“Tribune Co.’s new top managers on Tuesday ended a $100-per-month penalty for employees who smoke and enroll in the company’s health plan, saying the fee is ‘inconsistent with the new culture.’ “
Targeting smoking is consistent with cult belief, not with any culture, new or old. The Tribune Company publishes the major daily Chicago Tribune. Its reference to a “new culture” refers to new management at the company. Bravo to them. We need such new management at many more companies, and in our governments and public institutions, and lots of folks, including those of us at FORCES, are working hard at that.

In its announcement to employees the Tribune management made requisite congratulations to employees who had quit smoking and the company will continue to provide a free “smoking cessation” program. Anybody who wants to quit can do so without a concocted program, but for somebody who wants to use it, that’s fine, provided he does not take any of the ineffective and plain dangerous “cessation” drugs the dogs at Big Pharma are shilling.

It’s good to see that smokers who were gouged for their insurance will receive full refunds, and good to hear company management tell them, "We’d rather you use your own judgment when it comes to tobacco use, not impose ours upon you.” Bravo again. Also note that just 600 of more than 16,000 employees admitted smoking while the gouge policy was in effect. Most likely ten times that 600 lied to avoid the gouge. This seems typical in such circumstances. Another "Bravo" to the smokers who never allowed themselves to be gouged. We always said most smokers were smart. Click for: (Article) (stored version)

The other side of this coin is represented by the Whirlpool Company (Article) (stored version). This is a major manufacturer of household appliances based in Evansville, Illinois. Inevitably smokers working there also lied to avoid an insurance gouge. Some of them were brazen enough to keep smoking in sight of their supervisors and/or rat co-workers after lying on the insurance form. The company has decided to make an example of 39 purportedly non-smoking employees it caught smoking.

What a silly war. Whirlpool bosses are playing the roles of junior high school vice-principals. The lying won’t be stopped. The result will be more evasion, greater dishonesty, increased indignancy amongst employees. Amongst numerous indignant reader responses appending the Whirlpool article: “Working for a company that treats their employees like THAT would drive me to smoke!!! What’s next? A premium on those that make poor choices at the vending machine?” Yes to that, and then removal of the “poor choices” in the vending machine, and at the restaurant, and the supermarket, and soon at the book store too. The barroom will have been closed down altogether along the way

Don’t doubt it. The Tribune company is to be applauded. It is exceptional. It is a model. However things won’t return to normal, with most companies, or governments, or public institutions, without the application of extreme force from the people. Fight back. For sheer self-protection, lie whenever and wherever you have to lie, and lie well. By all means, in particular, lie to your doctor in today’s climate. Be smart and when it comes to resistance, fight effectively, by telling the truth about antitobacco eugenics. Things are very bad. A lot of hard work is going to take place before things get much better. Help us get it done.



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