Smokers Need Not Apply

Smokers Need Not Apply

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

25 Jan 2001, 04:01 #1

I see a few of our members are in the midst of job transitions, and thought this article would help to focus a little attention on the advantages of not smoking for this unique situation. Jobs can come and go, lung tissue does not. Neither does cardiac muscle once lost. Your quit has got to stay of paramount importance even in the face of such adversity. This is a battle for your life.

I do hope you all settle back on your feet quickly, but never let any professional setbacks be an excuse for a cigarette. In good times and bad, always remember to keep your health and your options open, never take another puff!


Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

31 Jul 2001, 21:32 #2

Image For NickFree

Its too bad that you have been thrust into a job seeking mode but at least you have the advantage of not going into to new job prospects as a smoker. As mentioned above, smoking can cripple or kill your chances of some jobs, but that is still insignificant to the fact that smoking if left to run its natural course could have eventually crippled and killed you. Keep perspective of the real costs of smoking and you will always choose to never take another puff!


Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

28 May 2003, 19:30 #3

With so many companies now a days being smoke free by the employer's choice, not to mention whole states that are banning smoking in worksite establishments that serve the public, being a smoker is likely going to be a greater liability now for anyone in a job seeking mode. Smoking can no longer just be considered an addiction that should be viewed as case of personal suicide, it can now be viewed as a case of professional suicide too. For economic, personal, professional and health reasons the only logical conclusion is to never take another puff!


John (Gold)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

31 Oct 2003, 04:13 #4


Smokers 'less productive' say
non-smoking workmates

30 October 2003 - New Zealand
Almost half of non-smokers feel resentful towards their smoking workmates for the amount of time they spend on "smoko breaks", new research shows.

The survey of more than 900 New Zealand workers by international recruitment agency, Kelly Services, found that 49 per cent of non-smokers were either "very unhappy or unhappy" about their colleagues' nipping out for a quick puff.
Kelly Services NZ regional manager John Phipps said the findings showed the issue was increasingly a source of "friction".
More than half (55 per cent) of the non-smokers believed smoking breaks resulted in decreased productivity.
"The evidence of lost productivity is always going to focus the minds of employers," Mr Phipps said.
Since the implementation of the Smokefree Environment Act in 1990, smoking has been banned from New Zealand workplaces except for designated smoking areas.
Health and legal issues were likely to escalate making life even harder for workplace smokers, Mr Phipps said.
Some employers have started taking active steps to discourage smokers from congregating in outdoor areas such as entrances and car parks.
"In white collar positions in particular, some smokers do feel that they are the victims of prejudice in hiring and promotion.
"On the other hand, some smokers argue that a break actually makes them more productive and provides informal networking opportunities where information is exchanged and ideas discussed."
Obviously there was no single "correct" policy that would suit all workplaces, Mr Phipps said.
"Employers need to take into consideration that there may be a group of people within the company who feel disenfranchised over workplace smoking.
"This should be kept in mind as new policies are developed."
The study, based on the responses of 5100 people in the Asia Pacific Region, covering New Zealand, Australia, Malaysia and Singapore, showed more than a third (36 per cent) of smokers surveyed said smoking breaks actually increased their productivity.
A further 58 per cent believed it did not affect their output.
Twelve per cent of workers admitted taking time out for smoking breaks while at work.
Of those who did smoke at work, 85 per cent took smoking breaks 1 to 3 times a day. A further 13 per cent went 4 to 6 times a day, and 2 per cent took smoking breaks more than six times a day.
Smoking is lower among accounting/finance (7 per cent), general administration (8 per cent) and HR (9 per cent), and higher among sales and customer service (14 per cent) and marketing/advertising (16 per cent).

© Fairfax New Zealand Limited 2003.
Last edited by John (Gold) on 07 Jul 2009, 14:55, edited 1 time in total.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

05 Nov 2003, 03:53 #5

Once again for Shay.

With so many companies now a days being smoke free by the employer's choice, not to mention whole states that are banning smoking in worksite establishments that serve the public, being a smoker is likely going to be a greater liability now for anyone in a job seeking mode. Smoking can no longer just be considered an addiction that should be viewed as case of personal suicide, it can now be viewed as a case of professional suicide too. For economic, personal, professional and health reasons the only logical conclusion is to never take another puff!


John (Gold)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

01 Feb 2004, 23:10 #6

Is society discriminating against those who almost unknowingly coat their body in the smells of their addiction?  I say unknowingly because one of the most alarming recovery sensations is an awakening sense of smell. Not only are you able to identify smokers who wrongly thought they'd hidden the stink but you'll often be able to smell non-smokers who spent a cigarette or two in the presence of a smoker.

It isn't just job discrimination either. If you were a non-smoker and sat at a table with two people, one wearing the stink of a smoker and the other not, all else being equal, which one would you gravitate toward?

It wasn't all the non-smoker's choice but often ours too.  Were you more comfortable feeding your addiction beside another nicotine addict or beside someone constantly trying to wave off your cloud of smoke or making that almost fake coughing sound?  Once I quit I was shocked to discover just how many of my closest friends were heavy chain smokers too.  On the free side of dependency's bars we greatly expand the possibilities. 

As shown by the below article, the growing sense of being a social outcast will continue to worsen.  Sincere thanks to  NStevens for bringing the below article to our attention.  Still only one rule from again having many of the below concerns become our concerns ... no nicotine today!   John

The high cost of smoking

The costs add up: Cigarettes, dry cleaning, insurance -- you can even lose your job. A 40-year-old who quits and puts the savings into a 401(k) could save almost $250,000 by age 70.
By Hilary Smith -  MSN Money
If the threat of cancer can't persuade you to quit smoking, maybe the prospect of poverty will.

The financial consequences of lighting up stretch far beyond the cost of a pack of cigarettes. Smokers pay more for insurance. They lose money on the resale value of their cars and homes. They spend extra on dry cleaning and teeth cleaning. Long term, they earn less and receive less in pension and Social Security benefits.

Indeed, being a smoker can not only mean you don't get hired -- you can get fired, too. After announcing it would no longer employ smokers, Weyco, a medical-benefits administrator in Michigan, fired four employees who refused to submit to a breath test. It began testing the spouses of its employees, too, levying an $80-per-month surcharge on those who don't test clean.

Overall, 5% of employers prefer to hire nonsmokers, according to the most recent survey by the Society for Human Resource Management, and 1% do not hire smokers. A few examples:
  • Kalamazoo Valley Community College in Michigan stopped hiring smokers for full-time positions at both its Michigan campuses.
  • Alaska Airlines, based in Washington state, requires a nicotine test before hiring people.
  • The Tacoma-Pierce County (Wash.) Health Department has applicants sign an "affidavit of nontobacco use."
  • Union Pacific won't hire smokers.
That same poll found that 5% of companies charge smokers more for health-care premiums. The costs don't stop with your paycheck. Figures from the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids assert that smokers cost the economy $97.6 billion a year in lost productivity.

That's based on the number of working years lost because of premature death. (The Bureau of National Affairs says 95% of companies banning smoking report no financial savings, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce finds no connection between smoking and absenteeism.)

An additional $96.7 billion is spent on public and private health care combined, according to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, and each American household spends $630 a year in federal and state taxes due to smoking.

Personal financial impact

The cost of a pack of cigarettes averages around $4.50 to $5, including taxes, depending on where you live. Using the lower number, a pack-a-day smoker burns through about $31.50 per week, or $1,638 per year. That's a fat house payment or a nice vacation with the family. A 40-year-old who quits smoking and puts the savings into a 401(k) earning 9% a year would have nearly $250,000 by age 70.

But only you know exactly how much you pay and how often. Plug your yearly tally into our Savings Calculator and see what it'll cost you over the coming decades.

The one place many smokers feel free and comfortable to light up is in their car. Without consistent and thorough cleanings, however, a car that is smoked in will soon start to resemble an ashtray on wheels. The interior inevitably smells like smoke, and stray ashes and butts can burn holes in the upholstery and floor mats.

None of these things has much financial impact until you try to sell the car. Figure a minimum of $150 for a good cleaning with an extractor.

On a trade-in, dealers can easily knock off more than $1,000 on higher-end vehicles. Terry Cooper, a car dealer with seven new- and used-car stores, says he took a 1999 Porsche 911 Cabriolet in on trade for $37,000. That sounds OK, but the owner could have fetched $40,000 for it had he not "smoked out" the car's interior.

The criteria that apply to cars apply to homes as well, only on a bigger scale.

Smokers' houses often require all new paint and/or wall treatments, as well as professional drapery and carpet cleaning. According to, priming and painting an average-size living room, dining room and two bedrooms would cost more than $2,000. The Carpet Buying Handbook puts the average cleaning cost per square foot at 28 cents, and the average home has 1,000 square feet of carpet. That's $280. Add $55 to clean a typical sofa and $25 for a chair, says Diversified Carpet in San Diego.

Walt Molony with the National Association of Realtors says that "certainly the smell of cigarettes can be a turnoff to potential buyers."
Insurers weigh in, and they're not happy

We pulled some online quotes on 20-year term life insurance (a $500,000 policy) for a healthy 44-year-old male through The lowest quote for a nonsmoker was $1,140 in premiums per year; for someone smoking a pack a day, the lowest price more than doubled to $2,571 per year.

The difference in health insurance isn't as dramatic. According to, the monthly premium for a policy from Regence Blue Shield with a $1,500 deductible for a 44-year-old male nonsmoker is $292. The same policy for a smoker is $338 per month, or $552 more a year.

A few state governments also charge their employees extra for health insurance if they smoke, and others are gradually joining the trend.

According to the ACLU, a majority of states do not have a state law preventing employers from discriminating against potential and current employees based on nonwork activities. Thirty-one states do have laws that protect smokers, including Colorado and North Dakota, which ban discrimination based on any form of legal, off-duty behavior.
When shopping for homeowners insurance, nonsmokers can generally expect to receive a minimum 10% discount. The insurer's point of view: Smokers burn down houses.

The most common homeowners insurance policies range from approximately $457 to $1,372 per year, depending on the home's location. With the discount, a nonsmoker would realize savings of at least $45, but most likely more.
Few people set out to cut their life short, but smokers greatly increase their chances of dying sooner than nonsmokers. In his book "The Price of Smoking," Frank Sloan, the director of the Center for Health Policy, Law and Management at Duke University in Durham, N.C., details the financial impact of a shorter life span on retirement benefits.

"Smokers, due to higher mortality rates, obtained lower lifetime benefits compared to never smokers, even after accounting for their smoking-related lower lifetime contributions," the research says.

Sloan and his colleagues found that the effects of smoking on lifetime Social Security benefits were $1,519 for 24-year-old female smokers and $6,549 for 24-year-old male smokers. This is money paid into Social Security but never collected, because the beneficiary died prematurely of a smoking-related illness.

"You could be paying into Social Security year after year, and if you die at 66 because you're a smoker, it's money down the drain," says Sloan.

Keeping up appearances

Numerous studies find that smokers earn anywhere from 4% to 11% less than nonsmokers. It's not just a loss of productivity to smoke breaks and poorer health that takes a financial toll, researchers theorize; smokers are perceived to be less attractive and successful as well.

Bad breath, yellow teeth and smelly clothes are just a few of the personal side effects of smoking, and all cost money to correct.

An extra pack of mints or gum a week adds up to about $50 per year. Need your teeth whitened once a year? Brite Smile, which has offices across the country, sells its service for $400 to $600. Most professional-grade teeth whitening products retail for a minimum of $200.

Dry-cleaning bills are likely to be higher also. Clean that suit one extra time a month at a cost of $12, and there goes an additional $144 every year.

Story Last Updated Sept. 3, 2008

Online MSN Source Link
Copyright Microsoft/MSN 2008-2010

Thanks to NStevens for bringing this MSN article to our attention
Last edited by John (Gold) on 06 Apr 2010, 22:07, edited 2 times in total.

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:54

02 Feb 2004, 01:28 #7

Hi Joel,

Good information in the article though a bit outdated even now (no criticism of the article intended at all), a scant few years later. Where I am, smoking is banned in all work places except the most privately held and owned. Our restaurants and bars have huge restrictions and where I once strolled through the malls, cigarette in hand, red x's appear. Everywhere the huddled masses of addicts are being sent further and further from the buildings - my daughter's college dorm has signs posted that no smoking allowed within 25 ft. of the building itself.

We have had an ongoing debate amongst our city and county officials over the "reverse discrimination" some claim that is in place for smokers who are allowed to leave their posts twice a day to smoke. Seems the nonsmokers feel that smokers should not be given this extra time just because they choose to indulge in this "nasty little habit". The breaks have been unofficial up to this point but largely overlooked. Not anymore.

The tide has definitely turned. Myself? I am glad to be free of it and the concerns this once engendered. It is no longer a matter of going to a smoking restaurant versus one that does not permit it - now it means staying home or leaving in a rush for that fix. No longer the question: "smoking or non?" - now it is not a preference at all.

And for the addicts among us, it is not a preference either. This is where society must catch up. Implementing laws banning the practice does help raise awareness of the seriousness of the issue but criminalization alone solves nothing. It is my hope that programs such as those you host may be set up in every state alongside the restrictions for tobacco use. The fact of addiction needs to be hammered into the consciousness of America and the world at large in order for true change to occur and the needless dying to end.

Alas, I hear that big tobacco now is marketing to 3rd world countries to make up for the daily quitters and daily deaths and decreasing sales here in the states.

One month ago (1 Month 13 Hours 11 Minutes 45 Seconds) I altered the course of my life by quitting tobacco. Deciding to be true to myself has given me back1 Wk 1 Day 18 Hrs 19 Mins 55 Secs to live and left me $157.75 that I would have spent on 1261 cigarettes. I left behind an addiction that was stealing my health and ruining the quality of my life and began the journey home to myself.

John (Gold)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

03 Mar 2004, 02:13 #8

Sheriff won't hire smokers
By Dana Yates Daily Journal Staff
San Mateo Daily Journal (California, USA)
March 2, 2004
Rising workers' compensation and health care costs is prompting San Mateo County Sheriff Don Horsley to put a ban on hiring smokers.

"If your lifestyle contributes to a disability, I'm sorry about that. But I don't think the tax payers should pay," said Horsley.

Since smoking is known to cause numerous health problems, Horsley said the decision to not hire smokers is an economical move that could save the county a lot of money in workers' compensation costs each year.

The idea came to him after the Sheriff's Department had to settle a $90,000 workers' compensation claim with a retired employee. The retiree developed lung cancer and claimed it was the result of secondhand smoke inhaled while on the job. He filed for compensation despite the fact that he smoked two packs of cigarettes a day for 40 years, said Horsley.

Another similar claim was recently filed and the department is bracing for more in the near future. The department is currently facing a second-hand smoking claim from the family of a former employee who smoked and died of cancer, said Horsley.

"We've had a number of people who had heart problems and cancer - smoking is contributing to that," said Horsley. "You as a tax payer not only pay for them to be off of work for a whole year with pay and benefits, but you pay for their health care for the rest of their lives."

Over the past three years, the department spent $6 million on workers' compensation claims seeking $50,000 or more. The entire amount of money the department paid out for all workers' compensation claims over the last three years is between $6 million and $8 million, said Horsley.

Of the 600 people the department employs, Horsley doesn't know exactly how many smoke. However, he said the number is decreasing because younger recruits usually don't smoke. Current employees will not be fired, but Horsley hopes the policy sends a strong message.

"It communicates a strong value to people we do have that we don't want them to smoke," said Horsley.

Horsley even considered enacting an incentive program that would give preference for promotions and bonuses to non-smokers. However, he won't be pursuing that because similar programs have failed in the past.

Horsley doesn't see the new policy as discrimination. The country already has height and weight requirements to ensure healthy deputies are available to chase down criminals. Smoking affects performance in the same way height and weight can, said Horsley.

He discussed the idea with the head of the Deputy Sheriff's Association and admits it's not well received. Representatives from the association could not be reached for comment.

No policy has officially been put in place, but Horsley is working on a letter to both the County Counsel and the Human Resources Department. County Counsel Tom Casey did not return calls to his office Friday afternoon.

Dana Yates can be reached by e-mail: or by phone: (650) 344-5200 ext. 106. What do you think of this story? Send a letter to the editor: [][/url].
Link to Story:
© 2004 San Mateo Daily Journal
Last edited by John (Gold) on 07 Jul 2009, 15:10, edited 1 time in total.

John (Gold)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

02 Nov 2004, 08:02 #9

Posted on Sun, Oct. 31, 2004


Risks of cigarette smoking could include losing your job
By Shirleen Holt[/size]
The Seattle Times

SEATTLE - The help-wanted ad said "nonsmoker." This was a problem for Patty Hensley, who had been addicted to nicotine since age 14.

She needed a job, so she pulled a ploy familiar to thousands of smokers caught between a vicious habit and a growing workplace stigma: She smoked out the car window on the way to the job interview.

"I thought that was a way to hide it," said Hensley, 49.

Hensley, who quit smoking for good (she hopes) last November, didn't get that job. Like many smokers, she was at a disadvantage when it came to competing for work. Rising health-insurance costs, worries about declining productivity and general disdain for the habit have turned some smoke-free workplaces into smoker-free workplaces: businesses that refuse to hire smokers at all, even if they never fire up a cigarette during work hours.

"We know that demographically approximately 25 percent of the adult population smokes, and that 25 percent tends to have less desirable characteristics in terms of employment," said Dieter Benz, a principal with Investors Property Management in Seattle. "Some of our people are out in the field every day, and they present an image to the public. [Smoking] is not the image that we want."

Although Benz's company relies on the honor system to ferret out job candidates who smoke, others take stricter measures.

In states that allow it, some companies ask for proof. In Washington, Alaska Airlines requires potential hires to take a nicotine test before granting them a job, and the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department makes applicants sign an "affidavit of nontobacco use" and to promise to "educate" citizens caught smoking within 50 feet of the building.

Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories in Pullman, Wash., warns on its Web site that it may fire anyone who starts smoking after being hired.

Benz, a former smoker, is unapologetic about his smoker-free workplace policy and the rule against allowing tenants to smoke in the buildings his company manages.

"If we're going to [anger] anyone, do we want [anger] off the 75 percent [who don't smoke] or do we want to do it to the 25 percent?" he said.

Businesses have reason to worry about their employees' health. Employer-sponsored health-insurance premiums have increased by double digits for the past four years, rising nearly 14 percent in 2003.

Family coverage now costs about $9,000 a year, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, and individual plans cost an average of $3,400.

Smokers cost employers an average of $753 per year more in medical costs than nonsmokers and miss an average of two more workdays a year than nonsmoking colleagues, the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department's literature states.

Activists groups say employers are selectively targeting smokers while ignoring other health risks that cost them even more money.

In a 1999 study of more than 46,000 employees, the Health Enhancement Research Organization, a national coalition of hospitals and public-health organizations, found that medical costs for workers who have stress, obesity or depression were higher than for employees who smoked.

"Everything we do affects our health," said Lewis Maltby, director the National Workrights Institute, a spinoff of the American Civil Liberties Union. "What you eat, whether you drink, what your hobbies are, whether you practice safe sex. If employers are allowed to control off-duty behavior when it's health-related, we will have no private lives left."

Twenty-nine states apparently shared this concern, enacting lifestyle-discrimination laws that prohibit employers from refusing to hire workers for their private, legal behaviors. That includes smoking, drinking or overeating.

Just because it's legal, however, doesn't mean it's wise, says Mike Reilly, a Seattle attorney who represents employers in discrimination cases.

"Even though the law might not be completely favorable right now, I can see theories that plaintiffs' lawyers could argue," he said.

If smoking is common among members of a protected class, for example, lawyers could argue that an employer's nonsmoker policy disproportionately discriminates against that class, a legal theory called "disparate impact."

The ACLU already has raised the topic, citing demographic data that shows that blacks and young women smoke in disproportionately high numbers and thus could be unfairly targeted by anti-smoking policies.

"Ultimately the employer should be trying to hire the most competent person for the job," Reilly said. "An absolute rule of not hiring someone because they're a smoker is not recommended."

Although it's still rare for companies to have written policies against hiring people who smoke, job recruiters say covert bias against smokers is getting stronger, particularly in a soft economy where the supply of skilled workers outpaces the demand.

Jeremy Langhans, a 28-year-old job recruiter in the tech industry and occasional smoker, recalls one promising recruit who lost a shot at a good job because of his habit.

Langhans noticed that the guy's paper resume "was stinking up my office" but recommended him, anyway, because the candidate was charming and professional, and he wouldn't be working with the public.

"When we finally sent him out, the hiring manager said something like, 'This is a smoke-free environment, and we feel your consultant would not be able to adhere to our policies.'"

The candidate never knew why he was rejected, Langhans says.

Among companies that still hire smokers, many use a variety of subtle and not-so-subtle methods to discourage them from smoking during work hours and encourage them to quit altogether.

Nearly 60 percent of businesses now have smoke-free workplaces, and 19 percent have restricted-smoking policies, such as offering designated smoking areas, according to a 2003 national survey by the consulting firm Hewitt Associates.

Increasingly, companies are asking their smoking employees not to congregate outside the front door.

Microsoft, for example, has a rule against smoking anywhere near the buildings.

Lowe's, the home-improvement retailer, prohibits employees from smoking on company property.

Some smoke in their cars or, at one store in Seattle, they walk through the parking lot so they can smoke on a side street.

Seattle wellness consultant Larry Chapman cautions employers from becoming too punitive when it comes to health matters.

He conducted controlled experiments in the late 1980s in which groups of soldiers at Carswell Air Force Base competed against one another to become the healthiest team.

The harsher the squadron commanders were in forcing the men to lose weight, lower their cholesterol and reduce their smoking, the more some soldiers resisted.

"They ended up putting on weight, eating lots of fatty foods and starting to smoke," said Chapman. "That was their way of rebelling."

Although Chapman supports the pay-to-play concept - that companies ask smokers to pay more of their health insurance premiums than nonsmokers - he says the most effective programs offer more rewards than punishments.
Copyright 2004 Seattle Times

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

10 Dec 2004, 22:48 #10

With so many companies now a days being smoke free by the employer's choice, not to mention whole states that are banning smoking in worksite establishments that serve the public, being a smoker is likely going to be a greater liability now for anyone in a job seeking mode. Smoking can no longer just be considered an addiction that should be viewed as case of personal suicide, it can now be viewed as a case of professional suicide too. For economic, personal, professional and health reasons the only logical conclusion is to never take another puff! Joel