Tuesday, January 25, 2005

I'd like to preface this by saying that I am not a smoker, nor do I particularly like smoking; however, I recognize an individuals right to do with their body what they want, provided they are not putting anyone else in immediate danger. There is an assault in this country on smokers that even people who traditionally defend personal freedoms are participating in.

The idea that you would fire an employee for being a smoker or that you would test them for being a smoker is absolutely ridiculous to me. Smoking is not an illegal activity (at least not theoretically) and the idea that someone can be fired (or not hired) for doing something perfectly legal seems absurd to me and I can't believe it doesn't seem absurd to everyone else. I could rant about this for paragraphs upon paragraphs, but I'll end by saying this. If you truly believe in defending personal freedom (and once again, freedoms as long as they don't encroach on other people's) you can't just pick and choose the ones that you like and dislike.


At 2:00 PM, Blogger Ricardo Grande said...

Wow - finally a political issue we agree on! That's horrifying. As you know, I am in favor of restricting the spaces in which smoking can be done, but as far as I'm concerned, what they do in their own home (or outside or whatever) is their own business. What a horrifying thread of logic Bore-tz is following. Next, as he says, the obese. After that, what? People with family histories of heart disease? What about AIDS? Smoking is at least a behavior that can be changed, so there is at least some case to be made for not hiring people when you will be paying for their unhealthy behavior (again, not endorsing this, but I can at least see it). Other examples (like above) can't be changed - should we effectively keep them from meaningful employment?

At 2:59 PM, Blogger romeotheBT said...

We agree on something? That IS insane. What confuses me is that for Boortz to be (supposedly) such a staunch defender of personal liberties, it's surprising that he would have this position.

The fact is that if smoking does not affect on the job performance (and that means if someone is not taking smoking breaks or missing a significant amount of time for illness) then there is no reason smoking should have ANY factor on their employment. I feel this way about drug testing as well. It may be a long term health risk, but that doesn't justify anything.

The more I think about this, the more big brother it seems. What are companies going to do? Limit what you eat (can't have fat asses you know)? Limit sexual behavior (can't have STD's)? Limit off the job activiities (can't have people getting injured playing ultimate frisbee)? It's ridiculous.


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