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Palm Beach County Tax Collector Gannon: Smokers need not apply

by George Bennett | September 30th, 2009

Gannon

Gannon

Palm Beach County Tax Collector Anne Gannon will no longer hire job applicants who admit to using tobacco products on a regular basis during the past year.

Beginning tomorrow, job applicants will have to submit a “non-smoking affidavit” to be considered for employment.

Says Gannon: “There’s not much to be said for smoking – it’s a major cause of respiratory and circulatory disease, it contributes to increased insurance costs for us and the Palm Beach County tax payers, it’s unhealthy to be around, and expensive these days.”

Read her office’s press release after the jump…..

From Tax Collector Anne Gannon’s office……

Palm Beach County Tax Collector’s Office Will No Longer Hire Smokers

As of October 1, 2009, the Palm Beach County Tax Collector’s Office will no longer hire applicants who’ve used tobacco products on a regular basis during the previous 12 months. Applicants will submit a non-smoking affidavit with their completed job application form to be considered for employment.

Tax Collector Gannon commented that “There’s not much to be said for smoking – it’s a major cause of respiratory and circulatory disease, it contributes to increased insurance costs for us and the Palm Beach County tax payers, it’s unhealthy to be around, and expensive these days”. The Palm Beach Tax Collector’s Office incurs approximately $2.5 million annually in medical insurance costs. Her goal is to create a positive healthy environment in the workplace for all employees while decreasing the costs which result from tobacco use.

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90 Responses to “Palm Beach County Tax Collector Gannon: Smokers need not apply”

  1. JohnW Says:

    Is she also going to ban hiring obese people? People who are sexually promiscuous? Not a good way to get the Sterling Award. Your “Passport to Success” has been revoked!!!

  2. LARRY Says:

    I THINK STOP HIRING SMOKERS IS A BOLD MOVE BUT PROBABLY A GOOD ONE. I WORKED SIDE BY SIDE WITH MANY SMOKERS AND THEY CONTINUALLY GET SMOKE BREAKS THAT NO ONE ELSE GETS, IF YOU ADDED UP ALL THE WASTED TIME AN EMPLOYER LOSES OUT IN A BIG WAY. I NEVER THOUGHT IT WAS FAIR FOR THE OTHER EMPLOYEES TO GET THE EXTRA TIME OFF SO I LOVE THIS MOVE GOOD JOB!!!!

  3. Next Says:

    Will there be a blood test for drugs and Alcohol also? little unfair to pick on smokers when these other items cause as much death as smoking. I hope some smoker out there has a good lawyer.

  4. krisp Says:

    1st it’s smokers, then it will be fat people, then it will be gays, then jews, then blacks, is this the trend this woman is setting? I say fire her and since she is a woman she should be at home taking care of her family , not in the work force. Id sue because you cannot REFUSE TO hire someone for something LEGAL they do. i SMELL ANOTHER LAWSUIT AGAIST THE COUNTY.

  5. Forgoodnessake Says:

    And add the obese to that list too. For too long we make excuses for the obese. BBW my slim gluteus maximus! They are unhealthy and should be labeled as such.

  6. Tracy Says:

    Is that discrimmination?
    Since this not a law, I think Palm Beach county will have to pay more out in Lawsuits. Can we the people really afford anymore taxes?

  7. to krisp Says:

    Krisp – What does disallowing smokers from being employed with the PBC Tax Collector’s Office have anything to do with discriminating on the basis of ethnicity or religious affiliation? I find it amusing that the individuals whom smoke are the ones outraged over this statement; yet, as deplorable as the act of smoking truly is, they justify their disgusting habit that inevitably harms not only themselves, but others around them. Keep on defending your cancer sticks! Puff away!

  8. angela Says:

    Palm Beach County needs too worry about how much money they waste, not about people smoking.

  9. Red Says:

    Ok i dont like smokers either but how can you say your not going to hire somebody who isnt breaking any laws by being a smoker ?? sounds like a law suit in the making!! Just say you cant have any smoking breaks..People with power abuse it..here is a good example right here! And im not even a smoker…

  10. Dee Says:

    I have never smoked, but I respect the rights of others to smoke if they so choose. What was Ms. Gannon thinking? Last I checked, our government gives us the freedom do what we want within the confines of the law. She’d better prepare for the discrimination lawsuits that will surely follow!

  11. hedlykarok Says:

    There is a historical precedent, use the link.

  12. North Palm Oldie Says:

    I would have no problem making smoking against the law in the entire state. It’s a disgusting habit and causes far more harm than good. However, to penalize qualified people for what they legally do in the privacy of their own homes sends a bad signal to the citizens of Palm Beach County. Go ahead and totally forbid smoking at work…it’s a great idea. But basic personal freedom is still the basis upon which our country was founded.

  13. SarahC Says:

    Government employees have to set a good example. We don’t generate any money, we spend tax dollars so, whatever measures taken to lower costs (including non-smoking, anti-obesity, etc.) is a step in the right direction of fiduciary responsibility. Health care is everyone’s problem.

  14. BG Says:

    WHAT ABOUT ALCOHOL CAUSES HEALTH EFFECTS TO.THEY CANT TELL U WHAT TO DO IF ITS LEGAL AS LONG AS YOU OBIDE BY THE LAWS YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO GET A JOB.I SEE MORE MONEY IN LAWSUITS THAN WHAT YOUR GONNA SAVE.ANOTHER GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL TRYING TO CONTROL US WHAT MORE IS THERE TO SAY.

  15. Meredith Says:

    How about if there’s a law for all Palm Beach County employees that says being a smoker is OK, but if you work for the County and you smoke, you have to pay your own health insurance. Let the idiots smoke (at home), but why should we have to pay for the cost of their habit?

  16. Linda Says:

    Smoking is still legal. What you do on your own time is your own business. Just like the many, many people who go out for a drink. As others have said, what’s next? The measures that should be taken should be to find new government officials who won’t rob the citizens blind!

  17. hedlykarok Says:

    Yes, setting a good example has the same precedent as the banning of smoking in bars and restaurants – Germany circa 1940

  18. Gail Says:

    I’m an ex-smoker and I think this is good
    because smokers are becoming the minority. What about obesity which has just as large a risk if not more because there are so many obese people. That also has many health risks and costs a lot medically.

  19. hedlykarok Says:

    Apart from public health concerns, the Nazis were heavily influenced by ideology;[28] specifically, the movement was influenced by concepts of racial hygiene and bodily purity.[46] Nazi leaders believed that it was wrong for the master race to smoke[28] and that tobacco consumption was equal to “racial degeneracy”.[47] The Nazis viewed tobacco as a “genetic poison”.[46] Racial hygienists opposed tobacco use, fearing that it would “corrupt” the “German germ plasm”.[48] Nazi anti-tobacco activists often tried to depict tobacco as a “vice” of the “degenerate” Africans.[46]

    The Nazis claimed that the Jews were responsible for introducing tobacco and its harmful effects. The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Germany announced that smoking was an unhealthy vice spread by the Jews.[48] Johann von Leers, editor of the Nordische Welt (Nordic World), during the opening ceremony of the Wissenschaftliches Institut zur Erforschung der Tabakgefahren in 1941, proclaimed that “Jewish capitalism” was responsible for the spread of tobacco use across Europe. He said that the first tobacco on German soil was brought by the Jews and that they controlled the tobacco industry in Amsterdam, the principal European entry point of Nicotiana.[49]

  20. jw Says:

    So if my top employee likes a cigarrette after lunch he or she will be fired. This is insane…. even smokers know it’s not good for them but, we live in a free country don’t we.

  21. john Says:

    No I wiil not hire smokers. My experience with working with them is:

    Too many smoking breaks
    They smell like the bottom of a ashtray
    They are not productive

  22. Paul Says:

    I am a non-smoker and for years, the idea of “smoke breaks” have drove me nuts and I believe they are absolutely absurd!! Sure you can hire smokers, but tell them they can smoke ONLY when on their time!! I used to tell my boss I am taking “my pretend smoke break” cause I deserve equal breaks. After 2 weeks, my boss stopped all “smoke breaks”

  23. SK Says:

    If this is allowed, what else can be allowed? Think about it. I am a smoker that only smokes when I have to walk to another building on campus. I am not using anyone’s time or money.
    Maybe when we get a decent health care system for everyone, than I would consider it, I pay for my insurance by working. Till then it is my right to do what I want on my own time that is legal.

  24. torn Says:

    I am a little torn about this one….I don’t smoke, and I do find it annoying that smokers I work with can take ten 15 minute smoke breaks a day, but if I stop to chat with someone, I get the dirty looks. It would be nice to put a ban on smoking. However, this is a free country, and the hiring process should be based solely on one’s work experience and knowledge. We cannot start discriminating against people for their “unhealthy, extra-curricular” activities, because where would it end? It’s not healthy to smoke, or to be obese, or to tan, or drink on a regular basis….I think the work life should be left at work, and the personal stuff anytime outside of that.

  25. robin banks Says:

    Outrageous. Whats next, people that drink? Thats legal too ya know. What nerve. I see discrimination lawsuits from here to forever. So what happens to the people that already are hired that smoke? They’re fired now? How much sense does this make? We are losing our basic rights each and every day and no one seems to care. Smoker or non-smoker, doesnt matter,she has no right to do this.If she’s allowed to get away with this, non-smokers watch out, you’re next, she’ll find something to take from you as well, I guarantee it.She needs to focus on all the money that is wasted and unaccounted for. Who made her Inspector General of Health. Outrageous.

  26. Jack Says:

    The problem is where does it end? We all pay the price for things we do not use or seldom use. Do the health person get a discount for not being sick, I think not. Why punish a segment of the population to a narrow minded group of people’s image of what is healthy. It is nothing more than a present day Salem Witch Hunt!

  27. goodhumord Says:

    Facts are Facts. An employer will not get as much work out of a smoker as a non-smoker. The addiction will not allow a smoker to last very long without a (smoking) break.

  28. Diana Says:

    For all of you who are complaining that they do not get the breaks that smokers’ do at their places of employment, that’s BS. Where I work everyone is entitled to two 15 minute breaks as well as their lunch break by law. To John’s comment above – I happen to be a smoker and I have been with the same law firm for 10 1/2 years, why? because, I am extremly productive! How about the drug addicts and alcoholics out there! As far as the Tax Collector not hiring smokers, get ready to hire a good attorney!

  29. Susan Says:

    This is such blatant discrimination!!!! For a government agency to say that they won’t hire someone because they smoke is like saying they won’t hire someone because they’re gay, or they’re fat, or a certain religious denomination. A big fat lawsuit is on the way Ms. Bock…git yourself ready!

  30. Alma Says:

    I wonder what other abuses the employees of this office is enduring at the hands of such a UNleader. Prime example of what some people do with a little power. Anne is concerned about cost and waist- just how much money did the Day of Training cost us tax payers? The staff spent countless hours practicing plays for the event all on company time when they should have been providing services to the tax payers. Then you close the office for a day to play. We had to take a back seat to the office day of play. Then the public is given miss information that it was a day of training. Where is the honesty in this-can you say shady ethics practices? Add it up- the lost production time, cost to rent the facility, cost of the businesses that provide dancing lessons and aerobics and other services. Or where those services donated? If so sounds like a ethics violation, receiving goods or services from a vendor/customer. Remember, you outlawed that when you first took office. Ungovernment, I think not. You are transforming a once dignified professional office into a circus. Not surprising when you value fish and games over gualified and professional employees, what you get is not an ungovernment office, but a typical government agency.

  31. cappy Says:

    So many people are always for taking others rights away as long as theirs are left alone. Well it starts with one right and will end with YOURS! I take my 15 minute break I am entitled to by law in the morning and afternoon to smoke. It takes me 5 minutes to walk to the alloted area (picked by nonsmokers with no complaints by me)and 5 minutes back. I take my 1/2 hour lunch. But, believe me, I watch many nonsmokers come to the smoking area to chat with the smokers. Also notice how many are alloted a 1/2 hour lunch and don’t mind stretching it to an hour. Same people have to go get breakfast before they begin work. I don’t care, just get off my back when I start working and don’t quit until break, lunch and going home.

  32. Amber Says:

    This is definitely discrimination and I hope the get sued so bad for this. I am a smoker and in a normal 8 hour work day I take 2 5 minute smoke breaks. My non smoking co- workers take more bathroom breaks then that! Everybody that smokes is not lazy and unproductive so people should watch what they say!

  33. Barbara Hamilton Says:

    Gannon says that “… smoking contributes to increased insurance costs….” and that her goal is to decrease the costs which result from tobacco use.

    What? Is the insurance company going to lower the premiums now that there are no smokers allowed? Somehow I find that hard to believe.

    It will be interesting if Ms. Gannon provides taxpayers with some figures in 6-12 months time showing how much money has been saved with this nanny state move.

  34. Ginger Says:

    No I would not! They take more breaks than anyone else! It takes 10 min to smoke a cig and these employees should ONLY have the same breaks liks us non smokers. But no they go out every hour and stink of the place and outside throw their nasty trash around. Then they walk back into our work place SMELLING! No I would not hire a smoker

  35. Jason Says:

    Smoke breaks disciminate against non-smokers. I once complained to a smoker about the number of extra smoke breaks they took during the work day that the non-smokers did not. Their response to me was “Just take a smoke break and don’t smoke.”

  36. Linda Says:

    Just charge the smokers extra on their insurance and also include fat people, drunks. Cut out the breaks if that is an issue with people who smoke. I don’t smoke and I really hated it when someone came back from a “smoke break” since they smelled terrible.

  37. Trudy Says:

    I guess when they came for the jews, I did not say anything cause I was not Jewish. Then they came for the gays and I did not say anything cause I was not gay. Then they came for the negros but I did not say anything because I was not a negro. Then they can for the christians and I did not say anything because I was not a christian. Then they came for me and it was no one to help me. Remember, this is how it always starts. At what point to we take a stand and say no not this time!

  38. Carol Albrecht Says:

    A foolish politician with little else to do. First,to all of you who are complaining about smoke breaks, every fulltime employee is entitled to two fifteen minute breaks per day. Second, we need leaders who are not myopic thinkers. Employees should be focused on productivity, not having to worry about what incredibly ignorant dictate will be handed down next.

  39. It's coming.... Says:

    It’s easy to make rules like these against smokers. I remember a friend of mine telling me about his abusive dad “the only thing worse than a smoker is an ex-smoker” they turn a complete 180 degrees from what they themselves did and are very mean and nasty about it. Just remember that when they use the “health benefits” and “insurance costs” arguments that it won’t be long before you overweight folks cost too much to keep around also. And how about those that drink regularly? It is a slippery slope when you tie employment with personal habits and those of you who are blindly approving of this are in for a suprise real soon.

  40. BIG MEXICAN Says:

    Oh my god can this be happing im an ex smoker and i quit because i did’nt want to have any dieseases as long as we pay our taxes this lady can’t just go out and say you can’t be hired just because you smoke.Also picking on smokers and obesed people alcholics is not fair.We need to focus on criminals not something that is legal.

  41. Jim Says:

    Thanks Anne Gannon for the concern. I’m glad that you are ready to control our personal lives just because we might work for you. I bet that you already have a pet project lined up to spend the so-called savings on, right? It is funny how these government people find ways to protect us from ourselves when we really need protection from them and their never ending greed and corruption.

  42. dave Says:

    Smokers are not a protected class… it is legal to discriminate against them.

  43. Let Down Says:

    I was an avid supporter of Ms. Gannon. She just lost me and I don’t even smoke. This reinforces the fear I have for loss of civil liberties and freedom in making personal choices as a citizen of the United States. Equal Opportunity for Smokers is just as important for any other marginalized citizen. Ms. Gannon, you have officially lost any future vote from this former supporter!

  44. Linda Says:

    Employees waste just as much time talking on their cell phones and playing on the internet during working hours when they have work to do.

  45. mary Says:

    Wow…. Discrimation much?!?! If that’s a MAJOR issue in
    hiring people then other guideline for this application must be a joke!! Got a felony? No problem! (I kno people with felony records cannot apply for federal jobs) Smoke some pot?! No problem!! But you smokers, you…your the real troublemakers!! Ahahahah!!! As a smoker myself this just gives me another laugh at why our state is
    so stupid.

  46. me Says:

    OMG!!!!!!!!!!! so because someone is smoker they are not allow to practice what they know and put their skills to work… this lady must be crazy, im not even a smoker and i think this is simply RIDICULOUS!!!!!!!!!!! taxes will still be charged and so will insurance or anything else the goverment decides to take these smokers pay just as the rest of us do. it’s not fair that they are punished for something like this… there are criminals out there that have the good jobs a smoker could have just because the employers don’t even check backrounds or criminal records but they complaint about a honest hard working person having a freaking cigarette? what is this world coming to???

  47. aldopb Says:

    ridiculous!!!!then don’t let anyone who applies work there if: they have had a drink or sex or used profanity or eaten meat or worn leather- and the list goes on!!in the last 12 months- what a crock and waste of time that these people have spent on this- hope fox news gets a hold of it and does a story – since little will be said here

  48. Dan the man Says:

    Dan is correct. Smoking is not classified as a trait of any of the protected classes currently immune to employment discrimination. The only possible suit here is a question of the constitutional integrity this decision may breach. I see no problem here…

  49. Just me Says:

    Isn’t the President of the United States a SMOKER? Maybe we shouldn’t have hired him because of it!

  50. Neloise Bell Says:

    I would not hire a smoker if I were in such a position to make the decision. 1. They smell of smoke;
    2. They take frequent breaks to smoke (non-smokers usually keep working).
    3. I presume they may also be suseptible to more frequent illness or disease because of smoking (loss of work) plus they usually have a smoker’s cough in the workplace.

  51. Sid Dinerstein Says:

    The only way to keep from hiring smokers is to tolerate an increase in the number of liars we hire.
    And the liars would be more justified than the snoopers.
    How about just hiring the competent, and leaving their out-of-office lives alone?

    Sid

  52. prnich37 Says:

    I know many smokers that do not take more breaks than non smokers. Most of the time a smoker goes out for their smoke and comes back within 5-10 minutes. I have seen non smokers spend more time in the day chatting, playing on the internet and texting. I have had friends that are smokers that I worked with that were more productive than the non smokers. I do that it is not government’s responsibility to pry into a legal choice someone makes on their personal time. I just moved to Florida and I am already thinking I made the wrong decision on living here and now this. Government should go after the illegal hispanics that are in our area making it impossible to get a good paying job because they work for much less since they all live in one house. They also are able to receive benefits. I have found that there are some illegal hispanics that have been in the United States for more than 10 years and they haven’t bothered to learn English. This is America and it is a shame that you have to be bilingual to get a job much less have to worry about not getting one just because you smoke.

  53. john0554 Says:

    Good lord, not another dumb stupid law. I would’t want to work there anyway. Who cares about her.And what skeletons does she have in her closet.

  54. JohnW Says:

    Now, if she hires a non-smoker and that person’s spouse smokes, are they denied coverage? Why not refuse to hire those with children? They call in sick more, have to leave for parent-teacher conferences, dental appointments and such. What the hell is this country coming to?

  55. Jessica Says:

    If the County wants to save money, maybe they should eliminate the Golden Palm Awards. They’re a joke because you can nominate yourself for just doing your job. Where’s the incentive to go above and beyond?

  56. SC Says:

    Not a smoker, don’t like smoking – That being said, it’s still legal to smoke in this country, so stop the discriminating hiring practices. Ms. Gannon needs to be reigned in now!

  57. EagleOne Says:

    I agree to add obese ppl to the list. Sorry, it’s a very selfish choice to smoke and OVEReat during breaks OTHERS don’t GET, that others don’t need to tolerate when you’re around… literally

  58. Jeff Says:

    This is Great!! I support this 100%. It is so frustrating to come to work, work your butt off and watch all of the disgusting smokers take a 10 minute or longer break every hour or so to feed their disgusting habit. I think that the job discription could be altered for the sake of the law to not hire people who need to take cigarette breaks. i.e. still make the job open to smokers, however have everybody sign a contract that prevents them from getting breaks to smoke.

  59. john Says:

    tobacco should be banned. The only reason the Gov puts up with it is the taxes it receives, they don’t care about the health issues. If smokers say it’s not addicitive ask one to quit and see how many hours they last. To the lawyer, you gonna sue them after you get terminal cancer.

  60. Brian Says:

    Can we vote this asshole out?

  61. Brian Says:

    Oh crap! I just found out she is an elected Democrat. We can vote her out of office next election. OH YES WE CAN!

  62. Lenee Says:

    I think it is unfair to descriminate. I knowe I have an addiction but it is my addiction.In our office the smokers get a half hour luch with two 15 min breaks a day. It should be that policy your company should be enacting! SOUND OFF!

  63. Smokers are people too | The Opinion Zone Says:

    [...] reported in the Post On Politics blog , that’s the new policy at the Palm Beach County Tax Collector’s Office. Tax Collector Anne [...]

  64. Tamara Says:

    Dont know how our why someone is able to descriminate like that it is legal to smoke in the united states. I am a smoker myself I I work a 8-12 hour shift and only smoke during my breaks that are given to me, and the way the economy is people my smoke as a away to calm there nerves with there situation at hand, better then doing balls of cocain NOW THAT’S ILLEGAL. People are having enough trouble in the county and in the world trying to find work and then you are going to put that stiuplation on them as well?? Now I may not know much about politics but I do know that what she is authorizing for she should be fired and whom ever elected her needs to pull her away from her position because that’s just b.s. even thow she is a non smoker she cant and shouldnt be able to judge people for there actions, only the lord can do that, and she is know where near him.

  65. j sidney sullivan Says:

    This war on smoking is a moral crusade. The fundamental objection of antismokers is that is is a vice, a species of self-abuse. The puritanical people who disapprove of smoking also disapprove of drinking, of gambling, and above all, of sex. If the prohibitionists win, we can look forward to a world that is not just tobacco-free and alcohol-free. It will also be chocolate-free, and coffee-free and meat-free, and salt-free, and free of any sinful indulgence that brings joy to existence. In this new religion of Healthism, the First Commandment is “Thou shalt not abuse thy body with any unhealthy practice”. The cathedral has become a gymnasium, its pews replaced by exercise bicycles, its sacraments exchanged for spring water and vitamin pills. In place of the cult of the immortal soul, there is the cult of the immortal body. Make no mistake, this is a religious war, driven by all the irrationality of a corrupt and depraved religion. It is a war on freedom and the autonomy of the individual.

  66. Greg Says:

    Beginning tomorrow, job applicants will have to submit a “non-smoking affidavit” to be considered for employment.

    Just do what the politicians do, lie.

  67. Sandra Wilson Says:

    I am not a smoker. Why would I want to smell it and be a second hand person to inhale the stuff!!! Kudos To All

  68. Victiria Says:

    I worked in a hospital for years side by side with pot heads stoned at work, who only recieved a drug test when hired and nothing was done about them! And this is what’s going to be done with smokers??? Which is a legal substance AND is being TAXED thru the roof on???!!! What’s next? No FAT people?? This is an outrage! It’s another form of discrimination!!!!
    As far as the people saying they are happy cause smokers take more brakes than non smokers…I don’t know where you work, but wherever I worked, I had 2 fifteen min breaks and half hour lunch. Just the same as everyone else?? If there are smokers getting more breaks than non smokers, then you have a serious problem with your supervisors!! Take that up with them!! NOT THE SMOKERS! I work harder than anyone,anywhere I worked! I earned my paycheck!

  69. Victiria Says:

    And refering to ms Sandra Wilson comment about smelling second hand smoke: I’d rather smell second hand smoke any day of the week than smell some cheap perfume that some people feel the need to bathe in before they come to work! That also applies to some men that do the same with cologon! How about body odor? Some people don’t feel the need to bathe OR use deoderant when they leave the house! How about doing something about them? I’m a smoker and I am always worried about smelling like smoke and I am always told I never smell!!?? There is no need to stink like an ashtray just cause you smoke so please don’t use that as an excuse! Do something about the foul smelling people FIRST!!

  70. Bonnie Says:

    Well, I hope she bans cell phone use also. There certainly seem to be plenty of people who routinely interupt their work day to answer their private cell phones while on the job.

    How about not hiring drinkers too? Alcoholism causes numerous health problems and accidents on the job and on the road. Drinkers never show up for work on Mondays because they’ve been partying all weekend and are the first ones out the door on Fridays because they have to get to “happy hour”. They sleep on their desks, hang out in the bathrooms and are always fogged in the head leaving everyone else to carry their load at work.

  71. JuJuBean Says:

    Hahahahah….no kidding!! So the people who DON’T smoke, yet bitch about those that do (and all their alleged “smoke breaks”) are sitting in their little cubicles surfing the internet and sending jokes back and forth on the company computer. Give me a break!!! Non smokers at work loaf off all the time.

  72. Hunter Says:

    I’m not a smoker, but doesn’t the county have a nondiscrimination policy? My mother works for the county and she gets the same breaks as everyone else 10:00, noon and 2:30. Funny how publicly paid “employees” feel they have self imposed power to dictate personal agendas. It will be interesting to see how this holds up once challenged.

  73. JuJuBean Says:

    Just wondering too. Does this mean she’s going to fire the people in her department that have been smoking?

  74. Observer Says:

    I find it very interesting to notice that non smokers spend an awful lot of time at work keeping track of smokers on their breaks. Shouldn’t they be working? Frankly, we were allowed two fifteen minute breaks and a half hour for lunch at just about every place I’ve worked. Smokers weren’t out there anymore than non smokers. In fact, the non smokers seemed to spend more time hanging out in the hallways yaking it up with each other and gossiping (probably checking to see where the smokers were). If they weren’t doing that they were on their computers sending jokes and emails they found on the internet. That’s considered STEALING in most companies policies, aside from the fact that it’s a waste of time while the job is not getting done.

  75. SV Says:

    Smokers cause their own worst enemy when it comes to trying to make your case and gain respect as a human sharing the earth with others. Dropping your used cigarettes by the door, or in the planting area, or tossing into the waterways – why don’t you carry a trash bag in your car for your trash? Why is someone supposed to pick up after you? You congregate around the entrance door so that others have to pull their shirt or jacket over their face so they can walk through the door. Your clothes carry the odor for a long time after you come back in.

  76. Arnold Says:

    we should not hire stupid women

  77. Jay Gardner Says:

    Another instance of a government out of control, using false facts to justify discrimation based on personal bias.

    If I wasn’t so busy working 12 hour days, and having a smoke when I can, I would apply to the Tax Assesors office for a job, just to have grounds to sue them.

    For you folks who think this is ok, are you a bit overwieght, have a drink, or any number of other things that some petty pencil pusher might not like, you very well could be next.

    For the record, I know of a LOT more people who DON”T smoke, who have health problems, than smokers.

  78. Karen S. Sams Says:

    I have worked for 45 yrs & until the Florida Clean Air law was passed, smoking was allowd in buildings. Since then, smoking allowed outside only. I never could take MORE Breaks than was allowed by Company policy. But to be discriminated against because of being a smoker is over the Top. I am not gay, obese, heavy drinker or any other thing that can be construed or discriminated for or against. Since when can a goverment Elected official change the laws to accomodate her views about a person’s personal life & what they do outside the work place. If thats the case, then the unemployment rate will sky-rocket & the State of Florida will spin downward because of that.
    Good Luck, Ms. Gannon, for the next round may cost you your job, because you are Blond, Tall, or walk with a limp.

  79. Victiria Says:

    Ok so you place an ad for a position. You interview a million people and narrow it down to two:
    the competent and experienced smoker
    or
    the stupid untrainable non smoker
    hmmm that’s a tough choice. So hire the village idioit cause he/she doesn’t smoke??
    I guess that’s how it’s going to be from now on.
    America is a very sad place

  80. Observer Says:

    According to the editorial, the town of North Miami already tried that route. They dropped the policy because it didn’t produce the cost savings anticipated and they couldn’t find enough qualified applicants for the jobs.

    Apparently, Gannon didn’t bother to do further research on the subject.

  81. Mark Says:

    The State just recently increased the tax on cigarettes by approximately $1.00 a pack. I wonder how much further in financial ruin the State would be if all cigarettes smokers stopped smoking.

    So, the county forbids hiring people who are using the product that they, by proxy, tax and rely on for operating capital? Yes, that makes perfect sense. Idiots!

  82. your contradicting Says:

    Mark, (above this comment).
    you are contradicting yourself by saying the Sate increased the tax by $1.00 and thay the County forbids hiring people that smoke.
    they are two entirely different governmental agencies.

    also, the county doesn’t forbid it, just the Tax Collector’s office.

    duh!

  83. SB Says:

    Were you all this angry and on the fence when you had to start wearing your seatbelts? Or when drunk driving became illegal? Or when you were asked to start seperating your trash? Thos are all personal habits of choice and lifestyle we have all changed over time in favor of the common good. Despite all of the statistics, are we really that opposed to protecting our own health or the health of our loved ones? Open your mind and check your ego at the keyboard!

  84. your contradicting Says:

    its nothing new. click on my name to see that has been going on in other places, including Florida county Sarasota, World Health Organization and others.

    by the way, its not just smokers, but tobacco users.. so it includes those nasty tobacco chewers.

    get healthy already!!! read the 10 results in the link (click on my name).

    :)

  85. Observer Says:

    Insurance companies routinely raise premium rates for female employees spimply because they’re “wome of child bearing age”, yet never reduce those premiums when women go beyond those child bearing years.

    Should Gannon then not hire women because their insurance premiums are higher?

    A much better approach regarding the smoking issue would be to NOT BAN smokers from being hired, but offer free clinics and support tools for employees and new hires to quit smoking all together. Attach bonuses and health credits to those that succeed, and encouragement to those that don’t succeed so they continue to try until they are successful.

    Incentives

  86. Sue Brown Says:

    This is crazy! I’m a non smoker, but smoking is legal. How can an employer tell you what you can or cannot do on your own time! They are not smoking on the job. Will Gannon stop hiring overweight people next, drinkers or how about women of child bearing age (that really brings up insurance costs)!!! When is her term up? She need to go. I sure hope no one votes for her again.

  87. Tom Says:

    If you don’t like it, look for a job somewhere else. Who wants to pay a portion of the medical bills for the smoker? Nobody. Why should a non-smoking employee pay the same health insurance premium as the smoker? That’s not right. Why not hire smokers but subsidize less of their premium? That might encourage them to work somewhere else.

  88. mary Says:

    RE: “Tom Says:
    November 5th, 2009 at 12:01 pm
    If you don’t like it, look for a job somewhere else. Who wants to pay a portion of the medical bills for the smoker? Nobody. Why should a non-smoking employee pay the same health insurance premium as the smoker? That’s not right. Why not hire smokers but subsidize less of their premium? That might encourage them to work somewhere else.”

    Tom!!! It’s called DISCRIMINATION!!! It’s the same as people being OVERWEIGHT and continuing to eat what’s making them heavy will FULL knowledge of what lies ahead for them health wise!! With what you mentioned above, what’s the difference between someone who smokes and knows the health risks and someone who’s overweight and continues to eat poorly and knows the health risks as well?!?!
    Wow…close minded Tom. Take a look at yourself in the mirror. I dont know you, and most likely there is a reason for that, and if you can honestly find NO fault with yourself (medically…smoking, drinking, eating.. anything in excess that can cause health issues) then your 1 in a million.
    Good luck with that.

  89. Kate Says:

    Smoking does not make a worker unproductive, a bad work ethic is what makes a worker unproductive. I am a smoker and usually made the Dean’s list in college and got my MBA. At work, I am the star employee who takes the most initiative and I got promoted quickly. Tobacco is a stimulant which means it gives you more energy. Obesity causes high health costs, and a fatty diet is proven to make you more sluggish.
    It is more than understandable if a government office is looking to cut costs, but they should ban all unhealthy habits if they are going to start making restrictions.
    In the end, it’s really the quality of work and the results that matter. Every person is unique, and if what they are doing on their own time is not affecting their work, they should not be banned from doing it.

  90. Lal Says:

    Kate said it perfectly

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