You’ll Never Believe How This City Is Justifying Their Ban On Hiring Vapers
Dayton, Ohio recently decided to stop hiring any applicants who test positive for nicotine.
E-cigarettes have been woefully misunderstood for almost as long as modern vaping has been a thing. While most people see vaping and smoking as basically the same thing, the truth is vaping is shown to be at least 95% safer than tobacco.
In fact, a growing pile of evidence suggests not only is vaping an effective harm reduction tool, but it may also be the single best smoking cessation tool we currently have at our disposal. Despite this, the poor public perception of vaping continues to be a significant problem.
Things have gotten so bad, Dayton, Ohio recently decided to stop hiring any applicants who test positive for nicotine, even if they only vape. The news has garnered varied reactions depending on your relationship with the industry.
While anti-vapers believe this is the correct path forward, many others see this type of regulation as a misguided, slippery slope. Only time will tell what sort of impact this change has on the vaping industry, but experts are concerned about the precedent it sets.
Misguided Hiring Practices
It was just earlier this week the city of Dayton, Ohio announced they would no longer be hiring anyone who tests positive for nicotine. The city used questionable statistics to justify their move, including data which suggests smokers cost the city an average of $6,000 more per person, per year than non-smokers.
Even more worrisome, city officials are grouping all forms of nicotine together, meaning vapers are being treated the exact same as cigarette smokers under the new rule. This choice has received the largest amount of criticism, as it completely disregards all the independent evidence proving the distinct differences between the two.
Those in support of the new regulation say it’s more a matter of protecting public health and saving money than anything else. However, the widespread lack of understanding on vaping was on full display when Rick Oakley, president of the Police Union in Dayton, said “We are not thrilled about it, but we also understand where the city is coming from because the biggest part of their health care costs are from nicotine-related illnesses.”
Nicotine-related diseases isn’t a real category, and it just highlights a more significant problem. For a shocking and worrying amount of people, the danger of smoking has been mistakenly placed on nicotine instead of tar and other dangerous substances found in cigarette smoke.
How Vaping Is Different
It should come as very little surprise that the city officials appear to have done very scarce research before reaching their new proposal. In fact, even a quick search of the available information would prove that vaping should be treated differently, and not grouped with tobacco based on nicotine alone.
Back in 2015, we got our first massive report from Public Health England which concluded vaping is at least 95% safer than smoking, while much more recent reports out of Roswell Park have shown toxicants in cigarette smoke is about 93% higher. There’s even a report in the Journal of Aerosol Sciences which concluded the excess lifetime cancer risk of a smoker is around 57,000 times higher than a demographically similar vaper.
Looking past the harm reduction value, there’s still a lot to support about e-cigarettes. A report out of the University of Louisville concluded not only is vaping an effective smoking cessation tool, but it may actually be the single best quit aid we have at our disposal.
Even more impressively, a report of over 60,000 teens by Action on Smoking and Health concluded only between 0.1% and 0.5% of non-smoking teens are ever picking up a vaporizer more than a few times. This means that even fewer could ever be ending up smokers because of the impact of vaping.
It would be a real shame if more cities followed suit and implemented laws banning vapers from being hired. Not only does it equate vaping and smoking, but it’s been shown that laws like these have a disproportionate impact on lower-income individuals and should be avoided.
In fact, 29 states currently have laws on the books which prohibit employers of any kind from discriminating against hiring people based on nicotine, or any other legal activity. While this will help protect vapers for now, it may only be a matter of time before such protections are removed from smoking, and by proxy vaping.
That’s why it’s so important to teach others about the many differences between vaping and smoking. The more people who understand what’s at stake by making the switch to vaping, the easier it will be to protect our vaping rights moving forward.
What are your thoughts on this hiring practice by Dayton? Why does vaping and smoking need to be treated differently in your opinion? What do you think is the best way to protect vaping from misguided regulations? Let us know what you think in the comments, and don’t forget to check back here or join our Facebook and Twitter communities for more news and articles.