27/01/09 Smokers Need Not Apply

The Quebec Council on Tobacco and Health, an anti-smoking organisation, has exposed just how bigoted and uncompromising the anti-smoking movement is – by refusing to employ smokers.  The group is looking for a webmaster, but only a non-smoker [1]

They are offering two very weak reasons for this: 1) to set good examples, in being an anti-smoking organisation they do not want to employ someone who smokes 2) to protect other employees from third-hand smoke.

As any sensible person is aware, third hand smoke is not only unproven but is a fabrication of researcher Dr. Winickoff’s mind.  But as I keep stating, there is a vast difference between tobacco control and tobacco analysis, with tobacco analysis being the objective study of any effect tobacco may have on the body whether it be positive or negative.  Tobacco control is the exact opposite: devising ways to convince people that tobacco is detrimental to health and needs strict measurements to protect the public from the harmful effects.  Third hand smoke is a perfect example of this.  No study was conducted, no science was undertaken and the researcher has admitted it is just ‘smell’ – yet reading the papers would lead us to believe that it is a potentially deadly substance.

As for the other excuse of setting a good example, this is a flimsy argument because, quite simply, smoking is not permitted in offices anyway.  The issue here is not smoking at work because that is not allowed except outside the office – in which instance provisions can be made of where smoking is permissable.  Besides, a webmaster could very easily do most of the work from his/her own home, as there are now programs allowing file transfers to the internet from any computer in the world.

This is, unquestionably, discrimination.  No matter how the Quebec Council on Tobacco and Health try to dress it up or justify it the fact remains that they are discriminating against people operating within the law for their personal lifestyle choices.  If they openly admitted they won’t hire coloured people, fat people or disabled people they would, quite rightly, be taken to court and/or punished for their actions.  Yet for some reason it is socially acceptable to refuse to employ smokers.

Furthermore, if the most highly qualified webmaster who applies for the job happened to smoke they would be rejected.  The organisation, then, is willing to sacrifice the quality of their website over their pathetic discrimination.

If other companies and organisations follow suit then how long will it be before we see smokers being rejected from all jobs?  How long before overweight people or people who eat too much salt are unemployable?

Arminda Mota, president of mychoice.ca, a website dedicated to smokers’ rights, said “They get at least $3 million a year from the government — from taxpayers who are non-smokers, and smokers like me — and they are openly discriminating”  So the group has its wages paid by the tax-payers, and smokers pay more tax than non-smokers, meaning that the anti-smoking group is funded in part by smokers.

In short: smokers partially fund a group who in turn refuse to employ them and set out to ostracise them from society.

[1] http://www.cbc.ca/consumer/story/2009/01/22/mtl-smokefreejob-cp-0122.html

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