Controversial Drug Test – If You Smoke or Vape, You May Lose Your Job
The headline for this article says it all, and it is truly absurd. Starting next year, Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis, Maryland will require all potential employees – nurses, surgeons, security guards – to undergo a drug test for detecting nicotine. Any applicants that smoke cigarettes, cigars, pipers, hookah, and electronic cigarettes will not be eligible for employment. But it gets even better. This new policy will continue to forbid new employees from consuming any nicotine product anywhere, at any time. All employees of Arundel Medical Center are forbidden to smoke or vape as long as he or she works for the hospital. Representatives of Arundel Medical Center say their mission is to improve the health status of their work community. Human Resources Vice President Julie McGovern said, “It’s a serious obligation we have…and one of the important steps we can take to be a role model.” But in actuality, the new policy is an effort to control rising health costs and cultivate a more productive workforce. It’s all about business. This type of job screening is gaining favor with employers – from hospitals to companies such as Alaska Airlines. Who doesn’t want to save money?
However, this new policy does come at a cost – freedom and choice. George Koodray, assistant U.S. director of the Citizens Freedom Alliance, an organization that advocates for smokers’ and property rights, believes the new policy is really an overstep. “They really, in a lot of respects, deft so many principles that we believe in as Americans.” Mr. Koodray stated, “What these folks are saying is they’re going to deny a person’s livelihood due to the fact that people are consuming a perfectly legal product that does not necessarily adversely affect their health.” While Mr. Koodray has a way with words because if you haven’t noticed, he states that tobacco cigarettes do not actually affect one’s health, there is a sliver of truth in his words. A smoker’s freedom on health-related choices are being regulated by employers. We at Puf Cigs do not approve of tobacco cigarettes, but we understand that everyone needs to have an outlet. Some hit up a gym, others go to a bar for happy hour, and then there are those that smoke. Freedom is being taken away based upon health. Well, drinking and excessive exercise is bad for one’s health, so will employers take those away as well? It’s disturbing when one policy can become the precedent for other extremes.
Read more about this controversial drug test and policy on Baltimore Sun –
In Maryland, smoking could cost you job.