sort of imposition from the State by relying on the “General Welfare” canard.

    But wait…you just said the government can only impose…that it can’t simply promote…how does the government implement this constitutional power?

    1. Re: Neu Mejican,

      But wait…you just said the government can only impose…that it can’t simply promote…how does the government implement this constitutional power?

      I just love your equivocations, Neu!
      Art 1 Sec 8,
      The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States.

      The ‘general welfare’ clause cited above is not a mandate, it’s one of the reasons for giving the power to Congress to collect tariffs and duties, that is: To provide for the defense and the general welfare. Just like saying:

      “I clean my house to provide a livable environment and the general welfare of my family.”

      The last two things are my REASONS for cleaning my house. That does not mean that I am giving myself the power to follow my family members everywhere to make sure their welfare is provided – I would just spook the hell out of them.

      1. I figured this would be your response.

        To provide for the general welfare is the motivation behind a large number of the activities of government. The means for doing this are sketched out in the constitution. Essentially, the government has the power to do things to provide for the general welfare of the society. As such, providing for the general welfare is a reasonable justification for some activities…as long as they do not exceed the enumerated powers. The discussion was about whether the government had a role in public health. If an activity is within the enumerated powers, and promotes the general welfare by improving public health, then that role is appropriate, constitutionally. Nothing restrict that role to contagious diseases.

        1. One searches in vain, of course, for an enumerated power that allows the federal government to improve public health.

          1. Well, for instance, Alexander Hamilton thought the constitution clearly gave congress the power to spend revenue raised through taxes to provide for the general welfare of the nation. Spending money on public health seems to fall under that basic idea.

            He got the idea that this was the case from here:

            “The Congress shall have the Power to lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States

        2. Nothing restrict that role…

          Again, the statists have it exactly backwards.

  34. of course, the truth is an employer should be able to discriminate however they like against whomever they want. If you don’t want to hire smokers, non-smokers, drinkers, non-drinkers, fat people, skinny people, women, men, blacks, whites, or whatever, it’s your business not mine.

  35. Commenting on a smoking thread is just blowing smoke.

    1. Seriously.

      Hey, I know – let’s talk about guns, gay marriage and abortion!! That should cause less acrimony!

      Woo hoo!!

  36. Just as an intellectual exercise, I’m interested in seeing how far we could take allowing private work places to discriminate in hiring practices. For example, if the vast majority of workplaces decide to stop hiring smokers eventually, leaving virtually no good jobs for smokers, isn’t this de facto forcing them to quit? You may say, “well it’s their choice to continue smoking”, but if the “choice” means you can not be gainfully employed regardless of your qualifications, then it’s really not a “choice” anymore. You MUST quit.

    Of course I think this is completely outweighed by the absolute right of private businesses to hire whoever they want for any reason they want, but just some food for thought. Is discrimination wrong in and of itself, or is it only wrong if the gummint does it?

    1. “Is discrimination wrong in and of itself,”
      No.

    2. Re: Jack On,

      Just as an intellectual exercise, I’m interested in seeing how far we could take allowing private work places to discriminate in hiring practices.

      Hiring practices are already discriminatory – employers don’t hire people that are underqualified, or overqualified, do not want to pay more than they want to offer, do not hire people that are unkept.

      For example, if the vast majority of workplaces decide to stop hiring smokers eventually, leaving virtually no good jobs for smokers, isn’t this de facto forcing them to quit?

      Nah. People that sniffs glue still go to work….

      discrimination wrong in and of itself, or is it only wrong if the gummint does it?

      It is wrong when the government does it as it purports to govern over everyone.

      1. That’s a good response, NM. Like I said, I certainly think companies should be able to discriminate if they want, but I also like having my ideas fully fleshed out and examined from different angles, instead of just giving knee-jerk partisan reactions.

    3. It is only wrong if the government does it.

      If the vast majority of workplaces decide to stop hiring smokers, this would leave an abundance of qualified workers without work. Therefor there would be an opportunity for new business to open up to exploit the labor of these individuals.

      People like making money, and someone will be willing to employ smokers if they do good work.

  37. Does anyone notice that this discrimination was absent before the government antismoking campaign?

  38. I have the feeling the people saying they won’t hire smokers are going to catch a discrimination lawsuit.

    No, not for banning smokers. For banning, disproportionately, minorities that disproportionately smoke.

    Release the hounds of cognitive dissonance!

  39. I don’t know if anybody has pointed this out yet; the FAA has explicitly banned e-cigs.

    Because I said so! apparently.

  40. I’m interested in seeing how far we could take allowing private work places to discriminate in hiring practices.

    Have you ever had a lefty (handed) welder use your bench? It’s chaos! All your stuff is in the wrong place when they’re finished! I’ll never hire one.

    1. Lefties should be a protected class. The things I had to, and continue, to endure

    2. “It’s chaos! All your stuff is in the wrong place when they’re finished!”

      And the damn phone cord is tied in knots! Damn lefties!

  41. This article makes me want to roll a wonderful filter-less cigarette and puff away.

  42. Even the kind of libertarian who believes this sort of discrimination ought to be allowed should not support businesses that practice it. Nanny statism is no less nanny statism because the bully only threatens you with firing.

  43. This is nothing more then the Jim Crow laws on steroids. No separate but equal. No business is allowed to cater to a smoker. The socialist tell you step outside and once you do they deny that. Welcome to 1984!
    http://veritasvincitproliberta…..-new-york/

  44. I will admit I like the occasional cheeseburger. But I don’t take a five minute cheeseburger break every couple hours like many smokers do; Some of them I’ve encountered take longer breaks more frequently. Really makes it hard to get a job done when half to two thirds of your coworkers drop everything for a break every 1-2 hours.

    Then there’s the stench and the toxic byproducts of combustion. I’m allergic to tobacco, and have a history of asthma on top of that. I have no problems with someone enjoying their tobacco, but I do have issues with them sharing whether I want it or not.

    It’s funny, but the same people who complain bitterly about my “hating” when they begin emitting a foul smelling stench every 1-2 hours don’t consider it hate if I open up a jar of a substance I find far more pleasant smelling than tobacco: skunk spray. It’s funny, but somehow they just can’t stand the smell, and don’t think anyone should be allowed to let it out into the air…

  45. “Whatever their reasons, they should be free to apply the criteria they consider appropriate…”

    Well sure! And if I can find evidence that black people are more likely to steal, (a higher percentage of them are imprisoned), than white people, I’ve got a right to deny them employment. Right?
    I think the slippery slope comes when you can justify denying employment to any class of people, for whatever reason.

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