LETTERS: Employers don't need lessons on hiring practices

In response to Nate McCullough’s column, “Hospital’s anti-smoking goal is noble, but oversteps its bounds” (July 9, Page 6A):

As the guardian of individual rights, how do you feel about organizational rights? You have the right to smoke and I have the right not to hire you. Companies’ hiring policies have always been discriminatory. The GDP regularly advertises job openings with certain requirements that discriminate against those who don’t possess those requirements. You expect writers to be able to write and therefore try hard not to hire illiterates. So what is the difference with smokers?

Discriminating against smokers isn’t noble, it’s pragmatic because it lowers the employer’s health care costs, which ultimately, in the case of GMC, lowers the health care cost for all patients of the hospital system. Personally, I think it’s about time that people come to grips with the fact that in the grown-up world, everyone who plays doesn’t get a trophy. There are winners and losers, and most of the time it is personal choice that dictates where you finish.

— Patrick Malone