The aim of the WHO in not recruiting smokers and
banning smoking inside some of its offices is to curb the smoking problem, at
least to some extent. Tobacco is harmful even to passive smokers
are people who do not smoke but are exposed to second-hand smoke. According to
the WHO, deaths due to tobacco-related diseases are more common than those
caused by malaria, maternal conditions and injuries together
Another reason why employees do not prefer smokers
is that smoking increases the rate of absenteeism and
results in higher health insurance claims
, thus increasing the financial
burden of the other employees.
However, it is important to understand that smoking is an
addiction. It may therefore not be easy for a person looking for employment to
give it up all of a sudden. Many smokers start smoking very early in their
teens, when they may not understand the implications of this addiction
on their future job. It is even more surprising that health care organizations
that are concerned about the health of the general population have implemented
such rules to their recruiting process.
Health insurance claims are also increased by other
ailments; some believe it is unfair to exclude only smokers for this reason.
They believe that implementing smoking cessation programs
would be more
useful for these individuals and could help to reduce the smoking problem to
some extent. In addition, financial incentives for non-smokers could also
assist in smoking cessation.
Some of the states in the US have prohibited the
discrimination between smokers and non-smokers during the hiring process.
However, there are many others, which do not have any such restrictions, and smokers
continue to struggle to find jobs
. Smokers are more exposed to illnesses
therefore, there is an even more urgent need to ensure that they are
financially stable. The ethics of not recruiting smokers continues to be a
point of debate until a universal decision is taken in this regard.
Schmidt H, Voigt K, Emanuel EJ. The Ethics of Not Hiring Smokers, 2013.