How smoking could make you unemployable

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Intrusive ‘wellness’ policies and rules on off-duty behavior are becoming widespread.

 Nearly a decade after she stopped smoking, Mabel Battle still has the last pack of cigarettes she ever bought. She keeps it as a reminder of all the gray Ohio winter workdays she spent standing outside her office with the other shivering smokers getting a nicotine fix.

The cigarette pack is a testament to her willpower, she says: after countless failed attempts, she finally quit. However, her success at giving up is also a striking result of a contentious corporate experiment. What finally prodded her into her decision was a fear that her habit might threaten her employment. “I wanted to keep my job more than I wanted to smoke cigarettes,” says Battle.

The Cleveland Clinic, where Battle works as a health unit coordinator, has been a leader in corporate anti-smoking initiatives. It first banned smoking on its 170-acre campus in 2008, and followed that up with a new policy to chemically screen job applicants for nicotine and refuse employment to those who test positive. Workers such as Battle who were on staff before the ban would not be fired for smoking in their free time, but she could see the culture changing.

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China Bans Smoking in Public Places but with No Penalties for Breaking the Rules

China's smoking ban

China introduces a smoking ban.

More than a million Chinese die each year from smoking related diseases, according to the China Centre for Disease Control.  China has the world’s most serious smoking problem so China has banned smoking in public places in an attempt to placate the World Health Organization, however, there are no penalties for those who flout the rules.

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Dutch Tobacco Smoking Ban Means No Tobacco In Joints

pot smoking

Dutch coffee shops face a new challenge when a ban on smoking tobacco in restaurants and cafes came into effect yesterday.

The owners claim the law, which will allow customers to light up potent tobacco-free pure cannabis joints but ban milder spliffs in which tobacco is mixed with cannabis, threatens to put hundreds of them out of business.

“It’s a bit like saying to someone you can go into a cafe and you can buy a beer, but you can’t drink it there – you’ll have to stick to whisky, rum and vodka,” said Paul Wilhelm, owner of De Tweede Kamer, a popular Amsterdam coffee shop.

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