A county in Arizona wants to get rid of smoking clerks to save-up money with health-care costs. Pima, an Arizona County might not give jobs to smokers and could tax those who smoke after the 16th of December when the board has scheduled a vote on this matter. Practically, this means that individuals aiming for a job at Pima County will have to quit smoking.
According to Pima County Board of Supervisors’ proposal, smokers and other tobacco products users will be compelled to pay around 30% additional charges to their health insurance.
Pima’s Health authorities estimated that the new regulations could prompt more than $1 million in health-care savings every year. Statistics made by the county reveal that probably 32% of more than 2,000 laborers are smokers.
The savings generated by this hiring ban will be quite substantial if indeed non-smokers will replace previous smoking employees, according to County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry. It appears that tobacco addicts make the county administration lose about $13.4 million every year.
However, restricting workers from smoking during their leisure time is seen as an act of discrimination by critics. Applying this policy would mean that employment decisions will no longer rely on merits and diplomas, but on segregation between smokers and nonsmokers.
Some say that grounding a hiring decision on whether someone is a smoker or not is similar to refusing to take in workers that are overweight or have hereditary diseases.
Officials at the county rejected discrimination allegations by saying the new regulations are intended to make people lead healthier lives, not punish them for smoking. Among them, is Allyn Bulzomi former smoker and current HR manager at Pima County. Bulzomi has come out with a statement saying that using nicotine is a lifestyle option which can change over time.
On the off chance that the new arrangement is enforced, prospective employees need to procure a Doctor’s note or medical test that demonstrates they did not smoke or used other nicotine products for at least one year. For those who do not smoke the county has prepared a $5 health-care markdown per each periodical subscription as the smokers will be added a 30% extra feeevery wage.
Electronic cigarettes will be as well targeted by the policy. Nicotine gum and patches are exempted.
Arizona is not part of the 29 states that have designed legislation to defend smoker’s rights reveals American Lung Association data.