Weekly Links: No Jobs for Smokers, Operation Beautiful and Zicam Warning Issued

By , SparkPeople Blogger
It's bad enough that you lose your sense of smell when you get a cold, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says that a popular homeopathic remedy might leave without olfactory abilities long after your sniffles stop.

And to add more bad news to an already dour economic outlook, if you're looking for a job, you might want to give up the smokes, as at least one company--a large insurer--is requiring that new employees kick the habit.

This week's popular links have my mind racing, especially the final one. Read on for more info, and share your thoughts on the week's top headlines.

Humana: We won't hire smokers
"Humana of Ohio will require all new employees who smoke to quit the habit.
The insurer, which employs more than 1,200 people at its new headquarters in Walnut Hills and hundreds more at a distribution center in West Chester, said Monday it would give all new employees a questionnaire.

If the workers use tobacco, they will have 31 days to enroll in a program called Breathe."

Should smokers be required to quit or risk losing a job? The story is hazy on details, but do you think not hiring smokers is a fair practice?
From Cincinnati.com

Healthy Salad Dressings
"Spice up a boring salad without adding tons of calories using these healthy salad dressings."

How do you top your salads? Do you reach for a bottle or make your own? (Personally, I'm keen on salsa, guacamole, hummus or light sour cream with fresh herbs!)
From Fitness Magazine

F.D.A. Warns Against Use of Popular Cold Remedy
"Federal drug regulators warned consumers to stop using Zicam, a popular homeopathic cold remedy, because it could damage or destroy their sense of smell."

Have you used Zicam? Did it affect your sense of smell?
From the NY Times

How-To: Heal Cracked Heels
"Warm Summer weather inspires many of us to wear flip-flops and walk barefoot. When your feet are exposed to air, it can cause dry skin on your feet, which will create calluses. The pressure of pounding your feet on the ground when you run can then lead to heel fissures, or cracks in the skin. They most often occur on your heels, but you can get them anywhere you have extremely dry skin."

Do you suffer from dry skin during summer? It's tough, because sunscreen isn't the most moisturizing of products, and who wants to apply thick lotion when you're hot and sweaty? How do keep dry heels at bay?
From FitSugar

Daily Dose: True Confessions
Women's Day Health Editor Barbara Brody says: "Whenever I meet someone new and tell them that I’m a health editor, one of the first things they want to know is whether I follow my own advice for healthy living. The answer is that I try, and I think I do a decent job about 75% of the time. Here’s the truth about what I practice and what I just preach.""

Do you practice what you preach?
From Women's Day

How fast R U? Teen Iowa girl wins US texting title
"The nation's newest texting champion has a message for parents across the land — although they might not want to hear it.
"Let your kid text during dinner! Let your kid text during school! It pays off," 15-year-old Kate Moore said Tuesday after winning the LG U.S. National Texting Championship."

Her thumbs will be aching soon enough. What do you think: Should we reward fast texters? Do you let your kids text any time they want?
From Yahoo! News

Lower Your Blood Pressure with Your Breath
"A breathing technique used in yoga can lower your blood pressure, a study in Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback reports.

After subjects practiced alternate-nostril breathing for four rounds of seven and a half minutes, their systolic and diastolic blood pressure dropped one point each¯a significant dip from such a simple activity, researchers say."

Hmm, that sounds familiar. I just blogged about that! Has it worked for you?
From Women's Health

Money-Saving Meals: Healthy, Low-Cost Dinner Recipes
"Eating healthy on a tight budget is easy with these expert money-saving tips for grocery shopping and low-cost meals. The number-one piece of advice: Plan your dinners in advance. It's easy with these healthy, budget-friendly dinner recipes."

What is your favorite money-saving dinner recipe?
From Fitness

Operation Beautiful
From blogger Caitlin: "One of my biggest personal crusades is ending Fat Talk. If my little blog only does one productive thing, I hope it helps readers realize how truly toxic fat talk is -- it hurts you emotionally, spiritually, and physically. I want to reach as many people as possible with my End the Fat Talk message.

I've begun leaving positive messages on the mirrors of public restrooms -- at work, at the gym, at the grocery store. I scribble down whatever comes to mind -- "You are beautiful!" or "You are amazing just the way you are!""

Are you guilty of "Fat Talk"? Will you participate in Operation Beautiful?
From Healthy Tipping Point

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I'm on the fence on the smoking issue. Personally I don't like being around smokers and the smell of it literally gets me sick-I get a major migraine and when I worked indoors would have to take time off to recover. Luckily I work outside now so that's not an issue. Smoking not only affects the smokers, but the ones around them. I know it's a personal choice, but I also see the employer's perspective. As long as there is an option to get help and not a 'you smoke so you are gone now' attitude about it, I'm ok with employers banning it. Report
I'm on the fence on the smoking issue. Personally I don't like being around smokers and the smell of it literally gets me sick-I get a major migraine and when I worked indoors would have to take time off to recover. Luckily I work outside now so that's not an issue. Smoking not only affects the smokers, but the ones around them. I know it's a personal choice, but I also see the employer's perspective. As long as there is an option to get help and not a 'you smoke so you are gone now' attitude about it, I'm ok with employers banning it. Report
I love fresh squeezed lime juice on my salads. Report
I like balsamic vinegar, garlic and a dash of cold pressed Olive oil on my salads Report
I have NEVER smoked, I will never smoke. But, I still think this is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. We are letting government, and corporations, and insurance companies become dictator like. We do not live in a free country. I am convinced of this more and more. To refuse to hire someone because they do something unhealthy is discriminatory. We ALL do things that are unhealthy, even the executives making these stupid rules. Humana should be ashamed of themselves. Where will this end? I think we are making our country a miserable place to live. We are all so eager to point a finger and judge another. No wonder depression is on the rise. Report
Myself, I detest smoking, but as long as it is not in my face, then I do not think it is any of my business if someone else chooses it for themselves.

Think about it, if they can fire you for smoking then what next? fire you for being overweight, fire you for participating in "dangerous" activities like racing, sky diving, getting speeding tickets, when would it end?

Of course this is no surprise that this is an insurance company doing this. However, really, I must confess....I know a lot of people who "used" to and "do currently" smoke. I have not heard any of them say they are glad they did or do. It would be one thing wanting their employees to be healthy, but I think this is clearly $$$$ driven.

Regarding the girl who won a texting prize, she probably will be having carpal tunnel surgery in her future. Sometimes texting is brief and convenient. But come on!! We are becoming a nation who spends so much time on the computers and cells that we are losing valuable "face-to-face" life moments. Just like I love computers, but really, email has killed the hand written letters...... which could be keepsakes for a lifetime. I have a brother who died and I have letters from him. If we had corresponded via email....those would have been lost forever. Report
So I'm not sure exactly where I stand on the smoking issue. I totally don't understand smoking at ALL because it is common knowlege how horrible it is for you and I can think of 3928430983 other things I would rather spend my money on. My mom's father and mother, and one of her 5 siblings smoked. Her mother got lung cancer died before I was born, father had a heart attack and died when I was young, and her brother, the only other smoker out of the 7 children, had a heart attack and passed away at 43. It's so sad. I don't understand, knowing what we know today why anyone would start.

I guess I don't think it should be required to be a non-smoker... but depending on the nature of the job. For instance, if you are paid by the hour, I guess it's your given right to smoke on your breaks. However, my dad would comment how the smokers at his work, paid on salary would take break after break to smoke while others weren't allowed. My dad joked that he thought about starting smoking just so he could take all that time out and get breaks too. In a situation like that, then yes, I think they have a right to tell you that you can't smoke. Report
I am a former smoker, and was discriminated against because of it. It is not fair. I wonder how long it would take someone to get cancer if they were exposed to second-hand smoke on a daily basis, say from a proximity of 3-5 feet. I wonder how long it would take to die from some drunk with a gun who's wife just left him, who wanted to take it out on the world. Smokers are not bad people, alcoholics alot of times are. Stop picking on smokers and start taking the trigger-hair alcoholics off the streets. Bet more people have been harmed by them than from second-hand smoke. And have you ever noticed that if you have a drug or alcohol problem, people fall all over themselves to give you free treatment, walk on eggshells so as not to disturb your fragile psyche, and treat your addiction with sympathy as if it were and "illness"? But if you smoke you're a disgusting pig who should pay 160 dollars a month for the pills, or just "put them down". No sympathy, no treatment programs for free....no "illness". I've never gotten in my car and hit someone standing on the sidewalk doing 80 miles an hour because I just lit up. Anybody......? Report
I like the salad dressing one. I make my own salad dressing by mixing balsamic vinegar, cottage cheese, and Club House roasted garlic and pepper. Delicious! Report
I hear lots of people complaining about discriminating against people's rights to make bad choices. I wonder how many of them are also opposed to seatbelt and helmet laws, as there are lots of people who'd rather not wear either of them.

It always a "slippery slope" when we get used to the government taking on the role of parents to its citizens. Report
Love your weekly roundup - thanks! My only comment is on the Zicam ban: WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! I love that stuff - Zicam is my lifeline during colds, and I've never experienced any loss of smell. I'm sad to see it go and suspect it's a ploy by the FDA to control a product that is a runaway success without them getting a cut of the profits! Report
Thank you SO much for sharing the info on Operation Beautiful. I first read about it last week and immediately posted it in my blog, then started leaving virtual and real 'love notes' where ever I went. Report
I agree that they are taking it to far. I quit smoking over 2 years ago and was reciently pulled over because the officer said I threw a cigerette out my window. It was actually a car in front of me but he issued me a ticket and I had to fight it.
I agree that smoking in public is unhealthy for others but where will it stop. Why not just make it illegal to sell them? because the state makes alot of money off the tax? Report
I used to be a smoker and very glad that I quit. But to tell people that you can't work if you smoke is going to far. I live in oregon and you cannot smoke in bars anymore cannot smoke within 10-20 ft. of an entrance and now you cannot smoke in your car while you have kids under the age of 16 in the car. I understand what they are trying to do, but trying to control a persons personal choice by legal means only leads to a police state. They are just starting to take this smoking issue to far. Report
Love the Operation Beautiful.
Humana - Is this the new discrimination? Although, it's a good idea. However, everyone has to come to that decision on their own, just like losing weight, it won't happen until you decide top do it. Report
LOVE the Operation Beautiful! Great idea. This world could use all the positive acts of kindness it can get. Good for Caitlin! My daughter loves the idea too. She wants to do it! :D Report
Smokers pay more tax than Non smokers. They should have more rights! Smoking is harmful to the air! So is driving a car, using a copier, using an air conditioner.and the list goes on... If you drive a car, You can't work here. If you have an air conditioner, You can't work here!!! All smokers need to unite and stand up against this government. If all smokers quit, then were is the government going to get their money. Start taxing Non smokers?--- My uncle was a smoker all his life, when he died, the doctor said he had lungs of an eighteen year old. --- I know some smokers that do alot better job than non smokers where I work---And I some smokers that are in alot better health then non smokers---. Report
My top 3 links this week are: 1. Healthy Salad Dressings, 2. How-To: Heal Cracked Heels, and 3. Lower Your Blood Pressure with Your Breath.

I like having tasty yet healthy choices for my salads and as marinates for my meats. What with wearing flip-flops and sandals I like having inexpensive ways of keeping my feet pretty. And finally, anything that will help me get off of blood pressure meds is great!
Discrimination is discrimination- when they stop hiring people because their too fat? Too late to stop the cycle. I understand the health risks, but to pre-judge regardless of qualifications? Don't like the sound of it. To hire with a higher rate for Insurance? Still doesn't seem fair- what if they start this based on other health issues- No diabetics, its somewhat preventable & type II is due to a lot of health choices. Makes for a vicious circle of 'chosing only the fitess! Report
I'm not a smoker and I'm so grateful that I don't have all of the baggage that goes with that habit.

I do have an opinion about employers and health care...If you'd like to see my story, look at the post #369 on the blog about weight requirements for police officers.

My employers denied me the right to make a living when they weeded me out because of the financial burden my cancer diagnosis placed on their benefits packages.

I am 100% against discrimination for any reason in the workplace. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I was an otherwise healthy non-smoking PRODUCTIVE employee. I was not sick nor could you see or predict my disease. The cancer was detected through a series of tests FOLLOWING my personal breast check where I noticed a small growth under my breast tissue.

When an employer can predict BOTH the disease AND the outcome of the employees' illnesses and/or potential/future diseases, then they may have some basis fo these decisions. As it stands, the employer simply cannot hire ANYONE and know what their health challenges may be.

The bigger issue is the GREED of the employers, insurance companies, the drug companies, and the medical malpractice explosion in the legal community.

When everyone gets back to reality and we truly treat others as we would like to be treated, employers can go back to business of making America strong again.

The healthcare crisis has caused a ripple effect over this country that cannot be measured in health care costs alone. I once paid TAXES on a substantial executive annual income. Now I'm unable to get or keep a position because of my PAST health issues. Once it is part of your history, you can never escape it.

Everyone needs to take a stand NOW! You never know what's ahead and it can definitely impact your future and your ability to support yourself and your family.

If I were a smoker, I could and would quit. I am a cancer survivor and I cannot escape the employement discrimination. (For those who would say it is illegal to discriminate, I can assure you that once you are an employee and participate in your employer's health "benefits", you will be marked for elimination. They will reassign you, demean you, fire your bosses and replace them with "hatchets", and even pay you off so you will go away. There are many, many cancer survivors who have been through the same things I have. Even if you don't tell anyone that you've had cancer, it will become an issue regardless of your job performance.)

My life is good today, but I am bankrupt (we haven't "filed bankruptcy"...we simply life from day to day and have medical bills that cannot be paid in my lifetime) and it is doubtful that I'll ever be able to handle the stress of working outside my home again.

It is a disgrace to America that we allow our inability to fix healthcare to cost American workers the ability to work and earn a living.

The executives in charge of these corporations are not affected by their decisions...they still exchange fine cigars as gifts and make sure that their perks and incentives keep them from ever having to deal with these issues. Report
I love the "Operation Beautiful" concept and I will be posting some notes to myself and to others.

As for the cracked heels remedies, the best method I have found is to put a thick coating of a good moisturizer on and cover my feet with cotton socks before bedtime. The moisturizer really soaks in overnight. Odd as it may sound, VO5 (hair dressing) is pretty good for this. Then when I get up in the morning, I rub in more moisturizer as soon as I get up and then put on socks and shoes. Rubbing shea butter into your feet after showers and baths helps the process, too. I think the main thing is that you have to be consistent and work at it throughout the day as much as possible.

Salad dressings: I use low-fat or fat-free dressings at the suggestion of my doctor. I frequently make my fat-free or low-fat dressings at home, but I also use the commercial varieties.

As for Humana's policy of asking new hires to partcipate in a smoking cessation program within 31 days of employment - I don't have a problem with that and I think it's healthy. The fact that it is mandatory bothers me, though. I mean, do they also ask people on their applications if they ever drink alcohol? If the answer is "yes" do they MANDATE that the person go to into a alcohol treatment program within 30 days or lose their jobs? Do they ask potential employees if they are diabetic and still eat candy bars? If the answer is "yes" is there a "candy bar eating cessation" program they are required to attend or risk losing their jobs?

In no way would I approve of discriminating against smokers in the hiring process, or awarding promotions to non-smokers over their smoking counterparts - or any disciplinary action being taken against smokers who submit to the cessation program but are not successful in quitting for good. If a person drinks alcohol, but does not do so on the job that is considered their business. But if a person smokes, but does not do so on company time, they're targeted for dismissal?

Quite frankly, I'm getting a little tired of smokers being blamed for all the health woes of this country. Every time you turn around there is a new tax on tobacco products, the proceeds from which are supposed to be earmarked for paying for health care. Obesity is just as large a risk for cardiovascular disease as smoking is - and is a risk factor for diabetes. Excessive use of alcohol is a risk factor for kidney disease. So, why are smokers singled out?

In a society where drunk drivers avoid responsibility for their actions by hiring an attorney to plea down the charge to a muffler violation, I find it quite ironic that smokers are being targeted as the bad guys! I understand non-smokers not wanting to be exposed to second hand smoke, but this thing has gotten entirely out of hand. It's one thing to prohibit smoking in public places, or for employers to prohibit smoking on their premises, but threatinging a person's ability to make a living because they have an unhealthy habit that they do not participate in during working hours is ludicrous.

How about cracking down on the people who are taking part in ILLEGAL activities before further persecuting smokers? Report
But L.A. Princess what when someone refuses to hire you because of your weight or does hire you and "forces" you to lose weight and when you don't fires you for not complying? I wish people didn't smoke - but any bad habit can be a detriment to your job.

As far as texting goes - family dinner time should be just that. There may be a time and a place for texting - but there are times when it is inapropriate. And when you are rudely ignoring those you are with to text someone not there continuously - it is inapropriate. Report
Yes! I think it's fair to not hire smokers. Everyone should do that and force them to quit!! Report
For my heels and elbows I use Udderly sMOOth. It is really great. I have a problem with my elbows and since I started using this they are getting much better. Report
I use a product called Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula to keep my heels soft. It comes in a jar, and it's kind of like a butter. I use it every day and I have never had cracked heels. Report
Another healthy low cal salad dressing especially great on salads that include mango:
1/3 c rice vinegar
juice of one lime
1 packet calorie free sweetener
dash cayenne pepper
On the cracked heels I once read a suggestion to but on a good lotion before you work out. Think about a pedicure - they get your feet nice and warm so the lotion will soak in. Well, your feet get pretty warm during a good work so you can put the same principle at work in a more time and cost effecive way. I have been trying this and I can't say it has fixed my feet but I do think it helps. Report
Humana: We won't hire smokers
There are federal laws in the USA protecting the rights of smokers. (Good thing too for the abuse they are taking on this page. being named as less than other humans or being called "society's pariahs.") There is NO strong evidence that smokers have higher health costs. That is a slanted statistic that had escaped reality several years ago.

I strongly disagree with Tarotgarden's statement that smokers are less productive and miss more days of work then non-smokers. Anyone can say "studies prove" but studies are done by humans for a specific purpose. How many companies hire a team of researchers to prove that smoking improves productivity? You get the answers you pay for. Producitivity is more an issue of individual personality traits than a generic grouping of a people.

The place of my employment 25% are smokers. That 25% has a better record than the remaining 75%. Employees who smoked totaled the fewest missed days; employees with small children missed the most, followed by employees who drank. The studied conducted by our company under the guide of a national trade organization was more than informative, it was enlightening. Report
Discrimination is discrimination.
And it is a slippery slope.
Clearly, given their approach, one who is overweight or underweight should not be hired.
One with a family history of cancer, or diabetes, or heart disease, obviously has greater risk of costing their health plans.
And those with children will cost more in the family plan, so no one that hasn't been sterilized (31 days to get it done, of course) . . .
Where will this go if not stopped here and now.
It's easy to take on the smokers: society's pariahs. But it is how we treat the least of our brothers and sisters that counts (according to Christ).
And, no, I am not a smoker. But I do believe in the right to make choices: even if the choice one makes is dumb! Report
As opposed to smoking as I am I really have a hard time with the companies that dictate an employee can not engage in a legal activity. Seems more energy needs to go into helping folks quit then penalizing them. Next thing you know they will make sure folks with chronic illness can't work. Aides, heart conditions, how about overweight? Let's get over our dictatorial employers who of course are perfect! Alcohol kills as well! So no weekend beer ya'll. Report
Last year when we signed up for health benefits we had options of smoker plan which was a hight premium or non smoker lower premium. Many smokers opted for the non smoker plan but never follwed thru with the guideline of quitting in six months (they were offered support thru our insurance and our HR).
Last week those who had not quit were told to quit or pay the retroactive higher premium balance and the new premium to the tune of $600 additional by the end of the year they are not happy but some are qutting.

There is actually a breatalizer type handheld that you can blow in and it tells you how many pack a day smoker you are. Report
Operation Beautiful

This one has really touched me. My self talk has always been the worst. I am my own worst critic. Thank you for bringing this blog to our attention. I am on board with Operation Beautiful !!! Report
Hmm...not hiring smokers. That's a fine line of discrimination! While I'm TOTALLY against smoking, why not hire them, but have them sign a contract to quit within a year? And then give them all available tools to do so? Then you'd have one more healthy, non-smoker in the world! Report
Hi Stepfanie! I love this weekly roundup post. :) Report
Re: "Lower Your Blood Pressure with Your Breath"...I teach this to my clients all the time as a fundamental method for dealing with anxiety and depression. A simple, yet powerful strategy!

Don, Co-Leader of All Health Professionals, Binghamton Area Losers and Laid Off But Staying Strong SparkTeams Report
Yay on NOT hiring smokers!

My pedicurist always tells me to just put petroleum jelly on my heels - I have some Israeli foot lotion that's good, the petroleum jelly leaves stains on the sheets. (I hate sleeping with sox.) Report
1. I don't smoke & have never smoked. It's a nasty habit.
2. I resent second hand smoke. I could never kiss or even be around a smoker.
3. Smoking drives everyone's health insurance costs higher.
4. All of that said to say, I hope the lawyers are lining up to sue them all the way to Chapter 7, and I hope they permanently go out of business. I hope the former employees organize and go in business for themselves, manufacturing the same product. Report
love to read reality stories--practice what you preach can be very hard and perfection is not where it's at! Report
The recipes from Fitness look great! I have printed out a few and plan to fix them next week.
I don't think it is right to discriminate against smokers. There are other means, e.g. hospitals do not allow smoking on their grounds.
When children are young, I think they do learn from their parents eating patterns. As they grow and their tastes change, some will develop their own diet and others may stick with what they know. I do believe though that they diet we prepare for our young children is extremely important and should be healthy and varied.
Kath Report
Not hiring smokers is just another form of discrimination! Report
not hiring smokers? i really dont have a problem with working with smokers i think we ALL have our addictions (mine is runts candy which is bad cause im a diabetic), but what next r they gonna not hire someone because they have add or are bi-polari just dont know i guess its no diffrent from states placing no smoking bans on ALL workplaces, its almost weird when ni go to missouri or tennessee im so use to arkansas being smoke free i forget all others can. i know alot of peeps i work with who smoke and thought they would die without a ciggrette every 30 mins, most of em still work with me and over half have either mostky quit or have completly quit, si i guess maybe its a good thing. Report
“Should smokers be required to quit or risk losing a job? The story is hazy on details, but do you think not hiring smokers is a fair practice?”

No. The only criteria should be can the person do the job. I have noticed lately that several corporations, including Humana have decided that they are going to be the “nanny” of their employees and police their actions. I don’t agree with that. It is a form of bias. Well said VICIOUS421, MIMSICALITY and STRICTLYSECRET!!!

As for the other articles, very interesting info. Report
I think that a private company should have the right to employ (or decline to employ) whomever they wish for whatever reason(s). BTW - I smoke. Report
MADGE, you said it all. Period. "Gag at a gnat and swallow a camel" comes to mind on our rights anymore. Report
I really liked these articles. Keep 'em coming! Report
Lraeszi - you made an oopsy there. Don't think about 50 years ago. I remember "NO IRISH" and "NO CATHOLICS" posted on the door in personell. Not to mention that it was policy in many firms to fire every pregnant worker, she could be re-hired after with complete loss of seniority etc. but there were to be no pregnant workers. Race? not much of an issue in those days as most everyone was white here well except for 'Indians' and it is a lot more recent than 50 years that signs banning 'Indians' were removed from business premises, not just for hires, even for customers.

Someone commented on being fired from a coffee shop because they were a smoker. Often the workers in donut shops here are young enough that they are breaking the law if they buy smokes, I am sure it is OK to be discriminated against if you openly break the law. Ummmmm. Report
When my husband was considering a job with a different company, he was told by one of their employees that the company frowned upon smokers. My husband who had smoked for 35 years quit cold turkey because getting that job meant the world to him. I'm so glad he quit because 45 minutes after smoking his last cigarrette, we got a call from his mom saying she had been diagnosed with lung cancer that afternoon. She died 8 months later.

If it wasn't for that company not wanting smokers, I'm sure my husband would still be smoking, even after losing his mom to it. Report
The "Light" salad dressings that you buy in the store are usually full of HFCS and starches, and don't really taste all that good. I've bookmarked these recipes to try.

I don't use Zicam, because every study report I've read shows no evidence that it works.

My heels are a mess. I'll try anything. I do find that using a simple sanding sponge from the hardware store helps.

I don't think I could ever move my family away from the TV at dinner. Sorry!

Texting is WAY ANNOYING! Which, of course, is half of its appeal. That girl needs the prize money to support her habit.

I find it hard to believe a recipe with expensive ingredients like feta cheese, shrimp, and grape tomatoes will save me money. Maybe as compared to eating in a restaurant. They do look good, though. Bookmark.

Fat talk. Ugh. One thing I love about my TOPS group is the encouragement we give each other. You see gals wearing bright, happy colors to meetings, and that helps.

As for not hiring smokers, well, although I don't like the idea of a blanket policy against smokers, I really fear laws protecting smokers as a class. Smoking is a habit, it's unhealthy, and it can be stopped. It does not entitle you to protection as a persecuted minority. Get real!

I'm surprised to see the smoker story reported as news, because this isn't the first company to put smokers' jobs on the line. There's a local hamburger chain that's been refusing to hire smokers for 25 years that I know of, and my niece, who lives in Ohio, lost her job two years ago because of smoking. I don't know if it's a fair practice or not, and since I quit smoking many many years ago, I don't know if I should speak to it. Project Beautiful is a great idea, and I hope it catches on with many, many people. Report
I was a smoker for over 20 years and I never missed a day of work due to smoking. In fact I got awards for going a year without missing work. I agree that discrimnation. I have stopped smoking 5 years ago but I still think people have a right to choose weather they want to smoke or not. It is not the right of anybody to tell them they can't or threaten them with their you. Any compaly that does that is wrong and I don't do business with them Report