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Way OT: What happened?


wraub

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Hello all. Please pardon me, but in my fever dream of walking pneumonia, I just watched something on CNN that led to a need to vent.

I am not trying to start a debate about the merits/dangers of smoking.

Just disturbed.

 

It was a story about discrimination against cigarette smokers, focussing specifically on a company (Weyco) in Michigan, its owner, and its policies towards its employees who smoke.

 

The company has a no-smoking policy, supposedly because of the expense to the company from illness, lost time, and health-care costs. I am fine with this.

However, this company's policy is that the employee does not smoke in their off time either. Even off the clock, you are bound by their no-smoking policy. You are tested, and if determined to be a smoker, you are offered assistance to quit, or you lose your job if you don't.

In December, the company owner (whose bright idea this all was) says he will start testing the spouses of his employees for smoking, and will fine an employee with a spouse who smokes $1000.00 a year until the spouse quits.

 

However, he is not going to test employees for alcohol use, cholesterol levels, other cancer risks, etc.

Apparently, Michigan Law allows all this.

 

Additionally, Washington state recently passed a law banning smoking outside if within 25 feet of a door or window. Several other states have laws along the same lines.

 

Here's where I have a question or two:

 

What happened to freedom of choice in this country? We used to at least have the illusion of it, now not even that.

 

What happened to the concept of work time and personal time being seperate times?

 

Should the government be able to authorize the sale of, and reap the tax benefits from the sale of, goods deemed unusable by said government?

 

Maybe it's the medication, but I am incredulous over this.

 

Comments?

 

Back to my illness...

 

Peace,

 

wraub

 

I'm a lot more like I am now than I was when I got here.

 

 

 

 

 

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i'm not a smoker, and I think it to be a disgusting habit...but wow. Something is wrong when legislation goes this far.

 

25ft??? city smokers will have to take their breaks in the suburbs.

 

has anyone seen the episode of south park where rob reiner(rhiner?) attacks big tobacco?

 

jason

2cor5:21

Soli Deo Gloria

 

"it's the beauty of a community. it takes a village to raise a[n] [LLroomtempJ]." -robb

 

My YouTube Channel

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As much as I've been enjoying smoke free bars in my area since the laws have changed, this is just out of control! It seems that this law has allowed this employer to run amok. The fact that he's also trying to test an employee's spouse seems bizarre. I would think that even if the spouse was covered by this employer's health insurance plan, how could they do this? This is really crazy.

Obligatory Social Media Link

"My concern is, and I have to, uh, check with my accountant, that this might bump me into a higher, uh, tax..."

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I am a smoker, for a long, long time, and I also think it is a disgusting habit. I don't smoke in my workplace or my home, but I can't see why anyone would want to impose their will on me in such a way.

There are those here in this town who would have us not smoke anywhere in the city. The last few places that we CAN smoke here are restaurants, bars and parks, and they are trying to ban that too.

Political correctness is going too far!

Visit my band's new web site.

 

www.themojoroots.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This is only the smallest "tip of the iceburg". Ever do a web-search on "fabian socialism"? It is especially interesting to compare it with "individualism".

 

...and then, there is agenda 21...

 

In a half-hearted attempt to put a "musical spin" on this, perhaps if I quote a musical "giant":

 

"Imagine there's no heaven,

It's easy if you try,

No hell below us,

Above us only sky,

Imagine all the people

living for today...

 

Imagine there's no countries,

It isnt hard to do,

Nothing to kill or die for,

No religion too,

Imagine all the people

living life in peace...

 

Imagine no possesions,

I wonder if you can,

No need for greed or hunger,

A brotherhood of man,

Imagine all the people

Sharing all the world...

 

You may say Im a dreamer,

but Im not the only one,

I hope some day you'll join us,

And the world will live as one."

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so, uh, this is what happens when you don't provide for yourself. ultimately, the people who foot the bill begin to question your own impact on their finances.

 

employers spend more on their employees healthcare than do their employees. it's part of their budget when deciding how much they can pay in salaries and wages. unhealthy employees -- who use the health care -- cost more than those who don't. i could tell stories about what benefits get cut after people use them unexpectedly.

 

at some point, this employer -- who clearly doesn't smoke and doesn't like people slaving to their habits -- decided that he's tired of paying for all of this health care for people who willingly make themselves less healthy and more expensive to both treat and insure.

 

and i can't say that he doesn't have a defensible approach. at the same time, i'll bet he'll lose employees before they actually get sick or tested. people quit over stuff like this. if it were my employer, i'd consider it. i'm no longer obese, but i'm still overweight. and while i've lost 40 pounds this year, i'm still not where i want to be, and the thought of being fined for it is more than absurd.

 

and, yet, at the end of it, i'm not paying the majority of my health care, so why shouldn't i have a minority share in its decision making?

 

robb.

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testing spouses? where is the aclu? they stick their noses in everything, why are they not here?

 

i'm sorry, what you do in your own home is your own business.

 

aside from that, there is no sane reason for doing this. does smoking endanger your health? yes it does. but then this is michigan, so does driving. what if a guy plays rec league hockey? is he going to fire a guy who needs 8 stitches every couple of months unless he gives up the sport? clearly that guy is doing something that is costing this man healthcare money.

Eeeeeehhhhhhhhh.
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This is what happens when its politically correct to be a control freak. I live in Washington state, where it was just illegal to smoke in public buildings. The new law made it all public buildings as opposed to only the previous standard of government. Obviously, the only ones taking the hit here are the nightspots and smokeshops...this could have been avoided by bylines but then the control freaks would have missed the target. I voted against it. That said, I obviously disagree with the whole idea of anybody telling me I can't make my own choices. I won't miss going home from a gig smelling like an ashtray, but deeply resent the fact that I can't have a cigar or cigarette if I choose to.
Donnie Peterson
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I have the right to not smell your smoke - anywhere. Unfortunately, your right to smoke more easily invades my air space than my not smoking invading yours.

 

I have no problem with smoking bans - public parks, doorways, whatever. You can smell a smoker in a car that passes you on the street with the windows down. I don't want to walk through a haze of smoke on my way into a smoke free building, either.

 

If you don't smoke on the job, but than go home and smoke 4 packs, what gain has been made? The employers health insurance costs would be the same. Maybe it should be legal to not insure smokers.

 

And then there's the "slippery slope" issue. I learn so much on "Law & Order. Smoking is a proven and obvious killer, but alcohol and obiesity are also killers, and bad for you, so why not go after these people? I think it's because smoking is the thing that can most directly affect you. Someone drinking (I know, what about drunk drivers)or eating too much next to you doesn't have the same effect.

 

It's a difficult issue, but if someone said in order to have no smoking I couldn't drink, I'd do it in a heartbeat.

 

And by the way, I am overweight and I DO pay more for life insurance.

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Steve, I love ya, man, but...

 

I have the right not to smell your cologne - anywhere. Unfortunately, your right to wear cologne more easily invades my air space than my not wearing cologne invades yours.

 

If you don't smoke on the job, then go home and smoke 4 packs...so what? It's YOUR home. YOU make the decisions regarding your body. Ace has a good point - driving is dangerous, too. So is breathing the fumes from a passing automobile. So is walking across the street. Danger is all around us and, believe me, the actuaries for health insurance companies have taken the number of smokers into account. Have your healthcare costs gone down since the new anti-smoking laws went into effect? I know mine haven't. If there were, by some miracle, a cure for the AIDS virus, do you think your healthcare costs would go down? Somehow I doubt it.

 

The world is full of unpleasant smells. Used cat litter, cigarette smoke, feet, cheap cigars, Harmony Central's 'Open Jam Forum', certain colognes, the script to "Queen of Outer Space", etc. Sometimes a little bit of tolerance for others goes a long way.

 

Hey, I'm just sayin'...

 

peace,

Tim from Jersey :thu:

Play. Just play.
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I used to be a smoker. I also used to chew tobacco. I have quit both, but you can bet the farm that as soon as I end up in a combat zone again I'll be living off of nicotine once more.

 

The bottom line is that corporations are invading the personal lives of their employees. Anyone who is fined or fired from this company should call a lawyer.

 

I'm going to build a cabin in the woods in Montana and you can take my guns... errrr... cigarettes when you pry them from my cold dead hands.

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Originally posted by Flemtone:

Steve, I love ya, man, but...

 

I have the right not to smell your cologne - anywhere. Unfortunately, your right to wear cologne more easily invades my air space than my not wearing cologne invades yours.

 

Hey, I'm just sayin'...

 

peace,

Tim from Jersey :thu:

Thankfully, I don't wear cologne so all you'd smell is my BO after a hard day. ;)

 

I don't know what the answer is. Obviously no one does.

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First, I will qualify my position by admitting that I use tobacco products. I really enjoy a good Leon Jimenes Churchill DeLuxe on a special occasion or even a Camel cigarette if the mood strikes me. I also live in the land of tobacco, which is the lifeblood of many hard working farmers in this state.

 

Yes smoking is bad for you I dont think anyone would dispute that, even smokers. But, as others have already said, a lot of other things are too. We must ask ourselves If this is allowed, what will be next? Ban your employees from eating McDs, or drinking Bud Light? Alcoholism and obesity are major health issues in this country too. What about going on skiing trips (one of my co-workers and a close friend is in a wheelchair because of a skiing accident, but there is no talk of the company banning skiing), skydiving, rock climbing, kayaking, motorcycles, etc., etc., etc. Who do you want to allow to make those decisions for you?

 

There is also talk of making any movie with smoking in it R rated. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5044251

 

Personally, I am a big fan of freedom of choice and personal responsibility for your actions. What I do on my own time is, in general terms, my business and no one elses. There are of course easily stated exceptions to this, but law abiding, tax paying, hard working adults should not have to worry about getting fired because they like to smoke a cigarette after having "relations" with their spouse/sig. other, or smoke a pipe on the fishing trip with the guys, or have a cigar at the weekly card game.

 

My soap box is worn out.

 

Hope ya feel better wraub.

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Hmmmm. First of all, get well Wraub.

I am a long time Smoker and in my opinion there are so many things that can kill you out there that to zero in on any one with a crusade is rediculous. I try to be health concious and quit drinking over a year ago because in my opinion alcohol is far worse for you than the occasional cigar/cigarette. I am aware of my smell and don't smoke indoors, in cars or around my son and smoke only Shermans which are 100% natural.

 

What bothers me is the crusaders that take aim at this issue and what could possibly be next. Deisel exaust is a known cancer causing agent and driving behind a bus for a few blocks is far worse for you than breathing a bit of second hand smoke. Naturally you wouldn't hear anything about that though.

I once had an argument with a fellow about the laws that take away my freedom of choice. Specifically the seat belt and helmet laws in my state. My rant was that I have a real problem with a government that sign into law things that control me because they assume that they know what is best for me. Am I that stupid? Do I need the government to make personal choices for me? Is that freedom? Please.

So, it's okay to drink yourself into a stupor every night and inflict that kind of damage but not to have an occasional smoke? Where's the equality? Would this employer do the same with alcohol if he didn't drink? Red meat? Finger nail polish remover?

 

Don't even get me started on the Marijuana thing . . .

"He is to music what Stevie Wonder is to photography." getz76

 

I have nothing nice to say so . . .

 

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Banning smoking in your home and that of your spouse is going to far.

What someone does in their own home, as long as they aren't harming someone, should be their own choice.

 

I wish that TN would ban cigarettes period!

However, I love a good cigar every now and then. Can't have one without the other....that wouldn't be just.

Tenstrum

 

"Paranoid? Probably. But just because you're paranoid doesn't mean there isn't an invisible demon about to eat your face."

Harry Dresden, Storm Front

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first of all, smelling smoke ON someone, not second hand smoke but just that fouls stale smoke on someones clothes, while nasty is not a health risk. so if a person goes home and smokes or smokes in a designated smoking section away from any of the more useful and convenient entrances to your place of business then how does it effect anyone other than himself.

 

and i have a major problem with obesity. it is quickly climbing the ranks toward the #1 killer in this country, yet overweight people have the right to sue if their weight effects their ability to get jobs. nyc transit was sued a number of years ago because they wouldn't hire a 400 lb man to be a subway conductor. the reason being that he physically couldn't fit into the booth on the train. thank god the case was thrown out, could you imagine what the train fare would be if they had to scrap all the trains so they could build new ones to accomodate 400 lb conductors?

 

i'm all for making smoking cause for an R rating in a movie. there's no real reason against it. ratings are a joke anyway.

 

i'm all for banning smoking in public buildings as well. it doesn't bother me to have to go outside for a cigarette. i used to do that at restaurants anyway because it's just rude to smoke around someone who's eating.

 

but the day you start banning things in someones home is the day i start agreeing with the conspiracy theorists and start organizing the revolt. to allow a private citizen to start telling his employees what they can and can't do outside of the workplace is tantamount to banning. something needs to be done about it.

 

one more thing about banning smoking in bars. a joke i heard from a stand-up comic (and a non-smoker who was all for banning smoking at work):

so let me get this straight. you're here in an attempt to have anonymous, unprotected, possibly drunken sex with someone you've yet to meet, and the preeminent health risk in your life is my cigarette?

Eeeeeehhhhhhhhh.
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I can't explain it well, but if you do some research on the 'net, I think you'll find a philosophical change in government in the US. The constitution (bill of rights, actually) was intended to *limit* the role of government; people were seen to have rights "under God", and the bill of rights was intended to limit government from infringing on those rights.

 

The trend now, (for about 100 years, actually), is to increasingly move to a paradigm where you have no rights, except those *granted* by government. This is seen as necessary by the Fabian Socialists (and their more eager Lenninist/Communist contemporaries) to achieve the "Utopia" captured in the lyrics by John Lennon of my earlier post.

 

Note: The "Lenninist" approach I mentioned refers to a Russian leader of the 20th century, not John Lennon (who just happens to be a socialist).

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Originally posted by PhilMan99:

I can't explain it well, but if you do some research on the 'net, I think you'll find a philosophical change in government in the US. The constitution (bill of rights, actually) was intended to *limit* the role of government; people were seen to have rights "under God", and the bill of rights was intended to limit government from infringing on those rights.

 

The trend now, (for about 100 years, actually), is to increasingly move to a paradigm where you have no rights, except those *granted* by government.

You explained it beautifully PhilMan . Thanks for putting that into words. :)

 

I was trying to understand what has been going on, and you succinctly identified it.

 

I just feel like I am suffocating from the control that is running rampant. As a believer in reincarnation... I've been having such a "been there, done that" feeling and I cannot shake it. As though we've been down this dangerous tract before, and we need to stop now, before we are all in a major situation.

 

I appreciate that very much, that you put it down in a way that I can comprehend it. :thu:

 

... connie

 

and Wraub ! Hope you feel better soon! Thanks for bringing this off-topic up. :thu:

 

... connie

"Change comes from within." - Jeremy Cohen

 

The definition of LUCK: When Preparation meets Opportunity!

 

http://www.cybergumbo.com

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Anything said on what this company does? Years ago, home-town company that makes ceiling tile was bought out. New company imposed very similar conditions on employees including all facial hair be shaved off.

 

Why?

 

Major ingredient in the tiles is asbestos. The company provided and provides PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) and does not want to get sued a few years down the road by an employee with lung cancer from an outside source. The PPE is supposed to be able to prevent the employee from exposer, as long as it fits correctly, hence the shaving of the facial hair.

 

In my job, the worry isn't lung cancer, but a slew of other nasty and potentially faster ailments. I do have to keep my facial hair trimmed so my PPE fits correctly, and we do test frequently.

 

Just a thought.

 

ATM

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OK, I quit smoking 3 1/2 years ago. Primarly because the state of Ohio raised the taxes on a pack of squares some $1.40 in a six month period. I guess they saw what NY was doing and wanted to hang with the "in" crowd. For months I wrote the governer of Ohio letters stating how much tax I didn't pay because I quit smoking.

 

Now I live in the People's Republic of Washington. I don't smoke, I'm glad I don't but hell the legislation goes to anyplace where the public can gather. A sign on a pub down the road was advertising "Ashtrays for sale ... cheap!"

 

Smoking is just the current popular government cash grab. Notice how they will regulate it, tax it, sue the manufacurers (like they won't get their money back buy bumping up the price of a pound of good ol' non-smoking Velveeta 10 cents a pound), preach about the evils about using it, but WILL NOT make it illegal. Yet we have the same group of nut cases across the Cascades who think we should make pot legal. But then everyone knows there is NO ill effects to health from pot.

 

If smoking is that friggin' bad, then make it illegal and stop whoring it for the taxes.

 

There. Sorry.

 

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn

 

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