Blowing Smoke! Tax Collector Won't Hire Tobacco Users

Palm Beach tax collector institutes "No Smoker" hiring policy

It's getting harder and harder out there for a smoker.

Now, you can't get a public job if you take a puff.

The Palm Beach Tax Collector's Office announced Wednesday that it won't consider anyone who regularly uses tobacco products for a job with the government agency. Now we're not legal beagles around here, but that sounds a tad bit like blatant discrimination.

Just think, if such a policy was in place in Chicago, President Barack Obama would be on the unemployment line instead of campaigning for the Olympics. 

Tax Collector Ann Gannon says it is a health insurance issue and she is trying to cut down on the costs associated with employing smokers.

"There's not much to be said for smoking — it's a major cause of respiratory and circulatory disease, it contributes to increased insurance costs for us and the Palm Beach County taxpayers, it's unhealthy to be around, and expensive these days," Gannon wrote in a statement released today.

So are discrimination lawsuits.

Along with filling out that pesky criminal background check form, job applicants will also have to sign an affidavit saying that they are nonsmokers. No word if a tobacco drug screening will also be done.

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