Anti- tobacco-Nazis started their war on my rights by saying they were trying to “Save the Children…” In 1987, the drinking age was raised from 18 to 21, and to even enter a bar you have to be 21, which by all rights makes you an adult, yet to “Save the children…” many states have banned smoking in bars. In general if you compare the numbers, the alcohol served in bars has done more to kill people under the age of 30 than any tobacco being used.
Think about it… not just what the alcohol itself does to the body, by slowly eroding the liver as well as kidneys, but second hand alcoholism is more deadly than second hand smoke. (ie drunk drivers?)
Help Wanted: Nicotine Addicts and Users Need Not Apply
Recently I came across some information I really thought was out of this world, over the top, fully biased, and now blatant proof of how our government is thinking of tobacco users and allowing employers to treat tobacco users as second class citizens. I couldn't believe they could legally get away with it but after talking to a couple of lawyers and doing some checking on my own I found in the state of Ohio it is legal for employers to test and deny employment based on nicotine use. Yes you read that right… nicotine use.
Have we gone back in time where we have signs in the window which reads, “Help Wanted, (Blacks, Irish or Chinese need not apply")? Yes in Ohio you can be drug tested and denied employment not only for illegal drugs, or alcohol, more than just tobacco use but also nicotine. And Ohio is not alone several other states have in place or are considering such laws. Now unfortunately, this also means any nicotine use, which includes the patch and gum the anti-tobacco-Nazis’ want people to use instead of tobacco.
A few years ago Ohioans voted to add or allow gambling in some of the race tracks and in the form of major casinos to be built in, around or near the four major cities in Ohio. (Cleveland, Toledo, Columbus, and Cincinnati) Although Ohio had become a smoke free state a few years before there was thought of a casino in that they do not allow smoking inside our public places. As a customer you are not allowed to smoke within 20 feet of the entrance of any public building. I understand an employer wishing to have a perspective employees being tested for illegal drugs, but legal ones? However this is the first time I have heard of tobacco free or in this case nicotine free as being a condition of employment.
According to one of the hiring managers for the Toledo Hollywood Casino:
Applicants will be asked if they use any sort of tobacco product on their initial application. However, Herndon warns it is not worth lying. "Once you do move further in the process, when we do our drug testing, we also test for tobacco use. So even if you're not 100 percent honest on the application, we'll still find it out later." Applicants who fail the drug test can apply again in six months to prove they no longer have nicotine or drugs in their systems.
The last I checked tobacco was still a legal substance to anyone over the age of 18 (19 in a few odd states) but not according to some employers. I can understand testing for illegal substances, but legal ones? And then denying employment because of it? As I read an article from the on line Columbus Dispatch about the hiring of employees in the new Columbus Hollywood Casino, I continued to ask myself, “Where does it end?” Although they are not denying it now but are they willing to deny employment due to alcohol use? What about people who use aspirin? Tylenol? People with low iron? Or maybe they are diabetic, or have asthma? Where does it end? I also read several of the comments to the article, and one sort of hit the nail right on the head…
Gino Bowles (gbowles)
Interviewed with Hollywood Casino yesterday who were ready to inform me that they were a "tobacco free" company. Under the guise of "promoting health" they are getting major insurance breaks because of having a non-smoking staff. Now, I understand smoking is bad, but people have been fired under random drug tests because they test for nicotine as well. Even as a user of a patch or gum or e-cig you'd be terminated. I was later emailed that I had a second interview that I declined stating: "Thank you for your consideration, but I have chosen to withdraw my application from Hollywood Casino. Despite my dislike of cigarettes, I refuse to support a company that discriminates against those who smoke amidst an economic downturn. Be well." My question is, how long before caffeine, a night out drinking or obesity becomes a fireable offense? Those are all insurance risks also and I fear through the small battles won, we lose more and more rights. Just wanted to make someone aware. Now you know.
I would like to give kudos to Gino Bowles, for standing up and being heard. For understanding how this is a slippery slope I am not sure we can afford to be going down. This person could have said nothing and got a well paying job with great health benefits in the new Hollywood Casino where no one uses tobacco, oh I am sorry, nicotine.
You know how crazy those nicotine users are. They may go postal if they are unable to get to their nicotine, or maybe under while the influence of nicotine may lose control and drive their car into the group of school children visiting the casino on “take your kid to work day.” Jobs with benefits like these are few and far between even in the best of times but in today’s economy they are more like miracles of water in the desert, and this person stands up not only for their principals but for the rights of their fellow citizens. That takes balls.
Another person who seems to understand is Nathan Reynolds (n1278461) who responds with:
This is ridiculous that anyone would even consider this. If they said they wouldn't hire obese people there would be lawsuits all over the place. Also ridiculous is Ohio's inability to compromise on the smoking ban for businesses that it clearly hurts like bars and casinos. Good for Indiana, Kentucky and West Virginia for their compromise on this issue and recognizing this as the clear cut discrimination that it is. Hollywood Casino in Lawrenceburg, Indiana clearly found the compromise so that everyone can be happy and their business is not affected by having an entire floor set aside for smokers and one for non-smokers. We need more of that levelheaded thought process in this country with these nanny state laws. Why is this not the universal practice?
There is a coffee shop in Oakland, Canada where they decided to go smoke free called Tim Horton’s. Instead of tearing out the old building material and replacing everything, air conditioning system, vents, filters ect... in addition to leaving the employees without a job until they rebuild they took a wiser, less expensive course. They literally, right across the street on a competing corner, built a brand new Tim Horton’s all smoke free.
They kept both stores open and knew there was going to be some adjusting as people, shifts and things were transferred to the new store. They pulled people from other stores and from corporate to fill in positions until they could transition to the new store. At first it was thought that the revenue from the original store would be split between the two stores. But strangely week after week, month after month the old store maintained its numbers, but the new store was also showing a profit. Strangely they decided to keep both stores, one smoking the other non-smoking. Everyone is happy.
In the state of Ohio, OSHA recommends:
- At least one half hour break and two fifteen minute breaks either on or off the clock for every eight hour shift for anyone over the age of eighteen.
- It is up to the employers’ discretion when or if these breaks are given.
- At least one half hour break, AND two fifteen minutes breaks off the clock is mandatory for every eight hour shift for anyone age of seventeen and under.
- It is up to the employer to see these breaks are given or face fine.
Note: If the employee is over the age of eighteen, it is not required and is up to the “discretion of the employer” as to if, when and how much of a break you are allowed. In other words, to me it seems if the casinos could cut down on breaks by having an all non-smoking work force; then they keep the same dealers at the tables for longer stretches and in turn with less time changing dealers and more hands of black jack played and therefore more people playing and possibly losing money. Who needs a break, there are no clocks, no windows, how can anyone tell how long you have been standing there dealing black jack, or spinning that wheel. Who cares, as long as the casino is making their money?
Many non-smoking office workers find giving smokers breaks so they can go smoke when they don’t is unfair. How is it unfair if they are also given fifteen minutes to go “not” smoke if they wish? If you look at it from a strictly money point of view if you cut out breaks for just the black jack dealers then you don’t have to hire at least one or two full time or 3 to 4 part time people to cover those breaks. That in itself cuts out about 40 to 60 hours per week plus benefits, and this is just for the dealers. Now if you think in terms of the entire casino staff? Wow!
Many of the articles I read and collected stated that the casinos claim they would be given major breaks on insurance if it is a fully non-tobacco workforce. How when it only makes sense that if they employer pays X amount across the board for Y number of employees then if the employee uses tobacco would have to cover the difference in the premium.
For instance, if an employer has 10 employees and the insurance company says the rates are $15 for non Nicotine users, and $25 for nicotine users and the company decides to pay $10 per employee, allowing the employee to take up the balance, then non nicotine users would pay $5 for their insurance and nicotine users would pay $15 for theirs. It has been this way for years. How is this giving the “company” a discount?
When I am offered health care or life insurance premiums they always come as “Nicotine user” and “NON-nicotine user.” With no differentiation between snus, snuff, pipes, cigars, or cigarettes… and or any options between the proven less harmful Swedish Snus and the burning of tobacco in pipes, cigars, or cigarettes. These anti-tobacco-Nazis’ just continue to lump all nicotine as bad, unless it is from their big pharmaceutical companies. When in reality if they would just take the time to look at the numbers, they would see just how wrong they are.
So now even our insurance companies have gotten into the racket. Up until a few years ago there were rates for “Smokers” and “NON-smokers,” now it is “Tobacco users” and “NON-tobacco users.” This now takes into account people like my husband who uses Snus, and snuff. Even though it is proven the pasteurization of Swedish Snus and many snuff products are extremely less harmful than burning tobacco; up to 98% less harmful to a smoker than cigarettes.
That it could be a less harmful alternative to the big pharmaceutical companies’ ways of quit smoking. Nicotine Gum has 93% failure rate as a way to quit smoking and costs a fortune. Drugs like Chantex / Champix now warn of suicide and clinical depression in patients who have never suffered from mental illness before as a being documented side effects. Despite these warnings and lawsuits, Chantix is still available in the US and Champix around the world. Big Pharma profits keep rolling in.
But these anti-tobacco-Nazis’ see any form of tobacco as bad, and is to be banned at all cost. To them tobacco equals nicotine, nicotine is an addictive drug, which is bad… unless it is “nicotine” from one of their big pharmaceutical companies in the form of a patch or gum, which has proven to be completely ineffective if just not more dangerous than the tobacco use it is meant to cure.
I don’t know about you but alcohol is just as an addictive drug… and we see how far banning it went. And in the long run more dangerous to more people than those who use it. From the drunk driver, who kills the family on their way home from the bar, to the alcoholic’s own family who has to deal with everything from the abuse at the hands of the user… to watching their loved one die from drinking too much. Although they went as far as banning it all at once, they have learned from their mistake. What they are doing to tobacco is to ban it slowly over time.
First it was set an age limit as to who can buy it. Ok I am willing to say that was fair, but it didn't slow down the teenagers getting their hands on it. Then they raised the price, by raising the taxes slowly over time to the point that the taxes are more than 50% (and in some cases as much as 70%) of the price of the pack of cigarettes. They thought that with the higher prices no one could afford it. And yes many did quit. But slowly they continued their campaign to “Save the Children…” and when that ran out now they claim they are trying to save me. What part of, “Hey Mr. and Mrs. Tobacco-Nazis’… I DON’T WANT TO BE SAVED!”
How far are we willing to allow these anti-tobacco-Nazis to go before we start to stand up and say, “NO?” At what point does MY rights as a tobacco user matter? When are people going to notice just how slippery a slope this is? Today it is nicotine, what will it be tomorrow? We know about what things were like in the past. There are laws now which cover discrimination hiring and firing of Black, Jewish, Irish, Gay… Native American? We even have laws which cover discrimination against hiring disable people. And before you say, “Yeah but those things can’t be helped. You choose to use tobacco.”
You're right we do… I do… in a country where our rights were founded on and we are free to be an individual. In a country whose revolution was based largely on taxation without representation, not just on tea but on tobacco. Or at least I thought.
As I have said in many of my articles at SnusCentral.org, “I am an adult, and I don’t need someone to tell me about what is right or wrong for me.” I know that nicotine is a drug. I understand it is addicting. I have heard the entire BS about tobacco use. The good the bad and the ugly… And I choose to use it.
Anti-tobacco-Nazis have always generally used the statistics from cigarette smokers to prove their point. They tend to use cigarettes and tobacco interchangeably as though there is no difference between them without considering the difference between the way the tobacco was processed, the way it is taken in, or there could be any way any tobacco is anything but bad… and anyone who uses any form of tobacco as no different than a heroin addict who needs to be saved from themselves; wait, heroin addicts receive free needle exchanges, celebrity drug addicts are featured on TMZ and instead of jail time, are sentenced to a stay in a luxury hotel called a Rehab Clinic.
I don’t know about you… but thank you Mr. and Mrs. Noseybody, I don’t need to be saved. I am a grown woman and your rights needs to end where my nose begins… and I will fight for my rights. It is about time for my congress critter to know I am not a second class citizen and my vote counts!
Long may we have Swedish Snus, and tobacco!
In the Wilderness for God and Swedish Snus
Reporting for SnusCENTRAL.org