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How Many Smokers Could Quit If Someone Paid Them $10 Million?

Should employers have the right to discriminate against hiring smokers?

by
Theodore Dalrymple

Bio

April 6, 2013 - 7:00 am

What most interested me about these articles, however, was their uncritical acceptance of what might by now be called the official medical lie about addiction: namely that it is an involuntary condition beyond the powers of the individual to control. The authors of the first article say:

The broader claim that it is fair to exclude smokers because they are responsible for raising health care costs is too simplistic. It ignores the fact that smoking is addictive and therefore not completely voluntary. As many as 69% of smokers want to quit, but the addictive properties of tobacco make that exceedingly difficult: only 3 to 5% of unaided cessation attempts succeed. It is therefore wrong to treat smoking as something fully under an individual’s control.

The authors of the second article ask:

Is it fair to penalize smokers even though the highly addictive nature of nicotine makes their behavior less than entirely voluntary?

To this they reply:

In many surveys, about 70% of smokers say they want to quit, but only 2 to 3% succeed each year. One reason for this huge gap is that smoking cessation has immediate costs in the form of nicotine withdrawal…

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
Let me see now, smoking tobacco is a vice worthy of discrimination in almost all venues of life, yet smoking marijuana is a lifestyle choice that should be embraced for its recreational benefits - and taxes. Got it.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (34)
All Comments   (34)
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I don't smoke. I've never even considered it and I don't know why anyone would. But I'm inherently uneasy about the idea of discriminating against people based on smoking status.

As someone mentioned previously, do that and soon they're discriminating against drinkers, or the overweight, or people who buy sodas larger than 16 oz. Where does it end?

I'd prefer not to go down that road. If smokers legitimately cost more to insure than non-smokers, and we can quantify the difference, I'm fine with making them pay more for insurance. But don't deny them employment. We need to stop trying to dictate how others live.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Geeze, I'd start smoking again if someone then offered me $10,000,000 to quit again. It wasn't that hard to stop to begin with.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Cute cartoon of Kathleen Sebelius.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The answer is yes, and that goes for the gamut of behaviors and reasons. Restore Freedom of Association.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The question is, which group will be the next?
Drinkers?, fatties? the elderly?
Once you start to go down the road to lower health care costs you open a Pandora's box of troubles.
Better yet, let people make their own choices and pay for their own mistakes.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
You can have my smokes when you take them from my cold, dead hands.

Stop trying to control everyone and everything by using government force to make people live the way you want them to live.

Freedom or death.

Even freedom and death.

Freedom, above all.

Anything less is unthinkable.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I've known many people who have quit smoking by simply quitting. I smoke and I know that I'm not "addicted" to tobacco - that's the silliest notion I've ever heard - and sometimes I get tired of the smoke and nasty aroma and don't smoke for awhile with no difficulty. I've found it fascinating that medical professionals NEVER mention the fact that obesity has become a major problem as more people have stopped smoking. Smokers ARE more likely to be thinner than non-smokers and each practice - tobacco and over-eating - carries health problems. Heredity is a factor as well. Both my parents smoked like fiends and lived extremely long lives, basically passing due to old age. I'm so healthy I haven't seen a doctor in 30 years.
And then there's this: has anyone ever dared study whether women who abort their babies have related health problems, such as infertility? Or is that too much of a politically incorrect hot potato?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Some in the medical community would regard you as a cash cow. Enjoy your smokes.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Since I'm very healthy, haven't seen a doctor since 1981 and have never used the Medicare to which I'm entitled, why would the medical community view me as a cash cow? The only entity who sees me as a cash cow is the taxman whose greed has raised a pack of cigarettes to about $6.00.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It's only a matter of time.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
~ 1 year ago the oldest woman in the world passed away. She was pushing 120 years of age.

A Spanish woman. Always poor. Poor diet. Mediocre job, life. She smoked over 100 years!

Your '..matter of time' is purely opinion. Sure, 'artghost' could succumb due to their smoking. Though YOU and I don't know. A mere comment or 2 doesn't improve that fact.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The anti-smoking crusade began in the early '70s and was perpetrated by the same lefties who brought us radical environmentalism, radical feminism, gay rights and Roe v Wade. I think smoking was a test case for them, a way to perfect their use of the media and the public schools to generate public opinion - the fact that it worked so well and so quickly emboldened them to push their REAL agendas. I instinctively caught on to their game and, even if I wanted to quit smoking, never considered doing it because to me smoking my cigarettes was an act of political defiance against American totalitarianism.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Have you noticed how much your "Karloff" image looks like John Kerry? Except Boris is more attractive . . .
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Attention smokers; the medical establishment extends to you their thanks and best wishes. You are considered their bread and butter. Fools such as yourselves help underewrite their expensive lifestyle.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Yep; smoking has an impact on your health and life. Got it. What about sodomy??
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Human nature always seem to collide headon with freedom! There would be few laws of any kinds on the books if everybody were responsible and equitable in their freedoms. Take a good look at the historical wealth desparity gap and the the falling wages of labor as a percentage of GDP, with particular note since the 80s. Then ponder how free people treat other free people in our society. Look at the what has beccome the foundation in advertising -- outright lies, lies by ommission and otherwise deceit. Same applies to the whole arena of contracts, etc............ History from the beginning of time, has show that man left to freedom, abuse it, to include those who profess deep religious commitment.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Above @ Bill Lawrence
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
My thoughts. Freedom.

Leave us the right to smoke when and where we want.

Leave us the right to hire how and who we want.

So forget the banning of smoking...BUT, allow business to prohibit smoking on their grounds or even to refuse to hire smokers, drinkers, yoga gurus, people who eat ice cream, etc. It's a freedom thing.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"Leave us the right to smoke when and where we want."

No. I'm always amazed that smokers think they have a right to create huge clouds of toxic foul-smelling fumes in public. Go do it at home, in private. Smokers have no idea how badly they stink.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
'..huge clouds.. - wow, exaggerate much?

I'm not a smoker. Quite the contrary. Though find your '..do it at home..' rapport towards smokers ridiculous and 'ideas/ remedy' to be draconian.

Smokers are no longer allowed to smoke inside restaurants. As well as there no longer being smoking sections available in establishments owned by PRIVATE citizens.

Nope, Federal interventionism put the kibosh to that. Quite Orwellian, creepy.

I'd rather be around smokers, 'in public' for that matter rather than fatties, hipsters, emo types, avid sports fans, daytime t.v. viewers/ reality t.v. viewers and sanctimonious types for starters.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
One cannot disagree that smoking tobacco produces polluting smoke. However, in comparison to what the average american contributes to air pollution on a daily basis, it is in fact miscule! Everybody gets used to their own stink and trust me, I've smelled some gagging kinds of stink on people who've probably never smoked a cigarette, pipe or cigar in their lives! Any idea how much air pollutants the very same fancy restaurants who ban smoking themselves, puts a ton of pollutants in the air daily -- and nightly! Many food service providers in fact, intentionally make sure their gaseous food oders contained in air pollutants is smelled by the passerbyer to invoke those 'yummmm, yummmmmm' neutrons in their brain. Oh, and all those exquisite cologns and fragrances men and women wear -- allergens to others -- in fact, they can trigger dangerous allergen reactions for many. Most airborne 'toxcins' and oders are not visible! How many equally toxic gasses are in the housholds of most citizens from unclean vent systems, facrics, plastics, chemicals, etc?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
That durn constitution! Just keeps getting in the ways of so many social and political activistis and their hypocrisy. I think you might find the equal rights clause extends to every citizen thus, discrimination of any class is banned by law. Next comes the constitutional authority for congress to 'regulate' commerce which of course includes the practices of labor hiring thus, labor laws. Last I checked, tobacco products are 'legal' consumer products.

The banning of language, dress attitire, certain pets, alcohol, smoking, ect., from a business establishment is lawful while banning a class from 'hiring' who partakes of a legal consumer product outside the workplace is not legal and therefore should not be protected.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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