Toledo may implement smoke free hiring policy - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Toledo may implement smoke free hiring policy

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Mayor D. Michael Collins is considering a new policy requiring future employees be tobacco free.

The move is sparking some debate on both sides.

Some say it is up to the employer to decide whether to hire a smoker, but others are adamant; if it's legal, it shouldn't keep someone from getting a job.

"I think it's a great idea," Matt Hehl, who lives in the area said.

"In a way, it is discrimination," Denzel Kenley, who lives in Toledo, told 13abc.

But Mayor Collins is seriously considering it.

He says the city is facing some healthcare cost challenges and after he spoke with the Medical Cost Containment Committee, he feels the move would save money.

"The issue becomes an economic issue," he said.  "If you change the culture of your environment, you control your healthcare costs."

The new policy would only apply to new hires.  Current employees who smoke will not lose their jobs.

"This is not meant to drive them out or their employment," Collins said.  "I would like to seetheme take the opportunity to participate in cessation practices."

But, much like the smoking ban in bars and restaurants, there are strong opinions on both sides.

"That is your personal choice if you want to smoke," Kenley said.  "Tobacco is not illegal so why should it stop you from getting a job where you want to work?"

"I think as an employer, the employer needs to have some rights as to who they can and can't hire," Hehl said.

The policy is on the fast track.

The Mayor says he'd like to have something more official in the "coming days."

 

 

 

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