Smokers not wanted: University Medica...

Smokers not wanted: University Medical Center decides it won't hire...

There are 442 comments on the El Paso Times story from Jul 12, 2010, titled Smokers not wanted: University Medical Center decides it won't hire.... In it, El Paso Times reports that:

Starting Oct. 1, University Medical Center will no longer hire applicants who use tobacco products.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at El Paso Times.

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Bobby Bag O Donuts

El Paso, TX

#1 Jul 12, 2010
Fascists!
Alma N

United States

#2 Jul 12, 2010
I think this is terrible news for our city. While I am a non-smoker and dream of cities banning smoking on the streets (I have asthma, and have to hold my breath many seconds when I passed by people smoking), I believe employers cannot regulate peoples private lives. I believe this practice it's discriminatory, since smoking is not only a pleasure, it is an illness.

It is the University, shouldn't they have an idea on how to promote alternatives to promote healthy habits for their community? If not, maybe this is a good time to start, I am sure there are more positive ways than turning their back to people who need jobs.
Business sense

West Bend, WI

#3 Jul 13, 2010
Alma N wrote:
I think this is terrible news for our city. While I am a non-smoker and dream of cities banning smoking on the streets (I have asthma, and have to hold my breath many seconds when I passed by people smoking), I believe employers cannot regulate peoples private lives. I believe this practice it's discriminatory, since smoking is not only a pleasure, it is an illness.
It is the University, shouldn't they have an idea on how to promote alternatives to promote healthy habits for their community? If not, maybe this is a good time to start, I am sure there are more positive ways than turning their back to people who need jobs.
This is understandable from a business standpoint. I am guessing that studies will show smokers are less productive (more smokers' breaks and sick days) as well as cost a business more to keep on an insurance plan (insurance break for enforcing the policy). Not to mention how unpleasant it is for customers/patients to deal with the horrid smell of someone who smokes.
rrs

Chugiak, AK

#4 Jul 13, 2010
This is like restaurants not hiring overweight people.
Fred

United States

#6 Jul 13, 2010
It's about time. It will save taxpayer money when tobacco users' excessive use of health care and sick days are factored in. Thank you UMC! And thanks even more for being the first hospital in Texas to be really tobacco free including in employee hiring. You are truly a leader, and hopefully many other employers will follow. Everyone's health and pocketbook (except those of the merchants of death) will benefit.
Needs-vs-Wants

El Paso, TX

#7 Jul 13, 2010
I am waiting for the first lawsuit claiming that smoking is an addiction that should be considered a disease. And, we all know that employers can't discriminate in their hiring practices when someone has a disease.

This is a great move by UMC to save money, but a usual, the lawyers will get involved and screw it up.
boring

El Paso, TX

#8 Jul 13, 2010
Thats bullsh*t! Tobacco users have rights, this country was founded on tobacco. If it weren't for tobacco we would still be under England's rule. This is ridiculous.
What a joke

Washington, DC

#9 Jul 13, 2010
I don't know but Valenti seems sorta fat. Should they fire him to save money on health care costs of fat people.
HEY

United States

#10 Jul 13, 2010
Discrimination!!!!!!!!!!
Gotcha

Fort Huachuca, AZ

#11 Jul 13, 2010
Since the smokers are presumably paying taxes that help pay to run this facility, should all smokers withhold those taxes if smokers are not allowed to work there? Could I, as a non-smoker, withhold my taxes from this stupid institution? As said earlier, this is a medical facility. Can't they hire the people and then help them give off the demon plant?
Former Smoker

El Paso, TX

#12 Jul 13, 2010
Awesome. I think that's a great idea.

Now, get working on weight loss and exercise. I think a hospital should set the example for everyone, that includes doctors, nurses, and all staff.
OMG

El Paso, TX

#13 Jul 13, 2010
Discrimination plain and simple. Don't hire over weight people. Health risk. Don't hire anyone who is on maintinance medication. Potential drug addict and thief. Don't hire hispanics. Health risk.(Prone to diabetes). Don't hire blacks (sicle cell). What is UMC going to do next? Kick people to the street because they don't like their looks, hair style,or religiouse preference? Maybe their gay. Modern day nazi's hiding in plain sight. Here's an idea, jail all doctors who have ever dealt with insurance or drug companies for failing to provide proper medical care and taking kickbacks from drug companies for prescibing specific brand name medication. That would be a win-win since jail is a smoke free institution.
Enrique

El Paso, TX

#14 Jul 13, 2010
Excellent! If I had a business I wouldn't hire smokers either. The stench they bring back into the office after a smoke is disgusting. Like a skunk, they can't smell themselves, sadly the people around them can.
Valenti is an Ars

Seminole, FL

#15 Jul 13, 2010
Valenti has his own agenda, why not ban his quarter of a million dollar a year job because he is gay and over weight. Discrimination at its best, what a sham!!!!!
Always Smoke Free

United States

#16 Jul 13, 2010
Wonderfull news, hopefully all businesses will eventually refuse to hire those with nicotine addictions. Smokers are the biggest loosers in the world, no one should feel sorry for them.

I wish they would not have made the exception for current employees, give them a week to quit and then fire them if they don't!
BB fan

El Paso, TX

#17 Jul 13, 2010
Ok!! How about let's not hire anyone who drinks alcohol. After nearly 50 years in the work place the days missed, sick time, having to send people home, from alcohol is 20 to 1 over smokers. How many of the doctors and nurses have a few drinks after and god forbid before work. How many smokers have killed someone on the way after having a few after work. I am a ex-smoker and an ex-drinker, believe me drinking causes more workplace problems than smoking.
Diane

AOL

#18 Jul 13, 2010
Smokers do not know what they smell like. Smoke lingers on their clothes, breath and hair. They carry their smoke saturated self back into the hospital where there is oxygen and medicines that can get contaminated with the vapors they are injecting into the hospital. Hospital workers touch all kinds of equipment and prescriptions in the hospital. Even when they grab gloves, they touch the outside of the gloves to put them on.
It is shown that smoking breaks during work cause lots of lost time and inefficiency and also time lost at work from illnesses caused by smoking.
Smoking makes illnesses take longer to heal/cure. It destroys the immune system.
THAT's WHY the hospital has made that decision.
I think it is time.
Diane

AOL

#19 Jul 13, 2010
BB fan wrote:
Ok!! How about let's not hire anyone who drinks alcohol. After nearly 50 years in the work place the days missed, sick time, having to send people home, from alcohol is 20 to 1 over smokers. How many of the doctors and nurses have a few drinks after and god forbid before work. How many smokers have killed someone on the way after having a few after work. I am a ex-smoker and an ex-drinker, believe me drinking causes more workplace problems than smoking.
That's a good idea. Hospital workers should pass a alcohol breath-a-lizer when they clock in for work and pass random drug tests to see if they are in altered states while injecting people with prescriptions and work, that in altered states, could kill someone.
GrouchyOne

Kenly, NC

#20 Jul 13, 2010
One again, El Paso employers find ways to discriminate against people so that they can hire just the people they want. I'm sure all those people who flood in from Mexico will be hired, though. They can speak Spanish so they can all cater to the Mexican community. They don't need to speak English, though, because English speaking customers in most El Paso businesses have been ignored or treated as 2nd class for years. The only way to claim either of these practices are anything short of discrimination is to make smoking and speaking English illegal.
metalhealth

Austin, TX

#21 Jul 13, 2010
Business sense wrote:
<quoted text>
This is understandable from a business standpoint. I am guessing that studies will show smokers are less productive (more smokers' breaks and sick days) as well as cost a business more to keep on an insurance plan (insurance break for enforcing the policy). Not to mention how unpleasant it is for customers/patients to deal with the horrid smell of someone who smokes.
Nobody really cares what you are guessing that studies on productivity "will show." Studies DO SHOW that nicotine improves memory retention and altertness.

You might as well be guessing that the sky will be hazy tomorrow or that you might win the lottery. Presupposing results that support a personal prejudice is worthless.

As far as the health care costs go, I can agree with that. Smokers have more long term health care issues - but really - if someone who is 24 is a smoker, why does the MC care? All in all this is a stupid idea and a hiring decision that will likely land them in court.

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