Nurses: Should Hospitals Ban Employees From Smoking?

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Companies frame it as a health issue, but it’s mostly a financial issue, of course: a great way to openly slash health insurance costs and look like a Good Guy:

Should Hospitals Ban Employees From Smoking? 

I don’t smoke, never have: OK, there was that one time at the Stones concert in 1990… Still, I believe in civil rights. Should smokers have any rights, any at all? I’d not ask, but it seems mainstream to answer “no”, emphatically “no”. Smokers still account for one in four Americans…

Do we really want employers to control our personal lives “for our own good” or anyone else’s?


  1. First of all, if the hospital wants to ban smoking, than to be fair, they would have to ban their practices and medicines. If we are being health conscious and are asking for a fairness in policies. Secondly, every employer ask that our personal lives remain at home and not within the work environment. Then in all fairness, they need to stay out of our lives during our time away from the time clock. We work for them, but shouldn’t live for them. Just so long as we can still perform our duties within the parameters of our assigned position.

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  2. No, they should only ban them (and enforce it) from doing it on the hospital campus or coming in reeking of smoke. Otherwise, it is none of their business.

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  3. I have worked at a hospital that has a “no smoking policy” on its premises and for its employees. Upon hiring, you are given a nicotine test and you agree to random nicotine testing. I do not think that it’s fair and feel that it is discriminatory. I am a non-smoker but being a nurse and being in such a stressful environment for those that do smoke, it is not fair. They (hospitals) may be looking at their healthcare/financial costs but let your employees determine what they want to pay in insurance.

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    1. I imagine financial considerations are the sole driver in such decisions, rationalizations and PR aside. What’s next? Control over diet, exercise, choice of vehicle, where to live, recreational activities? It strikes​ me as Orwellian, honestly.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I am not a smoker, but I don’t think any employer has the right to ban smoking for anyone, which is a personal choice, just like overeating. However, smoking could be banned on the premises or at least regulated to a specific area which would not affect or impact other people – the second-hand smoke can seriously affect other people, and they have rights also. But ban it completely – no, that’s an invasion of your personal rights. But it would be nice for them to offer the employees assistance in quitting.

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    1. As with so many health care decisions, it gets framed as a health issue, when the real motive is financial. If workers don’t smoke at home, hospitals save on their own health insurance costs. To the extent that we allow health care to become dominated by profit motives, as we have to in recent decades, we encourage this sort of corruption. I too, don’t smoke, but I see society treat​ smokers as second-class citizens in many ways, as with punitive taxes for “health reasons.” That kind of money is never entirely for other purposes: it is a goal in of inself.


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