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Opinion

Letters to the Editor: U-Haul’s anti-smoking policy protects employees and its bottom line

Woman smoking a cigarette
 
(Paul J. Richards / AFP/Getty Images)

To the editor: I usually agree with your editorials, but I can’t help but take issue with your criticism of U-Haul’s new “wellness” policy that dictates it will no longer hire people who use nicotine.

You state, “Simply barring people from working at the company doesn’t improve anyone’s health.” This is an absurd statement. Ensuring a smoke-free workplace improves the health of U-Haul, a company that will see fewer employee sick days and lower health insurance premiums, and whose nonsmoking employees who will not be exposed to secondhand smoke or need to work more because of a colleague’s smoke breaks and sick days.

Finally, I find it disturbing that you use the old tobacco industry trick of hinting that a nicotine ban presents a “difficult choice for low-income people who are statistically more likely to be smokers.” Every time there is a tobacco tax on the ballot, the industry is suddenly an advocate for its “low-income” addicts.

Fred Gober, Playa Vista

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To the editor: Health and economics were obviously not U-Haul’s real concerns, or it would have made this about obesity, which is currently far more prevalent and more impactful on healthcare costs. This is about control and limiting people’s options and lifestyles.

I know how difficult it is to find a good job, and I have a master’s degree. I guess I’m lucky that my education allows me to apply for jobs that don’t infringe on basic constitutional rights.

Isaac Jorgensen, Hemet


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