Tobacco Users Need Not Apply!

In recent years this message has begun to appear at the end of job descriptions in many different fields. Except for the closing clause, some of these positions seemed perfect for a current chewer. The chewer may feel such hiring practices are discriminatory and feel great resentment toward the prospective employer.

In fact, some companies are now implementing no tobacco rules for current employees. Where once the chewer was able to chew at his or her desk without a hassle, now they must go to designated areas. And in some cases, they may not be able to chew at all for eight hours a day due to total bans on tobacco. Even though an employer may face animosity from such an anti-tobacco policy from existing employees, prospective applicants, and even some clients, the practice is gaining popularity in the business community.

Why would management be in favor of such restrictions on chewers? Because a tobacco using employee is a financial liability. Estimates of the additional costs of an average chewing employee range from several hundred to several thousands of dollars per year. Multiplied by several employees, tobacco users may end up costing an employer tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars annually. Tobacco users cost more due to increased medical costs, higher insurance premiums, decreased productivity, more illnesses, and more accidents. Besides this, employee morale becomes affected when the second hand smoke issue surfaces. All in all, the economical and logistical burden placed on an employer due to employee using tobacco is substantial.

It used to be that all a chewer had to worry about were the crippling and deadly effects of chewing. Then the social stigma became a major concern. But now he must also consider the professional ramifications of chewing. After all, if he can’t find work, it will become increasingly difficult to afford a several hundred/thousand dollar a year addiction to chew.

Being a tobacco user can limit your potential for physical, mental, social, professional and economic growth. Today, being personally and professionally successful is a difficult venture. All chewing will do is further complicate an already overly complicated situation. Besides this, the physical assault of chewing will affect your health and may eventually cost you your life. Is chewing worth all these risks?

© Joel Spitzer 1986
The original article has been modified to be more relevant for dippers and chewers.

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