Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Miami Beach, FL - Local Alert: Take action to oppose discriminatory anti-nicotine hiring policies

Miami Beach, FL

The City of Miami Beach will conduct a first reading of a resolution (agenda Item R7D, Sponsored by Commissioner Grieco) that would allow the city to deny employment to anyone who smokes or uses nicotine on:

City Commission Chambers, Third Floor, City Hall

(This is a “first reading” of this resolution. Public testimony will likely be heard at a later date. Although Miami Beach residents are encouraged to attend this hearing, you may not have an opportunity to speak on this issue at this hearing.)

This policy, aside from being an outrageous intrusion into the personal lives of the city’s employees, is clearly harmful and anti-health by undermining people’s efforts to move away from using combustible tobacco products. The prohibition of low-risk products like e-cigarettes and smokeless tobacco included in this policy is unwarranted, unwise, and contrary to the best available evidence that using these products has improved the health of millions. The City of Miami Beach is setting a dangerous precedent by attempting to restrict the freedom to make personal health decisions by its employees, a clear abuse of their authority.

Please take a moment now to send a message to your commissioners and tell them you oppose this policy. We have provided contact information and talking points below.

Mayor & Commissioners
Miami Beach, FL

Aide Email
Philip Levine
Micky Steinberg
Michael Grieco
Joy Malakoff
Kristen Rosen Gonzalez
Ricky Arriola
John Elizabeth Alemán
To email commissioners directly, please visit the "Mayor & Commissioners" page on the City of Miami Beach website.

Suggested Talking Points

  • Employers should not be discouraging employees from switching to low-risk, smoke-free alternatives like e-cigarettes and smokeless tobacco.
  • Share your story on how switching to an e-cigarette and/or smokeless tobacco has changed your life. (Avoid using slang terms such as "juice.")  
  • The City of Miami Beach should recognize that the vast majority of Americans do not support discriminatory anti-nicotine policies, as illustrated repeatedly by Gallup Poll surveys (http://www.gallup.com/poll/1717/tobacco-smoking.aspx).
  • Tell City Commissioners that you oppose any attempt to micromanage their employees’ personal lives in areas unrelated to the performance of their duties. Enacting a policy that forbids one legal lifestyle choice opens the door to prohibiting all other sorts of activities outside of work that an employer might deem to be “unhealthy.”

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