Thursday, February 05, 2009

smoking up the joint -- part 2

Recently I had the opportunity to have lunch with the faculty of two of our allied health programs -- Respiratory Therapy and Radiography. I mentioned how nice it would be if we could find some one to provide funding for a "stop smoking" program for the students in these programs.

The faculty agreed that it would be desirable for students to quit, but that stop smoking programs had been made available in the past with no success. One program a few years ago, not only provided all the services for free, but also offered to pay the students a substantial stipend for completing the program (not for stopping smoking, but just for completing the entire program). Not one of the students to whom this opportunity was offered were willing to participate. As my husband likes to say "it reeked of effort," and they weren't willing to put forth the effort.

There was a news story this week about more than a 1,000 people standing in line to apply for 35 jobs as firefighters in the Miami, Florida area, included the interesting tidbit, that initial screening would weed out all applicants who did not have the minimum education (high school diploma), were not residents within the appropriate municipal area, and who were smokers -- only non-smokers would be considered for hiring. This is the wave of the future. Perhaps as tobacco becomes less and less important as a crop in Kentucky (the current trend is downward), fiscal conservatism will triumph and see smokers as the drain on employers that they are.

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