Smokers In The Workforce: Why Do We Make Them Modern Day Lepers?

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Feb 19, 2016
This article is part of a series called Classic TLNT.

Editor’s Note: As I wind down my stint as Editor of TLNT — yes, I’m leaving next month— I wanted to share a few of my favorite posts. Here’s one from February 2011.

Some 20 years ago when I was editor of a newspaper in Great Falls, Montana, there was a winter ritual that never ceased to amaze me: watching members of my staff huddled outside the back door of the building trying to have a quick smoke before they couldn’t stand the cold anymore.

Yes, north central Montana can be a pretty chilly place.

The February day I left to fly to a new job in Hawaii (that’s another story for another day), the temperature was a crisp 15 below zero with a wind chill of around minus 45, so seeing people huddled outside freezing their fannies off just because they needed a smoke seemed, well, a little excessive.

This just proved to be again that smokers go through a lot to be able to get their fix.

Although it’s not a habit I ever got into, I know from all too many friends and relatives who did just how easy it is to start but terribly difficult to quit.

That’s why, as a dedicated and life-long non-smoker, I wonder: why do we abuse smokers so badly? And why does that abuse keep ratcheting up, especially in the workplace?

This article is part of a series called Classic TLNT.
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