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Thread: Tobacco Use

  1. #1
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    Default Tobacco Use

    I know some of you might not care at all about this subject, and I may not have it in the right thread, but I would appreciate others thoughts on this subject.

    I do chew tobacco and have for a while now. I was recently (6 months ago) hired to a fire dept. about a hour and half away from my home town. They didn't mention anything on a tobacco policy before I was hired. I found out on my second day of employment that we couldn't use tobacco. That was fine with me, but I assumed that they meant just when working. Well probably two weeks later I found out that they don't want you to use it on or off duty. A couple of days after that they make a letter and give it to all personnel hired with in the year and made us sign it, or it was probably termination. So of course I had to sign it. I already had a lease on a home and situated in the city. Before they made this letter, there was not one thing written about a tobacco policy. The only thing in the city handbook was that you couldn't use the products in the city buildings or vehicles. They have even had nicotine test brought on us.

    To me this wasn't fair and I believe there are a lot of important things that needs addressing at the fire dept. other than what we do at home with tobbacco. I know this isn't some big issue, but I would still like to hear other opinions.


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    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Question: What is more important.. your addiction to tobacco or the job?

    Choose wisely...
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    well I understand that. I did quit tobacco, I just wanted other views if at all possible. It's not a big issue with me anymore. I recieved a new job offer and took, and no not because of the tobacco policy.

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    Was there any mention of a quit assist program...I understand your gripe...I mean from one stand point, what I do on my time is, my time...on the other is that city is making an investment in you and they want to get it full in return. Like said, there should be a quit assist program if they feel this is such an important issue. I mean to just tell you one day you have to quit cold turkey is unfair, I know, I have tried to quit smoking and cold turkey makes one a very irratable fellow at best. Maybe you should bring this up to your chain of command...if the city doesn't have one maybe its included in the health plan or somewhere that isn't obvious to the casual onlooker. Good luck in kicking the habit, its hard.
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    Add this to things to think about: Do you think the presumptive heart-lung rules should apply to those using tabacco?
    My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
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    MembersZone Subscriber ameryfd's Avatar
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    Just another case of big brother government throwing the consitution out the window. There should be no legitimate authority for the govt. making it illegal to use tobacco in the privacy of your own home.

    And I don't buy the "we all pay in increased healthcare" because of it. If we are going to begin regulating personal, at home behavior based on that, then let's get rid of any food with cholesteral, liquor, and maybe we should force people to have a treadmill so they exersise.

    Where will it end

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    Quote Originally Posted by ameryfd
    Just another case of big brother government throwing the consitution out the window. There should be no legitimate authority for the govt. making it illegal to use tobacco in the privacy of your own home.

    And I don't buy the "we all pay in increased healthcare" because of it. If we are going to begin regulating personal, at home behavior based on that, then let's get rid of any food with cholesteral, liquor, and maybe we should force people to have a treadmill so they exersise.

    Where will it end
    Tobacco is a health hazard. They want you to be healthy. There are reams and reams of studies that show all forms of tobacco are hazardous to your health.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnson8
    well I understand that. I did quit tobacco, I just wanted other views if at all possible. It's not a big issue with me anymore. I recieved a new job offer and took, and no not because of the tobacco policy.
    Good for you! This will most likely be the only thing that is "not fair" in your fire service career.

    Tell us, after you took your new job...

    Was it ni the fire service?
    Did you still quit tobacco or run right back to your addiction?

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    Forum Member DonSmithnotTMD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
    Tobacco is a health hazard. They want you to be healthy. There are reams and reams of studies that show all forms of tobacco are hazardous to your health.

    You're right, but so is all the crap people are eating. I know tobacco may be a factor, but I bet the extra cups of lard are having a huge impact on the cardiac LODDs.

    BTW I wil soon be returning to The Land of The Deep-Fried Twinkie.
    I am a highly trained professional and can find my :: expletive deleted:: with either hand in various light conditions.

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    Forum Member Dave1983's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ameryfd
    Just another case of big brother government throwing the consitution out the window. There should be no legitimate authority for the govt. making it illegal to use tobacco in the privacy of your own home.

    And I don't buy the "we all pay in increased healthcare" because of it. If we are going to begin regulating personal, at home behavior based on that, then let's get rid of any food with cholesteral, liquor, and maybe we should force people to have a treadmill so they exersise.

    Where will it end

    You sir, need to ease up on the constitution tossing. What you dont know is, the non-tobacco rule is part most states firefighter heart & lung bills. Here in Fla, we (union firefighters) pushed for the rule to assure passage of our bill.

    No tobacco for full coverage of any cardiovascular or pulminary ailments, Ill take that deal any day.


    As for the original poster, they should have told you of this policy before they hired you.
    Last edited by Dave1983; 06-30-2006 at 05:29 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonSmithnotTMD
    You're right, but so is all the crap people are eating. I know tobacco may be a factor, but I bet the extra cups of lard are having a huge impact on the cardiac LODDs.

    BTW I wil soon be returning to The Land of The Deep-Fried Twinkie.
    You are 100% correct.

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    MembersZone Subscriber ameryfd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave1983
    You sir, need to ease up on the constitution tossing. .
    No, activist judges and lazy Americans need to ease up on tossing the constitution. This is just a continuation of the erosion of our constitutional rights. NO WHERE in the Constitution does it give the government ANY right to regulate personal tobacco use in the privacy of ones own home.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave1983
    What you dont know is, the non-tobacco rule is part most states firefighter heart & lung bills. Here in Fla, we (union firefighters) pushed for the rule to assure passage of our bill. .
    I got zero problem with regulation within a workplace, but just because your union pushed for abdicating personal privacy rights, doesn't make it right. Listen, I don't use tobacco, so it's no big deal. But what is a big deal is the erosion of personal privacy rights and what's worse are Americans willing to give up those rights in the name of "it's for our own good".

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave1983
    No tobacco for full coverage of any cardiovascular or pulminary ailments,
    I agree with you. What is done in a public work place is different than what is done in the privacy of your own home. If this is such a great idea. Please then tell me you would agree with your union telling you that if you eat potato chips at your house then you can no longer work for the department?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SPFDRum
    Add this to things to think about: Do you think the presumptive heart-lung rules should apply to those using tabacco?
    No! If I, as a taxpayer, am expected to pay for/subsidize your healthcare as it is related to exposure to carcinogens from products of combustion and you smoke which is more continuous exposure to products of combustion.

    You smoking tobacco is a relatively continuous exposure to those preservatives, and chemicals. With the number of fires decreasing and thus the exposure to the products of combustion (relatively) decreasing, the link to your won self destructive causes of developing cancer should not be on my coin!

    And if you are going to require new hires to be held to this standard, then the people that have been employed previously ought to have the same restrictions.

    This has always bothered me.



    Quote Originally Posted by ameryfd
    Just another case of big brother government throwing the consitution out the window. There should be no legitimate authority for the govt. making it illegal to use tobacco in the privacy of your own home.

    And I don't buy the "we all pay in increased healthcare" because of it. If we are going to begin regulating personal, at home behavior based on that, then let's get rid of any food with cholesteral, liquor, and maybe we should force people to have a treadmill so they exersise.

    Where will it end
    First off you want the job, then you quit the crap! See my above reasoning. I do not want to pay for it dammit!

    As a healthcare practitioner I can guaran-damned-tee you that the cost of this self-destructive lifestyle is passed on to the rest of us.

    Males under the age of 40 do not use the healthcare system unless it is a catastrophic event (for the most part.)

    The progressive destruction to the body caused by tobacco, poor diet, obesity, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes (much of which nowadays is preventable), and heart disease is paid for by us all. We all pay for this, but the less you use the healthcare system, the more you subsidize it. Go talk to healthcare administration or public health grad student and they will tell you this as well.

    You want to be self destructive and be more burdensome to society then you ought to pay more.
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    Ok, I'll give it to you they should have told you up front but they didn't and now you know. So the right thing to do is stop or find a job that will let you chew all day long. It's a choice. you make the call. It's a health hazard to your body and truly unprofessional. I agree with the above union brothers, our unions worked hard to get the heart lung bill passed to protect you and the other union brother firefighters. STAY SAFE!!!!!

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    No! If I, as a taxpayer, am expected to pay for/subsidize your healthcare as it is related to exposure to carcinogens from products of combustion and you smoke which is more continuous exposure to products of combustion.
    Exactly- I couldn't agree more.

    But hey, it's a free country, if you wish to forefit your career fire job to chew tabacco, go ahead. It will open a billet for someone who cares...
    My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
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    Amery, you taking lessons from the Democrats in logic?

    This isn't a generic public health argument, like seat belts.

    This is a specific trade-off:

    In exchange for presumptive benefits for heart & lung disease, you can not engage in the single biggest risk factor for lung disease. It's not a public benefit; it's one generally only extended to police & firefighters.

    The ban on chewing tobacco comes from the testing for compliance -- nicotine will show up regardless of delivery method.

    Your automobile and homeowner's insurance are going to have similiar restrictions -- such as you're not covered in Mexico, or you must make timely and reasonable repairs to protect your property from the weather.

    Yes, part of me wouldn't mind giving people the choice of tobacco or presumptive benefits. I'm not sure I'd want to hire someone dumb enough to take tobacco over presumptive bennies though.

    =======
    In Johnson's case, if the facts are as presented it's a good thing he moved on.

    I can't imagine a department operating that isn't able to clearly articulate it's employment practices at the time of the offer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dalmatian190
    Amery, you taking lessons from the Democrats in logic?
    .
    OUCH! That's nasty....you could have called me a whacker and that would have been nicer

    OK...I'll buy the argument that it's a job and the employer should have the choice of what sort of people they can or cannot hire (see, unlike the democrats, I am willing to look past rhetoric and agree when I see the truth)......However, it is a very very slippery slope and one that shouldn't be taken lightly. If, in fact this is such a justifiable policy, the why couldn't they tell you to stop eating items with cholesteral ect.... and furthermore, you know that the minute that the privacy police invade your workplace, you know the govt. will be right behind them.

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    How about keeping one's end of a deal?

    In Massachusetts, firefighters and cops hired from the mid 1990's on have to be non smokers.. this includes on and off duty. It is part of the Civil Service rules and regulations.

    There have been two cases where those hired from that date were caught smoking. Both were terminated by their respective departments, both appealed their terminations to the courts, which upheld the rulings.

    They signed the paperwork when they got sworn in, so they have to abide by the ruling.
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    Cholesterol is a tough nut -- I had a former co-worker who was a vegeterian with off-the scale cholesterol levels. Just a bad family history of it.

    HOWEVER, that said foods associated with high cholesterol in normal, average Joe would also tend to hurt those "height & weight proportionate" parts of many department's on-going physicals.

    And I did get you're attention with the Democrat comment

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    Quote Originally Posted by ameryfd
    No, activist judges and lazy Americans need to ease up on tossing the constitution. This is just a continuation of the erosion of our constitutional rights. NO WHERE in the Constitution does it give the government ANY right to regulate personal tobacco use in the privacy of ones own home.



    I got zero problem with regulation within a workplace, but just because your union pushed for abdicating personal privacy rights, doesn't make it right. Listen, I don't use tobacco, so it's no big deal. But what is a big deal is the erosion of personal privacy rights and what's worse are Americans willing to give up those rights in the name of "it's for our own good".


    I agree with you. What is done in a public work place is different than what is done in the privacy of your own home. If this is such a great idea. Please then tell me you would agree with your union telling you that if you eat potato chips at your house then you can no longer work for the department?
    I dont know if I should reply, as its clear your missing the point here. As Da Sharkie said, its directy related to our exposure as firefighters to carcinogens found in smoke. The same types of carcinogens found in tobacco smoke. In order to for the law to be presumtive you have to eliminate (as much as possible) outside sources for said carcinogens. This is why it covers tobaco use off duty.

    This isnt a liberal issue, or a case of big brother. Its simply a case of a special law, for firefighters only (which is why you chip analogy doesnt fly), and the risks involved with the work we do.
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