I agree with the policies of having a smoke-free environment in the workplace and not allowing smoking inside of facilites and even outside on the grounds. This provides a healthy work environment for everyone. But I feel not hiring people who smoke (on their own time and at home or away from the facility) goes too far and is discriminatory. Once it becomes acceptible to discriminate against smokers, will diabetics be next in line to be denied a position? Will employees' blood sugars be tested and those above 100 be denied a job? What about hypertension? Will employees have to have a blood pressure below 140/90 to be hired? Because hypertension can lead to heart disease, stroke and renal disease which may increase employers' health insurance costs. Where will this end? Will we become like the world portrayed in the science fiction film "Gattica" where only the most perfect are hired for the decent jobs? I am concerned about this trend.
Just like the acceptance and legalization of abortion 37 years ago has led to the acceptance of embryo/fetus killing practices of embryonic stem cell research, using aborted fetal tissue in developing vaccines, embryo reduction in the cases of multiple pregnancy and elimination of down syndrome fetuses after they are detected by tests, I am afraid that acceptance of denying smokers positions in healthcare will usher in more devaluation of individuals based on various characteristics. History has taught us that no one is safe from discrimination once we open the door to judging others as less valuable and a monetary drain on health insurance and society.