Home
Newsletter
Events
Blogs
Reports
Graphics
RSS
About Us
Contact Us
Write for Us
Media Info
Advertising Info
Smokers

To Save on Health Care Costs, Counties Refuse to Hire Smokers

Friday, September 05, 2008 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
Tags: smokers, health news, Natural News


Most Viewed Articles
https://www.naturalnews.com/024078_health_care_costs.html
Delicious
diaspora
Print
Email
Share

(NaturalNews) Counties and cities across Florida are increasingly refusing to hire smokers, in an effort to reign in rising health care costs.

Employers' right to discriminate against smokers in hiring was upheld by the Florida Supreme Court in 1995, when a woman sued the city of North Miami for violating her privacy by asking about her safety habits. But the court agreed that the cost of smokers to the public - $4,611 per year in 1981 dollars worth of health care benefits to each smoker - justified the practice.

A more recent estimate by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that each smoking employee costs an employer $3,400 per year in medical expenses and lost productivity.

Based in part on that study, Sarasota County became the most recent in Florida to adopt a no smokers policy. New employees will be required to affirm in writing that they have not smoked in the past 12 months and to submit to drug testing for nicotine. Existing smoking employees will be allowed to keep their jobs, but will be required to take a free class about quitting smoking and will be charged more for health care coverage. They will also be encouraged to take advantage of free resources to help them quit.

"We could potentially lose some very valuable employees," Sarasota County Commissioner Nora Patterson said, "but all things being equal it's probably a good thing."

Ten years ago, about 6,000 businesses across the country "discriminate[d] against off-duty smokers," according to a study by the Administrative Management Society. The number is only expected to keep increasing as health care costs continue to grow.

Sarasota County pays $31 million per year - $8,600 per worker - in health care costs, making it the single most expensive employee benefit. Fifteen percent of employees account for 85 percent of that cost, due to severe illness.

Sources for this story include: www.heraldtribune.com.

Receive Our Free Email Newsletter

Get independent news alerts on natural cures, food lab tests, cannabis medicine, science, robotics, drones, privacy and more.


comments powered by Disqus


Natural News Wire (Sponsored Content)

Science.News
Science News & Studies
Medicine.News
Medicine News and Information
Food.News
Food News & Studies
Health.News
Health News & Studies
Herbs.News
Herbs News & Information
Pollution.News
Pollution News & Studies
Cancer.News
Cancer News & Studies
Climate.News
Climate News & Studies
Survival.News
Survival News & Information
Gear.News
Gear News & Information
Glitch.News
News covering technology, stocks, hackers, and more