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01/09/2012

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Brad F

Paul
While I cant say I am completely comfortable with the policy, I can live with it.

The same way we tax tobacco--its regressive as folks of lesser means take up the habit in greater numbers. One justification is its impact as a negative deterrent for future smokers. By the same means, if more companies adopt this policy, might it have a similar effect?

Putting it bluntly, shorter term pain for some, longer term gain for many others? The landscape will be such that smoking acts as an obstacle for job ascertainment. Granted, this might impact a sliver of indivduals negatively, but the alternative is the status quo.

Will a policy like this, if widely adopted, allow greater number of folks to take the fight back to big tobacco at a lesser cost, with less effort? The states have stalled it appears, although some pockets of success (NYC) break through with herculean efforts. On that latter count, difficult to scale. I understand that companies are not attempting to wage a war with the tobacco companies--they are looking out for #1--but it certainly is a "positive" externality..

Brad

Paul Kelleher

Brad, you write:

"Granted, this might impact a sliver of indivduals negatively, but the alternative is the status quo."

This assumes there are just two options. But I would like us to get more creative, rather than see our options limited to these only. As I understand it, there is evidence showing that certain smoking cessation programs are the way to go. So we should be creatively encouraging these. Many people smoke because their lives are significantly constrained. And many of those constraints are linked to injustice in the wider economy, as well as to tobacco-related policies that are more counterproductive from the point of view of public health than hiring smokers would be. I don't see the case for making constrained smokers bear the brunt of further efforts to prevent smoking in the future. I hope there are gentler, more respectful ways to pursue that goal. I think there are.

Brad F

Truth be told, I set myself up for your absolutely correct response.

I was actually thinking of this when I wrote my post:
http://www.tobaccofreekids.org/what_we_do/state_local/tobacco_settlement/

This is emblematic of "status quo" unfortunately, and my intent, while harming a few, was to send a greater economic message.

Living just south of Harlem, believe me, the Newport ads and permissiveness of this habit are front and center. I want the gentler interventions, believe me, but the political will is absent. Even in my own state, time and time again, the deciders fall short.

My response was visceral and rational. Maybe not the best combo.

Brad

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