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Brown County considers insurance surcharge for smokers

Tobacco use may be more expensive than Brown County employees, in an effort to reduce the overall cost of health insurance. A proposal working its way to the Brown County Board would add a $50-per-month surcharge to health insurance for employees who use tobacco. A health care coverage surcharge also could be implemented for dependents of employees who smoke if they’re covered by the county’s insurance. “There is no reason that taxpayers should subsidize this kind of behavior, and I stress the word” behavior “, said Rob Miller, the director, who offered free of charge.” If it leads to people not to smoke, they will live longer. This is a great advantage for the county.” But it’s unclear whether the county can implement such a charge. He needs approval from the County Council … Read entire article »

Filed under: Nicotine dependence

Hospitals say they won’t hire smokers

If you smoke or use tobacco products — even in the privacy of your own home — you need not apply for a job at two Central Florida hospitals. Florida Hospital Waterman in Tavares and Florida Hospital Fish Memorial in Orange City will no longer hire smokers starting Jan. 1 — the first in the Florida Hospital system to enact such a policy. The hospitals will join a number of health-care facilities nationwide recently creating policies to screen out job applicants who light up. “As a leading health-care provider in our community, we believe it important for all of our employees to model healthy behaviors,” Waterman’s president, Ken Mattison, said in a statement. He added that the policy is a natural progression for the hospital, which stopped allowing people to smoke on … Read entire article »

Filed under: New tobacco, Quit smoking help

Ugly ads’ aim to deter smokers

The following editorial appeared last week in The (Rock Hill) Herald. Three of the men who posed as cowboys in advertisements for Marlboro cigarettes died of lung cancer. That should have sent a message about what happens in real life when you smoke. But while the Marlboro Man has vanished from ads, health officials still are battling to deglamorize the deadly habit. That effort got a boost in 2009 with the passage of the FDA Tobacco Regulation Bill. The bill provided the federal government with new power to regulate tobacco products. Not only did the legislation give the Food and Drug Administration authority to dictate ingredients in tobacco products, it also required cigarette producers to eliminate misleading labels such as “light” and “mild,” increased the size of warning labels and limited where cigarette ads … Read entire article »

Filed under: Tobacco news

Not hiring smokers is discriminatory, say groups

Smokers’ rights groups and civil liberties advocates say the trend toward not hiring smokers in Ohio is discriminatory and could lead to bans against hiring others at risk of missing work. “What about women of childbearing age? Will they be next?” said Pam Parker, co-founder of Opponents of Ohio Bans. “If tobacco were illegal, I would be totally behind what these companies are doing, but it’s not.”Parker’s group and others are backing a bill to be introduced soon into the Ohio legislature by State Rep. Stephen Dyer, D-Green, that would make it illegal to refuse to hire people who use tobacco products outside the workplace. “While I applaud the idea of a drug-free workplace, a ban on tobacco redefines the concept,” Dyer said. Thirty states and the District of Columbia have made it … Read entire article »

Filed under: Uncategorized