Some employers will not hire smokers. They feel that smokers smell bad, get sick a lot, and take too many breaks. Some employers include a test for tobacco with their drug screening tests. Job candidates will not be hired if they are positive for tobacco or illegal drugs.
Smokers cry discrimination. Tobacco is not an illegal drug. Smoking is being banned from more places everyday. Many smokers feel like they are being picked on.
The employers claim that smokers are too expensive to hire. Insurance premiums are higher for smokers. Cleaning ash trays and removing cigarette butts from the parking lot costs money. Cigarettes are a fire hazard. Smokers congregating outside a business do not look good. They could discourage people from entering the business. Customers who have small children or health problems do not want to walk through a cloud of smoke.
Working with smokers is like working with anyone else. Some take too many breaks and others do not. Some smokers are very clean and don't smell like smoke. Some smokers and nonsmokers smell so bad that the customers and other employees complain.
Health insurance is very expensive. Employers do not want to pay more to insure smokers. Smoking is an addiction that harms your lungs and makes you weak. Smokers get sick a lot. We have lost some wonderful employees to diseases related to tobacco use.
Eliminating smokers from the work force is not a realistic goal. Employers need to set boundaries with employees regarding smoking etiquette and cleanliness. Smoke Cessation information should be given to employees who are addicted. Smoking is social and relieves stress for the smoker. Make a short yoga lesson available during break time. Some smokers are motivated to quit when they join their employer's baseball or soccer team.
Chain smokers can be bad employees. People who smoke only a few cigarettes a day do not need to take a break every hour. Chain smokers are more likely to become sickly at a young age and die from their addiction.
People who smoke in inappropriate places are bad employees. Careless smokers who start fires and annoy others with their smoke are not good for the organization.
Some smokers are not bad employees. Some pay for their own health insurance, do not take too many breaks, and may not even smoke at work. The hardest part is losing a good employee with a tobacco addiction to illness.