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WORK DRUG TEST - NICOTINE- HELP

shelly48shelly48 Posts: 87Member ✭✭
edited August 2012 in General Chatter

I recently moved and have applied for a job and must pass a drug test.  I don't know if they will test for nicotine, and am afraid to ask because I don't want to blow a job opportunity.  How long will nicotine stay in the system?  I'm figuring I will just go cold turkey for 2 days and hope for the best.  Anyone else have any tips?

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Comments

  • JmanJman Posts: 3,050Member
    That first link doesn't have much positive to say about nicotine. Seems to be contrary information to what vapers say about nicotine effects on the body. 
  • ViperViper Posts: 207Member
    Why would they test for nicotine?  Health insurance?

  • ViperViper Posts: 207Member
    edited August 2012
    Never heard of nicotine being tested by an employer.

    (Usually they are looking for marijuana, since we all know there are no useful people in society who smoke marijuana. Just look at failures such as John Lennon, Carl Sagan, Sir Richard Branson, Michael Phelps, Barack Obama, Ted Turner, Michael Bloomberg, etc. I bet you have never even heard of these losers, because they smoked pot and never got anywhere in life.)


  • joyfulriverajoyfulrivera Posts: 1,410Member
    thats what I'm wondering...I've never heard of any one being worried about nicotine in their system? just let them know its from a device to help u quit. For all they know u could be using the patch, or gum, ect...
  • joyfulriverajoyfulrivera Posts: 1,410Member
    That first link doesn't have much positive to say about nicotine. Seems to be contrary information to what vapers say about nicotine effects on the body. 
    Maybe, but they were referring to smoking and snuff. Did u also notice that nicotine according to the article is found in tomatoes and other foods??? Also says the effect of nicotine depends on the DELIVERY system, and how much u intake. No one said nicotine was completely harmless!
  • CocoPuffCocoPuff Posts: 337Member
    We have an area hospital system here in Ohio that does test for nicotine. However, those types of requirements are addressed up front. While it may be the policy of the hospital, it is not illegal to have nicotine in your system.
  • Shar53Shar53 Posts: 735Member
    I think they are looking for "illegal drugs" or prescription drugs that you don't list on your application.  I wouldn't worry about the nicotine but that was where I worked when they wanted a drug test.  Nicotine wasn't an issue there any more then caffeine was.
  • shelly48shelly48 Posts: 87Member ✭✭
    They didn't say anything specifically, but it is for a school.  I am hoping they won't, but don't want to ask up front and put them off.  If they do maybe I'll tell them I'm a tomato addict and have a husband who smokes!m  Thanks everyone for the input and awesome articles.  Everyone here is always so darn helpful.  I was one of the folks who struggled to make the switch at first and I credit all the wonderful folks here for being half the reason I won the struggle! ^:)^ =D>
  • DaddyCatDaddyCat Posts: 6,786Member ✭✭✭✭
      You're welcome and good luck at your school (job).
  • TAP352TAP352 Posts: 953Member
    If it's just a standard pee test those things don't test for nicotine. They test for pot, cocaine, certain opiates and benzos (valium and whatnot.) 
  • JimboJimbo Posts: 312Member ✭✭
    edited August 2012
    To pass a piss test (as we call them here in Australia) you have to understand how they work. Over here, piss tests are conducted randomly on minesites or mining related fabricators and I have been subjected to four in the same week?
    You will usually get a few hours notice of a random test but if you are arriving on site for the start of a two week roster you should expect to be tested on arrival.
    First, drink water, coffee, water, coffee and more water. The coffee will make you want to pee more and the water will give you something to pee. The downside is that the water will make your urine very clear and this will raise suspicion with the tester. Normally they will not accept a visually clear sample. They are looking for a pale lemon colour and will have a chart as to what constitutes an acceptable sample.
    The test looks for ppm (parts per million) of certain substances so the more dilute your pee is, the lower the parts per million count will be. However, the more dilute your urine is, the clearer it will be so it is likely your sample will be rejected.
    The trick is to take vitamin B. I don't know if they sell this in the US, but in Australia we have a soluble Vitamin B tablet called Berocca. They fizz up and make a nice orangey drink. For about half a day after taking one or two, your wee wee will be bright yellow under normal circumstances but if you are drinking lots of water as well, your pee will be just the right colour to keep the testers happy.
    I was asked to fly to site with twelve hours notice after a heavy binge on the Ganja and I did the above and came up negative. I drank so much water that I was permanently lining up for the boys room on the flight. I took my Beroccas just after I landed and I was tested an hour later.
    THC is the hardest thing to hide and I hid it. 
    This really does work so give it a try.

  • KenKen Posts: 463Member
    @shelly48 I'm sure if they used the term "drug test", they're looking for illegal substances, and abuse. You may want to impress your interviewer by informing them that you used to smoke, however you've given up the habit, and now use an alternative to smoking. Honesty is still the best policy. Best of wishes to you with your new job.
    <><
  • shadowsxckshadowsxck Posts: 206Member
    @jimbo they do sell vitamin B here. It is my favorite energy booster. I take 2 pills a day. A fizzy orange drink would be nice though.
  • ViperViper Posts: 207Member
    Jimbo: 
    Wow! 12 hours! Prior to the binge, how long had you been without ganja?

  • CynsonyaCynsonya Posts: 5,367Member
    Because smokers cost more for the employer to insure @a1rh3ad. It doesn't seem fair but I guess I have to understand the premise. What is truly unfortunate is that it doesn't allow for vaping, dissolvables, gum, patch users.

    Now CVS is making their employees declare weight on annual insurance paperwork. So it's only a matter of time before people will be charged or not even hired for being overweight/obese.
  • MikeVMikeV Posts: 511Member
    edited March 2013
    Only reasons they would test for nicotine are they have a policy hiring/employing non-smokers only, or health insurance reasons.  In the latter, they could be structured to either deny employment completely, or more likely not provide you a favorable premium rate.  No idea how long nicotine stays in the system, detection limits, or how sophisticated of a test they will give.

    As far as other drugs and 'beating the pee test', especially for marijuana realted compounds, I hear about all kinds of "tricks" that work, including dilution with vitamins for pee coloring, things to take to get the specific gravity of your urine up, blah blah blah.  I've even heard that you can buy substitute pee on the internet or synthetic urine.  These dip-stick drug tests are cheap and thus easily fooled through dilution, so I suspect that if a nicotine dip-stick test is submitted, that can be easily fooled through dilution, as well.

    But if they submit you to a MS/GC test and you've smoked pot within the last 30 - 90 days, you are cooked.  Unless, of course, you are able to submit someone else's urine or happen to be at a level below the detection limit or threshold.

    Good luck!
  • FreeBirdyFreeBirdy Posts: 52Member
    Saliva or urine nic tests are MAX 4 days.  Some are 2 days, some 3.  But 4 is max.  Just hope they're not asking for the hair follicle test.  That's probably like 2 years. Most likely, it's a urine strip/dip test that they can do in 5 minutes while they're doing the other urine tests for other drugs with the same sample. It will even detect second-hand smoke, patch nic, spray nic, etc. Some places are digging real deep, like life insurance policies. No way they'll give you a million dollar policy without asking for a few hairs to be ripped out of your skull, or worse if it can be detected on other bodily hair LOL.
  • MikeVMikeV Posts: 511Member
    edited March 2013
    Yeah @FreeBirdy.  Found this....

    Nicotine is metabolized into 20 different metabolic products out of which, cotinine is used as a "biomarker" for nicotine testing.  The half-life of cotinine is comparatively higher than other metabolites, and can be detected for up to 3-5 days upon last nicotine use. 

    Nicotine can be tested for by the presence of nicotine or its metabolites in hair follicles, urine or saliva samples as in the case of other drug/metabolite detection tests. Nicotine test is based on the principal of immuno-screening techniques coupled with HPLC, RIA, and Gas chromatography analysis. A positive detection of cotinine in human urine requires at least 200ng/ml cut-off levels. In some cases hair follicle based tests are used for testing the presence of nicotine/cotinine during pre employment drug screening. The advantage of using hair tests is that abstinence or adulteration of the specimen shall not be able to defeat the test. The drug remains in hair for as long as 90 days and can reveal medication/drug usage history of as much as past 6 months 
    :-q
  • FreeBirdyFreeBirdy Posts: 52Member
    @MikeV, realizing it's too late to help the original poster (didn't realize this was so long ago LOL), this kind of information can help other people that are using ecigs to obtain or sustain employment. I'm sure, with the way the trends are going, there is every incentive for company owners to find some kind of way to not hire smokers. They would probably do so for ANY person that wasn't in the best of health, if they were offering insurance. They're only getting lucky this time with nicotine.  They actually need to come up with a lab test that can tell an employer how much daily alcohol one consumes going back 6 months or so.  Or how much plaque is in someone's arteries.  It's all just so invasive, it's ridiculous.  They should stop at illegal drug tests and be done with it.  Testing for legal substances, it's so unreal.  Smoking is only ONE thing that makes a person less healthy.  That same employer would be guilty on the federal level if they didn't hire a 500 pound person, discrimination based on weight (now can be classified as a disability?).  But heaven forbid you're vaping, out you go.
  • MikeVMikeV Posts: 511Member
    Interesting @FreeBirdy.

    My company reimburses its employees up to $250 for smoking cessation products... and that INCLUDES ecigs, juices and hardware.

    While our policy does not formally recognize ecigs as a smoking cessation product due to the AMA not recognizing ecigs as such, our Human Resources department does feel the ecigs are healthier than smoking cigarettes and the very fact that they are vaping means that, at least at that moment, they are not smoking but have made a healthier choice.  We also give non-smokers a preferential health premium, which includes vaping and not smoking.

    So, I commend our company's position.  They could have easily followed the party line and said that vaping is not considered a smoking cessation system and not helped employees in that manner, financially.  But they did the right thing in recognizing that ecigs are far healthier than smoking and therefore those who vape and not smoke should be rewarded - reduces our health claims irrespective of the AMA's slow realization of that fact.
  • Corbs126Corbs126 Posts: 62Member

    I work at a hospital and as of January 2013 they started to test the applicants for nicotine as well as the usual drugs (opiates, marijuana, benzos, cocaine etc). If you fail the nicotine test you can apply again in 6 months. We used to be a "smoke free campus" but now it's a "nicotine free campus". I almost want to bring my V2 in and puff away so somebody will say something and I can point out that it's zero nicotine, but I don't really like to cause trouble and draw attention to myself.

    As for how long nicotine stays in your system and how they can test for it, wikipedia is your best friend.

  • FreeBirdyFreeBirdy Posts: 52Member
    WOW, 250 reimbursable for ecig supplies?? I'd actually confess afterward if necessary just to put in that big order LOLOLOL.  One of my driving reasons for starting vaping in the first place was to eventually go down to zero nic (DONE) and then apply for a job in a healthcare facility that I have my eye on. They do "drug testing," but I don't know what that MEANS to them -- include nic or NOT?? I didn't want to take any chances by saying "No, I don't smoke" (lying), then having nic included in the test, exposing me a big fraud. Yuck, can't take that chance.  I certainly hope they don't ask me "have you used tobacco products in the last ______ ? Six months? 1 year? 5 years? EVER? I DREAD THAT QUESTION should I get it, but I'm sure they'll ask me that on the paper BEFORE I submit the pee for sampling (like "are you on any prescription pain meds?).  Then they have it in writing that you lied.  So, I certainly hope that they don't ask me about tobacco use (last nic was only few months ago), because I really, REALLY don't want to lie, and if I see it there (like "in the last year?) I'll just say "no", but go home and call them back in a couple of days and say I have to decline, I'm working elsewhere, then reapply after they hopefully forgot about me, after the nic period wears off.

    I'm watching Kitchen Nightmares right now on Fox, and they're complaining that one of the owners/workers? just keeps lighting up cigarettes around everyone else. So funny watching these clips and remembering what the sound of Bic used to sound like! This ought to be funny... they complain about minty fresh breath LOL... wonder if Gordon Ramsey will suggest/buy her a V2 starter kit?? LOL!
  • MikeVMikeV Posts: 511Member
    You are right to never lie about those things, @FreeBirdy.  But you can certainly ask (without fear) what the drug test is testing.  And if they say the test includes nicotine, then tell them that you quit whenever, and let the chips fall where they may.  You can always plead your case and inform them you quit at some point.  No idea as to whether this helps, but it's not like they're dealing with illegal drug use or fraudulent response to a job application, so you have a chance to still be hired even though you used nicotine in the past.



    ^:)^
  • kdoddskdodds Posts: 2,571Member ✭✭
    Just tell the truth.  Lying and being caught will absolutely kill your chances.  Guaranteed.  The only reason they might test for nicotine is for insurance purposes.  Any result that shows nicotine (I've been told by numerous insurance reps and testers) and you will be considered a smoker by the insurance company.  They don't care if it's from gum, patches, vapor, cigarettes, whatever, you're a smoker, a high risk.  Other than that, there's no reason an employer would have for not hiring you based on your LEGAL recreations.
  • gotolamgotolam Posts: 525Member

    No offense to you folks who work for these Nazis, but I just can't believe we're taking this lying down.  The minute my employer wants to do a nicotine test is the minute I walk out the door.  Test me for all the illegal substances you want; but the minute you start testing me for legal products you've crossed the line.

    Smokers still comprise 20% of the American population.  I cannot believe we can no longer get hotel rooms, rental cars, or a smoking area at the airport.  We keep lying down.  This world is just going straight to hell in a handbasket. 

     

  • kdoddskdodds Posts: 2,571Member ✭✭
    You do realize that hotels and rental car agencies are just appeasing the no-smoking whack nuts who THINK they can smell (and be affected by) smoke from the guy was in the room (or car) a week ago.  I've never been penalized for "breaking the rules".  In fact, I've been told, unprompted,  by both hotel concierges and rental sales reps who've seen my cigarette pack to "not worry" and "just take it easy".  Anyway, because of the health penalties, if an employer is affording contribution to a health plan, or if that plan will be effected by smokers, it's certainly within their rights to make reasonably sure that you're not lying.  Unfortunately, they test only for nicotine to determine "smoker", which is of course unreliable.  Insurance companies don't really care on that, it's just a higher premium to them.  By the same token, wouldn't an employer ALSO have a right to know if they were employing an alcoholic?  Also legal, but far more detrimental day-to-day, short term, then smoking.
  • FreeBirdyFreeBirdy Posts: 52Member
    @gotolam, I'm thinking that YEAH, you're right. I really don't feel an employer has the right to test my body for ANYTHING. I would feel the same way if they said, "Look, we now have to give you an angiogram to see how clogged your arteries are." Or "we need a set of xrays and a CT scan first." Or "you'll need to submit to a CHEM20 lab test for blood, just to check your general health." It's just WRONG AND ILLEGAL to ask about THOSE things!  Why should anyone have the right to know what my health risk factors are? Do they want my BMI too, like CVS IS NOW DOING, or you pay a 600 dollar penalty??? Why are they PERMITTED TO DO THIS? This is one time (and there aren't MANY) that the GOVERNMENT should step in and STOP THIS, stop these loopholes around the laws that state you can't ask about a person's health!!!  Isn't testing me for nicotine an invasion into my health??? I believe they should ONLY BE ALLOWED to test for nicotine IF I ACCEPTED THEIR INSURANCE, which is AFTER I AM HIRED.  THEN I agree, I have to tell them if I'm a smoker!  But now a hospital in my area just changed to "we don't hire any more smokers!!!!"  THIS should be ILLEGAL! Why ISN'T IT?  That's like "we don't hire overweight people???" They're a HEALTH RISK? CVS wants to know your BMI so they know who they need to get rid of over the next 2 years, by laying off THEM when they have to cut back? Then they won't KNOW why they were selected for the cut back??? I agree about knowing if the employee was an alcoholic IF they were drinking or drunk on the JOB.  I'm not sure an employer should have the right to know if I had a couple of beers or glasses of wine every single night (drinking every day is considered an alcoholic!). I don't think it should be the right of my employer to know IF the couple of beers I had every night did or did not affect my health thus far (by testing).  I also don't feel an employer has a right to know about ANYTHING I do that MAY shorten my lifespan or MAY make me sick or MAY make me die... especially if I'm still alive and NOT showing any signs of illness. It's just...well WRONG. What's next, they want to test the samples they took from me for genetic profiles as well?  Should I have to inform them if I ALREADY have an illness, or cancer, or COPD, even IF I never smoked???? Why should they have the right to know what I do, when that thing I do hasn't DONE anything negative to me yet.. and may NEVER do so?  My dad was a chain smoker all his life.... never had an illness. Died at 75 from PROSTATE cancer. Obviously, cigs never affected him negatively. Why should he suffer with an employer when he didn't become affected by cigs the way some others did?  So many legal and moral dilemmas, will it ever end.  Will anyone ever step up and say "you don't have the right to know ANYTHING about my health, but you may test me for illegal substances and alcohol any time I am ON THE JOB WORKING FOR YOU. Period.

    IT'S ALL WRONG.  @MikeV and @kdodds, I just checked the company I was interested in.  Now I'm seeing that they have "great benefits," one of them being a "stop smoking program for employees." That means they DO or at least DID hire smokers, or they just DON'T TEST for that more likely, but are willing to help.  Hmmmm don't know if it would be worth telling them if I were a smoker. With my luck, if I smoked and did that, they would only give me 10 free stop smoking counseling classes, a box of Nicorette gum, a box of patches, and a "I'm smoke free" button, while Mike is surrounded by his 250 dollars worth of ejuices laughing at me!
  • MikeVMikeV Posts: 511Member
    LOL @FreeBirdy!  I'll be honest with you... while I am eligible for the $250 in vapeware reimbursement, I don't take advantage of the program.  But, not saying why :-)   I will say that if they don't ask you if you are a smoker, I certainly wouldn't volunteer that info!

    Sorry @Gotolam.  Think I might have to disagree with ya on the "week ago" smoking in the hotel room or car and smell and just appeasing non-smoker nuts or whack-jobs out there.  I haven't quit smoking completely, but still partake in a smoke once in a while but I guess I'm happy that most hotels and car rental agencies don't allow folks to smoke in their rooms or car rentals. Especially in hotel rooms.  After some time, that smoke saturates the linen, bedding, car interiors, etc., and you can smell stale old smoke in those rooms or vehicles even if no one has smoked in them for days, weeks, or months.  And, you can smell stale, stenchy smoke in the hallways on smoking floors of those hotels that still permit it.  If the non-smoking rooms are over-booked, I can understand how non-smokers are offended by that smell if a smoking room is their only option - especially now that I smoke very little.  So, not sure how else car rental agencies and hotels can discourage non-smokers from sneaking smokes in their vehicles and in their non-smoking rooms without levying a fine to the offender.  

    Sure, no doubt some of these hotels and car rentals have an ulterior motive to make a few bucks on fines, but the biggest reason is cost of cleaning and offense to their large customer base of non-smokers.  Now, I just vape in those rentals and hotel rooms - no issues, no fines, and no offending non-smokers!
  • kdoddskdodds Posts: 2,571Member ✭✭
    'Twas actually, me, @MikeV, who made the comment.  Actually, I've been in the hotel industry, pre-smoking ban.  And, yes, smoking rooms reek.  But that's not what I am talking about.  In a non-smoking hotel room, if you smoke a few cigarettes a day for, say, three days, in the bathroom, with the vent on, even the very next guest, even the maid, will have trouble smelling whether or not anyone smoked in the room.  IF there's residual AND there's a continual 80% chance that there will continue to be no smoke, after a week, no, even the better than average human nose won't detect smoke.  Same with cars.  Smoke one or two on  the way to work, one or two on the way home, windows open, no one will smell it.  Not unless you return it right after smoking.  BTDT, never had a fee, nor even a hint of one, even from "adamant" non-smoking places.
  • sdoddsdodd Posts: 1,174Member ✭✭
    I can see both sides to the issue here. As an employer, I am very aware of how employees who smoke, have serious illness etc...will severely impact the cost of health insurance that can be offered to those employees. Considering we pay 80/20, we would love to have only healthy, non smoking workers. I can also see wanting to know prior to hiring an employee whether or not they smoke because even if they have other insurance at the time or declare they will decline our health insurance. We are required by law to offer all employees health insurance if available. What happens to us (the employer) if they decide once they become eligible that they now do in fact want to become enrolled in our health insurance plan? We must accept them and our premiums will now go up. I would want to know prior to employment so that I could weigh the benefits of the potential contribution (profit) of the employee vs the negative (raise costs).

    Now as an employee, I would want my employer out of my business. I can kill myself how I like. But since I do have the mindset of an employer I couldn't not tell them that I smoked (if I still did) because it is their business and profit that I would be impacting. I would be fine with letting them make the decision whether or not to hire me based on how much they thought my smoking would impact their company.

    Hope I made sense there! LOL
  • kdoddskdodds Posts: 2,571Member ✭✭

    @sdodd Perfect sense, and agree 100%.  The important thing to understand here is that, human to human interaction removed, business is business.  The employer is, first and foremost, looking to acquire an asset (the potential employee) that will benefit his/her/their company.  Like it or not, there are various way in which an employee can severely impact a company in their private lives.  Smoking is one of those ways.

    As an employer, my position would be hands off on smoking, but if I were an HR guy in a larger company with anti-smoking policies, my proposal would be to offer incentives for non-smoking employees, i.e. bonuses, justifying nicotine testing, and allowing smokers or non-smoking objectors to opt out.

  • sdoddsdodd Posts: 1,174Member ✭✭
    LOL and I agree with you as well @kdodds! Definately options / incentives for quitting! For some reason I didn't think about that when writing my post :)
  • gotolamgotolam Posts: 525Member

    It's not all "business is business".  That's why there are laws like EEO, minimum wage, etc.  Not everything is subject to a bottom line.  As someone who is very pro-business, I still think there are basic, common-sense lines that should not be crossed. 

    "We must accept them and our premiums will now go up. I would want to know prior to employment so that I could weigh the benefits of the potential contribution (profit) of the employee vs the negative (raise costs). "

     

    What's to stop you from wanting to know how much alcohol I drink?  Or what kind of sex I'm having?  Or how much bacon I'm eating?   All in the name of minimizing health insurance cost.   Do you ask your women employees whether they plan on having children?  How far do you get to go?

     

  • kdoddskdodds Posts: 2,571Member ✭✭
    Insurers do not raise your rates because you eat bacon, they do, however, if you have nicotine in your system.  Bad analogy.
  • gotolamgotolam Posts: 525Member
    So now you're going to choose your employees based on criteria set forth by your insurer?
  • kdoddskdodds Posts: 2,571Member ✭✭
    No, I'm going to weigh the impact of the insurance on my bottom line.  Minimal impact, minimal concern, right?  If my company offered an insurance package that was 100% employee funded, it wouldn't be a concern at all.  But weighing a thing doesn't mean eliminating a smoker from employment necessarily either.  If I feel this person is the most qualified individual and the insurance impact doesn't outweigh that (which it shouldn't given current rates), then of course that person would be hired.  You do, however, have to realize that as an employer, if the insurance rates differ and you're contributing a percentage (versus flat rate), you're actually subsidizing and favoring the smoker.
  • sdoddsdodd Posts: 1,174Member ✭✭
    edited April 2013
    Second @kdodds. As an employer I don't care what you eat, who you sleep with or what ever you do on your own time. I do care if your life style effects your work and my profits by my paying 80% of your healthcare costs. If I can lessen my costs by not hiring a smoker, alcoholic ect in the first place, I will. If that an interviewee does not show that his contribution to my company would offset his cost to my healthcare plan etc...I will take that into consideration when hiring him.

    As an employer, each year we are given a set list of health care plans that takes into account all employees health issues, vices etc. Over the past 7 yrs the costs for ALL plans sadly have risen astronomically to both employers and employees. We have tried to keep costs down as much as possible for our employees while still giving them good plans. It's a tough thing to do.
  • MikeVMikeV Posts: 511Member
    It sure is, @sdodd.  Our Group Insurance went up almost 25% over last year.  We pay out almost $9800 per employee, now.  That's 75% of the cost.  Employees pick up the rest.

    Non-smokers get a lower premium. While obesity doesn't anything to lower health care costs, illnesses associated with smoking are much greater cost to the insurance companies, i.e., the company.  The logic for increasing premiums for smoking (or decreasing them for non-smokers) over something like unhealthy eating habits is apparent.

  • kdoddskdodds Posts: 2,571Member ✭✭

    While I haven't crunched all of the numbers, I can't imagine smokers cost more than obese people.  You have to remember that any time a smoker gets cancer, smoking is blamed and counted.  For all cancers.  And yes, smokers are more prone to emphysema (later years mostly, post-employment age) and high blood pressure, etc.  But the list of obesity related diseases and incidence of those diseases is far higher.  In fact, high blood pressure, heart attacks, diabetes, miscellaneous joint and muscle issues, high cholesterol, stroke, on and on, and the obese population, AFAIK, far outnumbers smokers by percentage, and that percentage is growing at an alarming rate.  I can't imagine that smoking costs insurance companies more than obesity does annually.  It's just acceptable to ostracize smokers for their habits whereas obesity isn't considered in the same way.  Although, that IS changing as well.  More and more people are coming to realize that obesity is a simple equation, too much food, not enough exercise.  Oddly, since I hate reality shows, I actually applaud that lose weight show for what it has shown Americans.

  • FreeBirdyFreeBirdy Posts: 52Member
    Read this article from Forbes....

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/rickungar/2012/04/30/obesity-now-costs-americans-more-in-healthcare-costs-than-smoking/
    Apparently, it IS going to be legal with some kind of CLAUSE under Affordable Care Act to charge employees who are OBESE more premium money as their share of health care costs, should they not participate in a weight losss wellness program. What's next, the family history of heart disease or cancer clause?  The black woman hypertension clause?  The weekend extreme-sports lover clause?  The Childless Female Under 30 and I'm Likely Gonna Have Some Babies Clause?

    People with chronic conditions fill more prescriptions, see doctors more, etc. But the smoking and obesity things, they're like charging people for things they HAVE and MAY incur charges for before they've even shown that THEY PERSONALLY are racking up charges due to the "condition."  Is smoking a "condition?" No, it's a RISK.  Same with being obese. I know LOTS of obese people who aren't filling any prescriptions or going to the doctor for it, let alone for a secondary condition cause by it.  Same with smokers. Sort of like car insurance, I guess. Sports cars and red cars cost more to insure, even though you never drive over 30mph. Or home insurance. Those without alarm systems or window gates cost more to insure (or less to insure IF they have these... depends on what angle you're looking at!).

    The real tragedy here is that, directly or indirectly, the government - through employers - are getting to control people's lives, forcing many to do what the government wants you to do by making you PAY out of your pocket for doing the things that they don't want you to do ... even though YOU might be paying for ALL of it out of YOUR own pocket in some cases.  The government just can't afford for THEMSELVES to foot the bills for these costs for those who AREN'T/CAN'T pay for it themselves.  Like they did with analogs.  Hmmm how can we get more smokers to stop?  Let's let the feds on down to the local governments collectively put a 56% tax on a pack of cigarettes, even though the're already 3-4 dollars a pack.  Using taxes as a weapon to control what the masses can do and enjoy is just unbelievably sick. It's kind of unfair on people who are on the lower end of the socioeconomic scale, since those who make a great living can often afford these increases but get to keep their vices and toys (not to mention their insurance as smokers and overweights). But it's those who have no choice, like the low wage CVS employees who can't afford the $600 a year to say "screw you, no, you can't know my BMI" that are literally forced to comply with the "voluntary" commands of their employers.

    I do "get it" that employers benefit from knowing as much as they can from their employees as far as lifestyle and health go, and want to know how it will/may affect their work.  But aren't there MANY other things that affect in this way.  How about a Jew needing to leave at 4pm every Friday to make it home for sundown?  Should an employer have a right to know religion because they were really looking for someone who could often cover an evening shift if necessary?  Should they be able to ask if you have any children, their ages, and what your plans will be and who your backups are should they become sick during the day and need to go to the doctor or leave school?  Should they be able to question you about whether you have any elderly parents living in your home that you provide caretaking for and may have to run home to?  I don't think so, Asking whether you're "flexible" 24/7 might cover that question, but they don't have the right to know WHY you are not available after 7pm every night. It actually IS illegal to ask if you have children, isn't it? It's because women are seen as the primary caretakers and being discriminating against.  Not because they're WOMEN, but because of the CHILDREN.  And obesity?  It's a fact that there are way more obsese minority women (Hispanic and African-American) than whites, and more Hispanic obsese men than all other groups.  I don't fall under any of those groups (as if I need more strikes against me for insurance LOL), but isn't that indirectly a way of legally discriminating against minorities and keeping more of them out of the workforce while putting more whites IN?  The slope is WAY too slippery here.  We have all these expensive programs out there helping to get minorities employed, then we turn around and shoot outselves in the foot by taking so many of them OUT in another way.  Then we'll wonder in the future why there is again a disproportionate number of minitorities unemployed.

    Why should it be alright to know my BMI but not be able to ask if I have a disability that will cost the insurer 3,000 dollars a month in prescriptions?  The whole situation, to me, has horrible overtones of artificial selection, where those with healthy lifestyles and fit bodies will be overwhelmingly selected for workforce positions, leaving anyone who does not fit that profile to join the ranks of the impoverished, where there are already millions of people being discriminated against for a slue of other undesirable traits, even those who have laws currently in place to help make sure that wouldn't happen (like the disabled).

    Pretty scary stuff when you consider that 2/3 of the population of the U.S.A. is overweight or obese and steadily climbing at epidemic rates.  I shudder to think how all this will be handled 50 years from now, as it's already enough to be highly concerned about.
  • MikeVMikeV Posts: 511Member
    I stand corrected:


    Assuming this source has it right.
  • kdoddskdodds Posts: 2,571Member ✭✭
    I would assume that they are.  And note that they qualify that the figure might actually be higher accounting for obesity related conditions.  For years, if you're a smoker and you have a heart attack, smoking has been regarded as the cause.  IOW, there is no adjusting for co-conditions with smokers like there is with obesity.  And it doesn't even matter if there is a strong family history and non-smoking, or if there's a history of non-smoking lung cancer (I actually know two families where this is the case, in low-risk employment no less).  Despite probable genetic pre-disposition, if you get something considered to be smoking related, and you're a smoker, smoking caused it.  One of the biggest fallacies of our time, non-science.  That includes the original study that "proved" the danger of second hand smoke that was thrown out of court on closer inspection because of insufficient sampling, literally made up figures/number, etc.  And this is a study that is still quoted today.  I'm not disputing the dangers of smoking (first or second hand), but I am saying that making things up to prove your point is far, far worse.  And don't even get me started on global warming, where historical, actual recorded temperatures have even been changed, oops, sorry, "adjusted", like the person reading the thermometer back then was incapable of doing so.
  • sdoddsdodd Posts: 1,174Member ✭✭
    edited April 2013
    .
    FreeBirdy said:
    How about a Jew needing to leave at 4pm every Friday to make it home for sundown?  Should an employer have a right to know religion because they were really looking for someone who could often cover an evening shift if necessary?  Should they be able to ask if you have any children, their ages, and what your plans will be and who your backups are should they become sick during the day and need to go to the doctor or leave school?  Should they be able to question you about whether you have any elderly parents living in your home that you provide caretaking for and may have to run home to?  I don't think so, Asking whether you're "flexible" 24/7 might cover that question, but they don't have the right to know WHY you are not available after 7pm


    That's what personal days and vacation days are for. If a person has to leave at 4 pm and we work until 7 pm they wouldn't be hired. I wouldn't care (nor even ask why) if they had to leave for religious reasons, personal reasons or whatever. Their schedule doesn't fit my employment needs. No discrimination there, IMO
  • kdoddskdodds Posts: 2,571Member ✭✭
    An employer has the right to know whether or not you can work the given hours that the position requires, absolutely.  FWIW, the majority of Jewish folk (Reformed) are not as strict in holding to these rules whereas Orthodox and Hassidic folk would not even consider a position that required them to work during times that they can not work according to their beliefs.  So, it's pretty much a non-issue, at least here in the NY/metro where the Jewish population is higher than, say, the suburban and rural Midwest.  It's kind of like stringent pacifists and Smith and Wesson, the two just won't mix.  Regardless, I have had Hassidic plumbers perform mitzvahs on Sabbath when my family had no water, and any Rabbi worth his salt would tell a temple member that family, health, and well-being come first.  If the choice is to have your family starve on the street or take the only job available that requires you to work on Sabbath, body as temple, you have to accept the latter.  That or move to an area where you can gain employment.
  • LlamainmypocketLlamainmypocket Posts: 169Member
    I intend to avoid the smoker penalty by either opting out of the physical if possible, tell the truth that I do not smoke, and if all else fails, sign up for a smoking cessation program. However I will not pay the penalty and as e cigarette users increase in number and healthcare becomes mandatory I will expect those healthcare companies to get sued. 
  • LlamainmypocketLlamainmypocket Posts: 169Member
    As it is currently I'm surprised they havent already been sued by the people who chose to use nicotine gum forever. 
  • DrewskyDrewsky Posts: 1,947Member ✭✭
    We have a local employer who does not hire smokers and does test for nicotine. I'd put on a patch and tell them that's where the nicotine came from. "I'm done with smoking at almost done with the patches! It really does feel good and I feel so much better."  :-\"
  • MikeVMikeV Posts: 511Member
    Not sure about the patch thingy.  My guess is that some "no-smoking" policy employers really are "no nicotine" employers, and so wearing the patch or chewing gum doesn't get you off the hook.  Your body has to be nic free, or put more precisely, the nic level must be below the test threshold.

    With the advent of ecigs, I think that privately held companies should rethink their positions on nicotine.  They evidently have the right to limit employment to nicotine "free" and test for it.  However, isn't the real issue the health effects associated with smoking tobacco and possibly other combustible products that have shown strong correlations to adverse health effects and healthcare expense?  

    Wouldn't it be more "fair" or reasonable to apply a way to discern between tobacco smokers and vapers who do take in some nicotine, but not the other nasties and carcinogens?  And for all practical purposes, second-hand vape is a non-issue so I think we can take that off the table.

    What other compounds are created and show up in the urine, hair, whatever, from tobacco smoking can they test for, and take nicotine off the list?  
  • onlyfreeonlyfree Posts: 1Member

    I agree with everything FreeBirdy has to say! This is America! Each individual has to respect freedom or else there will NOT be A Free Country soon! Obamacare is another way for the Government taking control over your life! If smoking is legal, (and remember "We the People" make the laws, we vote we put people in the house and senate, etc) because we have said it should be, why are we tolerating non smokers make laws that affect our freedom, in this aspect? Do we do this with other issues?
    Yes Companies and the Government are crossing the line big time when it comes to are Inalienable Rights! We need not be sheep! We will have big problems because it starts with something small like this and it just balloons! Americans? Let’s not become a nation of complacent, lazy, and passive people! Stand up for your rights! Discrimination has many faces!

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