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Nicotine Test, No smoking policy

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by AspergersRN AspergersRN (New) New

I was just wondering what everyone else felt about the no smoking policy that is enforced to work at many healthcare facilities around the US right now.

I smoke the vapor nicotine system. It does not incur the health hazards that smoking cigarettes do. For example, no second/third hand smoke, my lungs have been clearing out the tar, my smell is returning to normal, and all the other things that relate to what happens when you quit smoking cigarettes.

Now, I called the hospital and asked if they were doing the CO2 and tar test to see if people were smoking, and they said no its just a general nicotine test. Now, many people use nicotine but in ways that do not effect you as smoking does. For example, nicotine patches, gum, vapor systems, and chew. The requirement though states that they are only excluding nurses who smoke cigarettes?

Do you think the nicotine excluded is fair because their are other ways to take in nicotine. Also, there are also other health issues caused by many self inflicted health risk factors. What about weight, alcohol intake, or multiple other things that effect our health negatively.

I understand excluding people that smoke cigarettes due to the risk that it could cause to the patients with second hand smoke, even though I always see nurses standing off hospital property smoking anyway. How is it justified to exclude nicotine all together?

amzyRN

Specializes in ED, Cardiac-step down, tele, med surg.

I think it is intrusive. E cigarettes don't have the scent associated with them. I do think nicotine is probably bad either way, causes vasoconstriction etc...But smoking real cigs are much much worse, logically with all the other chemicals and tar and such. I wonder if it is a insurance thing where they don't want to incur the costs with smoking related illnesses. But the vapor cigs do seem to be different. I'm not a smoker myself but do know people who use these.

unicoRNurse

Has 3 years experience.

The hospital systems in my area have been doing this for years, so I don't find it surprising. As a non-smoker, I don't find it upsetting, either. And as someone who is sensitive to cigarette smoke, I appreciate that there are at least a few places I can go that don't require me to hold my breath through the cloud of smoke standing between me and the building I wish to enter.

In addition to the increased costs to employers related to insuring smokers and their families, there is the risk to others. Everyone knows about secondhand smoke, but there is a recently identified exposure known as thirdhand smoke -- this piece from the Mayo Clinic site by Dr. Lowell Dale explains it nicely and should help answer some of your questions:

***Thirdhand smoke is generally considered to be residual nicotine and other chemicals left on a variety of indoor surfaces by tobacco smoke. This residue is thought to react with common indoor pollutants to create a toxic mix. This toxic mix of thirdhand smoke contains cancer-causing substances, posing a potential health hazard to nonsmokers who are exposed to it, especially children.

Studies show that thirdhand smoke clings to hair, skin, clothes, furniture, drapes, walls, bedding, carpets, dust, vehicles and other surfaces, even long after smoking has stopped. Infants, children and nonsmoking adults may be at risk of tobacco-related health problems when they inhale, ingest or touch substances containing thirdhand smoke. Thirdhand smoke is a relatively new concept, and researchers are still studying its possible dangers.

Thirdhand smoke residue builds up on surfaces over time and resists normal cleaning. Thirdhand smoke can't be eliminated by airing out rooms, opening windows, using fans or air conditioners, or confining smoking to only certain areas of a home. In contrast, secondhand smoke is the smoke and other airborne products that come from being close to burning tobacco products, such as cigarettes.

The only way to protect nonsmokers from thirdhand smoke is to create a smoke-free environment, whether that's your private home or vehicle, or in public places, such as hotels and restaurants.***

Bottom line: people who smoke pose a threat to patients involving carcinogenic toxins; overweight nurses, nurses who drink alcohol, and people with other health conditions do not.

I'm just speculating here, but as for the other forms of nicotine consumption you mentioned, perhaps the nicotine test is cheaper and easier to administer to thousands of potential employees than other, more specific tests that identify the method of nicotine delivery. Maybe hospitals don't want to worry about determining the method of delivery and having different policies pertaining to the way in which different people get their nicotine. Or perhaps the hospitals do not want to hire people who will be jonesing for nicotine every couple hours, and deal with all the potential productivity and other issues that could bring.

Finally, I would caution you against thinking that e-cigs are safe. No one really knows what's in them, and the manufacturers don't have to tell anyone. Also, there haven't been long term studies pertaining to the health effects of vaping.

Edited by unicoRNurse
spacing

More examples of big government allowing nosy corporations to be in the middle of your personal life.

hope3456, ASN, RN

Specializes in LTC, Psych, M/S.

Anyone who needs a "smoker friendly" environment - come work with me. The smokers rule to roost.

I would love to work in a "nicotine free" establishment.

hope3456, ASN, RN

Specializes in LTC, Psych, M/S.

More examples of big government allowing nosy corporations to be in the middle of your personal life.

It is interesting that 29 states actually have laws that "protect the rights of smokers." http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smoker_Protection_Law

Living in one, I worked at a facilitity that made itself a "smoke free campus." This made things worse because the smokers would take longer breaks due to the fact they have to drive off campus to smoke.

roser13, ASN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, Ortho, ASC. Has 17 years experience.

More examples of big government allowing nosy corporations to be in the middle of your personal life.

So the big government is "allowing" nosy corporations to form their own rules? And that's interference?! Your statement is a complete contradiction in terms.

Sounds to me as if the big government is staying out of the situation, thus allowing freedom for the corporations to formulate their own rules & culture. Just as the individual is still allowed the freedom to work or not work for a "nosy" corporation.

cayenne06, MSN, CNM

Specializes in Reproductive & Public Health. Has 10 years experience.

I think it is intrusive. E cigarettes don't have the scent associated with them. I do think nicotine is probably bad either way, causes vasoconstriction etc...

Actually nicotine, by itself, is a fairly benign drug with some positive effects. It helps promote concentration and is very useful for people with ADD/ADHD, and IIRC it has been shown to have some protective effects against alzheimers. Could be wrong on that last one.

T-Bird78

Has 6 years experience.

E-cigs are not allowed on company property, just like regular cigs, but I had a coworker puff away (so sorry, "vape") IN THE BREAKROOM! Keep in mind, this is an asthma clinic and we're not allowed to wear perfume due to pt sensitivities, yet she puffed away and said it was okay because it's not a real cigarette, but it did have the nicotine in it.

So the big government is "allowing" nosy corporations to form their own rules? And that's interference?! Your statement is a complete contradiction in terms.

Sounds to me as if the big government is staying out of the situation, thus allowing freedom for the corporations to formulate their own rules & culture. Just as the individual is still allowed the freedom to work or not work for a "nosy" corporation.

yup

those folks who holler incessantly about big government getting all involved in the business of corporate behavior are all fine and dandy with those poor persecuted corporations getting all involved in your personal business. in fact, those small government advocates are often the authors of legislation at the state level that further protects corporate interests while selling the rights of individual flesh and blood citizens to the corporate robber barons.

currently those corporations may discriminate against women, against gays, and smokers or whomever they prefer. all they have to do is make up some fake religious belief or make a statement about health or similar and the SCOTUS or the Congress just eat it up. Cuz you know, there are so many jobs out there, it is just a huge market for people who want work...there are jobs everywhere, right? and yeah, the government that is supposed to be of the people and for the people is complicit in throwing the people under the bus if that will help the corporations to feel "happy".

Rose_Queen, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in OR, education. Has 16 years experience.

currently those corporations may discriminate against women, against gays, and smokers or whomever they prefer.

Smokers are not a protected class; therefore, the legal definition of discrimination does not apply. Facilities can create all sorts of rules I don't agree with; those are simply the facilities where I will not work. Everyone else is free to do the same.

Smokers are not a protected class; therefore, the legal definition of discrimination does not apply. Facilities can create all sorts of rules I don't agree with; those are simply the facilities where I will not work. Everyone else is free to do the same.

Right that.

If you are not a "protected class" the corporations may deprive you of rights without batting an eye. Because our government has said they can.

Rose_Queen, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in OR, education. Has 16 years experience.

Right that.

If you are not a "protected class" the corporations may deprive you of rights without batting an eye. Because our government has said they can.

How is one being deprived of rights? They have the right to continue smoking. No facility must guarantee a job to every applicant; they may screen how they wish as long as it isn't illegal.

I am not convinced either that these are that safe. Maybe safer then a regular one, but truthfully I don't want to get a nose full of someones vapor either, Still stuff in that vapor. If I was around someone that was smoking one of those things, I still could be inhaling nicotine which would be in the vapor, and which really I don't feel I want in my lungs anymore then the rest of the toxins that a regular one has. Also wasn't it found out that the liquid is very toxic, and if it were drank it could kill you? I thought there was a report on keeping it out of reach of children because if drank it could kill. Doesn't seem all that safe to me at still putting it in your body even in a different form.

Thankfully with my job I am able to decline working for a smoker. I understand they need all the care and love that anyone else does, but put me in a smokers house for more then 1/2 an hour and I leave sick as a dog.

How is one being deprived of rights? They have the right to continue smoking. No facility must guarantee a job to every applicant; they may screen how they wish as long as it isn't illegal.

Some employers are now able to interfere in the employees right to access certain health care with their compensation, because of "religious" objection. The screening doesn't break the law because our law makers value corporate life over human life.

It is interesting that 29 states actually have laws that "protect the rights of smokers." Smoker Protection Law - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

.

This thing about protecting the rights of smokers is misleading. It even says not really tobacco specific on some of the links.

Missouri is listed but:

SSM hospitals in St. Louis area will no longer hire smokers : News

New Jersey has been rethinking their policies after the big firefighter workers comp ruling.

Many states have already adopted rules similar to the Firefighters Heart Lung Act. Even in many the states listed as smoking protected, you will not get hired as a Firefighter or probably any other uniformed public servant if you smoked the year before hire.

California also has some of the toughest public smoking laws in the country including rental apartments. So even though it is on the protected list, there are enough regulations in that state for it to be considered unlawful. Tech companies could also argue 3rd hand smoke running their sensitive gadgets. You also won't find a job in California as a Firefighter if you smoke.

But, the city of San Francisco protects obesity if you can pass the requirements for the job.

With thousands of applicants, why hire a smoker if others just as qualified? The same now in a saturated healthcare market. At will states, even if on the list, also can find ways to not hire you.

As far e-cigarettes having harmful effects, they are still studying the chemicals in the flavored solutions. You might just be trading off one for another. The nicotine is off course still known and some are consuming larger quantities because it is flavored and "e-cigarettes".

hope3456, ASN, RN

Specializes in LTC, Psych, M/S.

This thing about protecting the rights of smokers is misleading. It even says not really tobacco specific on some of the links.

Missouri is listed but:

SSM hospitals in St. Louis area will no longer hire smokers : News

New Jersey has been rethinking their policies after the big firefighter workers comp ruling.

Many states have already adopted rules similar to the Firefighters Heart Lung Act. Even in many the states listed as smoking protected, you will not get hired as a Firefighter or probably any other uniformed public servant if you smoked the year before hire.

California also has some of the toughest public smoking laws in the country including rental apartments. So even though it is on the protected list, there are enough regulations in that state for it to be considered unlawful. Tech companies could also argue 3rd hand smoke running their sensitive gadgets. You also won't find a job in California as a Firefighter if you smoke.

But, the city of San Francisco protects obesity if you can pass the requirements for the job.

With thousands of applicants, why hire a smoker if others just as qualified? The same now in a saturated healthcare market. At will states, even if on the list, also can find ways to not hire you.

As far e-cigarettes having harmful effects, they are still studying the chemicals in the flavored solutions. You might just be trading off one for another. The nicotine is off course still known and some are consuming larger quantities because it is flavored and "e-cigarettes".

I hope you are right, in this case.

Kinda like the FMLA laws supposedly protecting pregnant workers, the employer just finds a way around it.

applesxoranges, BSN, RN

Specializes in ER.

It's health insurance reasons and break time.

I personally hate it when people chew. I used to be in EMS and people chew all the time there. My ex chews because he was in the military and "everyone chewed."

There is a hospital in Texas that supposedly will not hire obese staff.