Friday, February 19, 2010
More US companies refuse to hire smokers
"Americans who smoke are beginning to feel unwanted as federal laws prevent them from smoking in public buildings. The World Health Organizations says smoking is considered a high risk factor in six of the eight leading causes of death worldwide. Medical experts have long preached about how smokers can quit. Now a growing number of employers in the United States are refusing to hire them. Some smokers are wondering what kind of discrimination is next. More and more Americans who smoke are beginning to feel unliked and unwanted. Federal laws prevent them from smoking in public buildings. They are not allowed to smoke within a certain distance of those buildings. Since the federal law was passed a decade ago, many state and local communities have followed suit. Now a growing number of companies and hospitals will not hire smokers, or worse, will fire them if they are caught lighting up. The World Health Organization says at least five million tobacco users die every year from lung cancer, heart disease and other smoking-related causes. The WHO says if current trends continue, tobacco-related deaths will climb to at least eight million a year by 2030.