Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Kudos to Blue Cross/Blue Shield Smoking Ban

Hurray! I was listening to The Morning News with Kevin & Nancy on WILK-FM this morning. I hadn't read the paper yet, so this was the first news I recieved. As I turned on the radio I heard them discussing the front page news in the Times Leader today: A smoking ban for the employees of the Blue Cross Blue Shield offices on North Main Street in Wilkes-Barre.

But unlike other smoking bans on public and private property, this workplace smoking ban is extreme. Employees cannot smoke within 200 feet of the offices between 7a and 7p and I think within 50 feet at all others hours. (It didn't say why, but I am guessing for safety reasons after dark...)

Ironically, employees who park in the closest city parkade are now not able to smoke in their cars because that garage sits within 200 feet. There is a doughnut shop beneath the garage too, where many employees would smoke. Yes- the ban includes other businesses.

On the radio, Nancy had a problem with someone telling someone what they can and cannot do and Kevin also sympathize with that-- however I think as the morning went on the show seemed to lean in favor of Blue Cross Blue Shield.

When I first heard this, it bothered me because I do believe strongly in civil liberties. But then I got over it and realized that I actually applaud Blue Cross Blue Sheild's smoking ban decision. Here's why:

1. It sets a good example. If other large employers follow suit, it could really help kick the dirty smoking habit.

2. They are providing assistance to employees who want to quit smoking. And if their employees quit smoking, they will be healthier and thus more productive at their jobs. Hell, in the long run maybe the BC/BS customers will see lower premiums!

3. Other workplaces who had similar bans reported less employers smoking- one place the newspaper interviewed said 10% of smokers quit.

4. MY MAIN REASON: Since BC/BS is involved in healthcare is just sets a great example that smoking is not healthy. I don't need to say here how many diseases are a direct result of smoking, do I? So allowing health insurance employees to smoke contradicts the message of staying in good health. Especially not when prevenative health is something that insurance companies promote.

The big Geisinger Group in Danville has also decided to go smoke-free on their campuses. This means people will have to drive off-site to smoke, since many are in out of the way areas, and simply couldn't take a quick walk on their lunch.

I think that more people need to take action against smoking in the workplace. Like Kevin Lynn said this morning, working is a privealge. Sometimes you have to give up certain things or dress a certain way or adhere to certain policies that you don't necessarily agree with- but you do anyway for a good salary, good benefits or a fun job. It just comes with the job. And if new policies, like this example, are instated during employment-- and you don't like it- just leave. If a great job is less important than the nicotine fix, leave. See how people react, too. What will your family, friends and neighbors think? My personal view is that you are a scum bag if you'd quit a job just because you can't smoke there.

And if you don't want to leave, don't get pissy at someone who is helping your health. Deal with it.

Here are some articles and previous blog posts I wrote about smoking:


Anonymous said...

Wow all I can say is that you are a great writer! Where can I contact you if I want to hire you?

Anonymous said...

top [url=http://www.c-online-casino.co.uk/]online casinos[/url] brake the latest [url=http://www.realcazinoz.com/]online casinos[/url] autonomous no deposit reward at the chief [url=http://www.baywatchcasino.com/]laid-back largesse casino