In 1992, I worked briefly for a very small company. I had to sign a waiver before being hired that said I did not smoke. The waiver also said that if I ever started to smoke, I would voluntarily terminate my employment. They said it was because their insurance did not cover smokers. I signed the waiver. I was a smoker.
I got up in the morning, went to work, worked 7-4, drove home: all without smoking. I smoked in the evenings at home. I didn't smoke in public for fear I would be seen by a co-worker and ratted out. My daughter was 7 years old at the time, and I was a single mom in the last year of college full time. I needed the job.
I did this for 6 months.
I made $5.00 an hour. I got a Five Cent Raise at 6 months, along with everyone else. To celebrate (read: Bitch Session), a group of about 6 of us went to a bar after work. Imagine my shock when 3 people in the group lit up as soon as a beer was set in front of them!
: They more or less threatened me on the spot if I ratted them out, and after they were done, I calmly reached into my purse and brought out a pack of Camel Lights, and blew them
The point of this story is that you can make a demand on the people, but you can't make them obey.
I don't recall having lost any time from work with smoking being the cause. I quit smoking Jan. 27, 1999 forever, so I think my health is back to almost normal, or will be soon.
If we, as a society, have the right to restrict who we hire based on "bad habits", then I would like to suggest that we never hire people who have children under 10 years of age. It seems that they always have to leave work to care for their sick kids. Sick kids demand an incredible amount of worker time off. Ban workers with children.
And I see no reason to hire obese people. They tire easily, require more space, move slowly, and have infinitely more health problems than smokers.
Let's test IQ's, too. Why hire stupid people? They cause more havoc than any other group. Ever deal with a stupid person? They cause high blood pressure!
I won't go into the aspects of hiring social drinkers and alcoholics. I work with a professed alcoholic at Home Depot. He never misses any time, although he often works with a hangover. I prefer his work over that of the Stupid Person. Alchohol IS the socially accepted drug of choice. You can drink yourself to death by age 47, but you're damned if you smoke a pipe.
I don't see anyone rallying to stop alcohol consumption. Why do you suppose that is?