In a push for a healthier working environment, many hospitals and other professional health organizations are now refusing jobs to applicants who smoke.
As smokers typically offer less productivity and higher health costs, organizations hope the healthier environment will be a positive move.
Some companies plan to fire existing employees for cigarette use, treating the smoke sticks as an illegal drug. Additionally, nicotine tests may be utilized by companies to make sure employees are following the new anti-smoking rules.
Some employees believe these new rules to be anti-American as they infringe on personal rights.
Companies explain the added health care costs coupled with a reduced productivity from a smoking employee typically cost upwards of $3,500 per year for the employer.
A key argument exists in that hospitals and professional health offices should be able to determine who they employ, especially with regards to smoking.
After all, health is the primary goal of a hospital, so hiring employees that fit the healthy lifestyle should make sense.