Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Anti-smoking Nazi: Weyco Inc.

Where will this outrageous zealotry end?

As much as I dislike throwing around the n-word [nazi] I just can't help myself on this one. Weyco Inc. has literally fired a number of employees for cigarette smoking. You may say that they have every right to regulate what goes on in their offices, and I agree with that, but, wait, these people have been fired for smoking in their own homes!

Let me preface these remarks by stating I am a non-smoker and don't really enjoy breathing cigarette smoke if I don't have to. But I will expend my very last breath in defense of every Americans right to smoke in the privacy of their own homes. This is maddness and it opens the door for all sorts of "company requirements" on personal behavior of employees. I personally have had it with the anti-smoking crowd. These self-rightous, santimonious finger waggers have gone too far with this one.

Weyco President Howard Weyers says simply:
"You work for me; this is what I expect. You don't like it? Go someplace else." Fine, I wouldn't work for this Nazi (there I go again with the n-word) anyway. The company sites rising health care costs as justification. Then why not just charge smokers a higher premium? Why not? Because Weyco knows what's best for you, that's why. So why stop with smoking? Why not ban sky diving, unprotected sex, riding on the back of motorcycles, McDonalds cheeseburgers and Jim Beam?

There are a number of states that have laws on the books that prevent just this sort of discrimination, Minnesota being one of them. Michigan, the home state of Weyco, does not. The idea of employers regulating what their employees can and can't do in their off hours is not new - star football running backs are often prohibited from downhill skiing, pilots can't drink alcohol within so many hours of a scheduled flight - but these behaviors have a direct impact on the employees' ability to perform the task. Weyco processes health claims, hardly lung related. On their website they vigorously defend this policy by citing statistics of smoking related carnage on Michigan's society. It is possible to smoke cigarettes or what have you, and live to a ripe old age. My dear Grandma Rose died at 94 years old having smoked for 70 of those years. She quit smoking at 90 not because she worried about her health, but rather because they quit making Tareyton cigarettes. This is not to say that I think there are not real health issues related to smoking cigarettes, only a fool would say that, but it is a legal product and these are adults we are talking about.

In the end the smoking nazis will win this one; to this I am resigned. We, who value personal liberty and freedom, must make a stand on every hill, even this one. So, I say to you while I still can: "Smoke 'em if you got 'em."



Anonymous said...

As a smoker I can earnestly say “Just ban the damn things and be done with it!” Anybody foolish enough to think this kind of zealotry will end with cigarette smoking deserves what will come after. The successes these jackbooted goose-steppers are enjoying at the expense of smokers today, will only embolden them until they decide, for no logical reason to attack some activity that YOU care about. The sad reality of smoking and health care costs is SMOKERS ACTUALLY SAVE SOCIETY MONEY BECAUSE THEY DIE YOUNG! The real drain on the health care system is geriatrics. Take one look at the cost of the medicare system and my point will be proven for me.

Watch out you oldsters they may be coming for you next.

Timothy Birdnow said...

It won`t be long before they come for your SUV, your Cheeseburger, your six-pack, then your coffee. The anti-smoking zealots can`t claim this is privately driven because these are the same people who have placed restrictions on who private companies can hire and how they can treat them. If you can`t discriminate on the basis of sex (say, a pregnant woman) or sexual orientation, then you certainly can`t discriminate here. These little details don`t matter to the health Bolsheviks.

This really is not about health-it is about power. It is about restricting people for the sake of strengthening government and social control. Remember Orwell said ``the purpose of power is power``. These are the same people who are always proposing restrictions on the free movement and behavior of the masses. This is about accepting the yoke of servitude in the name of the common welfare. This is a dirty lie.

The left has always hated tobacco because they believe we should be growing food instead and giving it to the poor instead of growing tobacco for our dirty pleasure. They have always thought like this; when I was in college I remember getting into a discussion with a liberal about Brazil`s use of sugar cane for fuel-alcohol. She became livid because they were growing a crop for fuel rather than feeding the poor. HOW DARE THEY! Liberal hatred of tobacco is more of the same.

Americans had better wake up.