By way of Andrew Sullivan we discover that the University of Pennsylvania Health System is gonna stop hiring smokers. Ostensibly this is intended to reduce health-care costs, but as any fule no smokers tend to cost “the system” less over their lifetimes because their lifetimes tend to be rather short. (I admit that it might be arrogant to expect a university’s health system making economic decisions to be current on health economics research, but fuck you, that’s how I roll.)
No, this escalation from nudge to shove — as with the attempted high-capacity assault soda ban in New York City — is simply an expression of contempt. Smoking is a blue-collar working-class habit, and the clerisy in UPenn doesn’t want any of (shudder) them on its staff. If you dig far enough down the Penn Medicine page, in fact, you’ll find this gem:
Faculty and staff who are employed by the University are not subject to this policy.
Uh huh. A nurse smoking a Marlboro is filthy and irresponsible. A prof smoking a Gauloise is culturally diverse.