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hotreds
07-10-2012, 09:59 PM
Recently came across a job that required a tobacco screen for cotinine. Would cigar smoking cause one to fail this test? Any comments on this?

Sauer Grapes
07-10-2012, 10:04 PM
According to Wikipedia it is generally detectable for up to a week depending on the nicotine exposure. It can enter the body through smoke or orally.

My guess is that you should abstain from cigars for a bit before they test.

Ogre
07-10-2012, 10:07 PM
How far out is the test?? More then a few day, don't smoke anything until after the test. I have heard drinking allot of water helps as well.

DaBear
07-10-2012, 10:09 PM
From the great Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cotinine

"Cotinine has an in vivo half-life of approximately 20 hours, and is typically detectable for several days (up to one week) after the use of tobacco. The level of cotinine in the blood is proportionate to the amount of exposure to tobacco smoke, so it is a valuable indicator of tobacco smoke exposure...Cotinine levels <10 ng/mL are considered to be consistent with no active smoking. Values of 10 ng/mL to 100 ng/mL are associated with light smoking or moderate passive exposure, and levels above 300 ng/mL are seen in heavy smokers - more than 20 cigarettes a day. In urine, values between 11 ng/mL and 30 ng/mL may be associated with light smoking or passive exposure, and levels in active smokers typically reach 500 ng/mL or more"

Sounds like it will give you a higher level. Not sure there's a pass/fail line on it. Seems like it would be used for healthcare pricing at the job if its one with benefits, otherwise I see no reason for them toe require one.

GreekGodX
07-10-2012, 10:14 PM
I wonder if inhaling a cigarette vs not inhaling cigars plays a roll in the levels.

Ogre
07-10-2012, 10:15 PM
Unfortunately Bear, allot of companies are going smoke free for all employees. A local hospital here wont hire any new employees that smoke.

Ogre
07-10-2012, 10:17 PM
I wonder if inhaling a cigarette vs not inhaling cigars plays a roll in the levels.

I think it would, just not to the same level. I always seem to inhale a little smoke while enjoying a fine cigar.

hotreds
07-10-2012, 10:20 PM
Unfortunately Bear, allot of companies are going smoke free for all employees. A local hospital here wont hire any new employees that smoke.

So they would consider an occasional cigar "smoking?"

Ogre
07-10-2012, 10:35 PM
So they would consider an occasional cigar "smoking?"

Not sure. I know the insurance industry does. I would think smoking an occasional cigar would Not put you at risk. And if you were to get tagged, you had a cigar for a wedding, baby birth ETC. I don't know of any companies doing random cotinine test, even at that hospital. You may have to sign a paper saying you don't smoke.

BlkDrew
07-10-2012, 10:41 PM
This gets my blood boiling. It just goes to show how we are losing rights every day, one at a time. I can understand for life insurance reasons like paying a higher premium. But for someone to not get hired or lose their job is rediculus

DaBear
07-10-2012, 10:44 PM
This gets my blood boiling. It just goes to show how we are losing rights every day, one at a time. I can understand for life insurance reasons like paying a higher premium. But for someone to not get hired or lose their job is rediculus

:tpd:

Ogre
07-10-2012, 10:47 PM
This gets my blood boiling. It just goes to show how we are losing rights every day, one at a time. I can understand for life insurance reasons like paying a higher premium. But for someone to not get hired or lose their job is rediculus

I agree, but companies claim thet get lower health insurance cost if all employees are nonsmokers. Also look at cigarette smokers who take "Smoke breaks" during work shifts, lost production.

Subvet642
07-11-2012, 07:11 AM
I agree, but companies claim they get lower health insurance cost if all employees are nonsmokers. Also look at cigarette smokers who take "Smoke breaks" during work shifts, lost production.

Perhaps, but if I couldn't smoke, I'd throttle the life out of someone, so in my case, smoking decreases liability. :tu

Jasonw560
07-11-2012, 07:22 AM
Alcohol and drug testing I can see, but this is Draconian.

And the insurance rates being lower. I call BS on that.

Apoco
07-11-2012, 08:13 AM
I agree, but companies claim thet get lower health insurance cost if all employees are nonsmokers. Also look at cigarette smokers who take "Smoke breaks" during work shifts, lost production.

But do you regain that lost production due to increased productivity from nicotine? Not to mention the benefits of walking away from a task for 10 minutes and then coming back. A whole new set of eyes can lead to a [b]lot[/u] less wasted time.

I guess it is all how you look at it, though. I'd prefer to be effective than continually present. I take a 5-10 minute walk whenever I get stumped on how to do something at work (usually excel or access being a PITA :r).

Either way, this is not something I'm happy to read. My hope is that this doesn't become common practice. I like my cigars, pipe, and hookah too much to give up tobacco =X
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mosesbotbol
07-11-2012, 08:44 AM
Smokers are not a protected class, so employers can discriminate as they wish.

forgop
07-11-2012, 08:54 AM
Smokers are not a protected class, so employers can discriminate as they wish.

Yep

The next class coming will be the obese.

OLS
07-11-2012, 08:58 AM
This gets my blood boiling. It just goes to show how we are losing rights every day, one at a time.

This is what happens when you reach "pariah status" in our modern world. You start to have a country
where the few understand their power and become the many just like that. You can teach your kids in
school, "Smoking is BAD" and feel good about it, but when they grow up, if they get militant about it it's
gonna backfire on you. It doesn't matter whether you think you are entitled to rights or not, once a thing
becomes thought of as BAD by a majority of people, you've just lost your perceived rights.
This is my main complaint with religion, non-believers become 'the smokers'.

OLS
07-11-2012, 09:19 AM
But do you regain that lost production due to increased productivity from nicotine? Not to mention the benefits of walking away from a task for 10 minutes and then coming back. A whole new set of eyes can lead to a [b]lot[/u] less wasted time.

While I find your first postulation to be not only confusing but spurious, I agree wholeheartedly with the
second part. Taking a break and walking around helps clear the mind and open up new pathways to
reconcile difficult problems.

But from an employer's point of view, I can't and won't defend the smokers or the obese. IT IS sad that
a cigar smoker can't escape the trap they set to weed out "the smokers", but times are tight today,
employers can be EXTREMELY selective. Adapt or starve it would seem. No sense in defending smoking
as a RIGHT anymore, it's a death pact and a money drain in a time when the 99% can't waste money.

hotreds
07-11-2012, 09:24 AM
I also feel this is waay beyond the pale. They are basically telling you what you can and can't do at home. Next, as Duane indicated, they'll say you have to weight under 250 lbs to be employed. Suffice it to say, I'm not giving up my cigars for ANY job. That being said, I'm sure I could pass the test, but dunno if I'd want to work for the GESTAPO.

ChicagoWhiteSox
07-11-2012, 09:33 AM
This screen is a complete joke.. I'll stop there, because I don't want to get banned:r

ChicagoWhiteSox
07-11-2012, 09:41 AM
I also feel this is waay beyond the pale. They are basically telling you what you can and can't do at home. Next, as Duane indicated, they'll say you have to weight under 250 lbs to be employed. Suffice it to say, I'm not giving up my cigars for ANY job. That being said, I'm sure I could pass the test, but dunno if I'd want to work for the GESTAPO.

Hugh, you SHOULDN'T have to pass up a job because you smoke. That's what you'll have to do if you don't want to quit. That's not right.

jjirons69
07-15-2012, 09:07 PM
Hugh, I sat a week and two days without a cigar and I am a 2-4 cigar per week smoker. I drank plenty of water, a little more than normal. Screen came back good. YMMV.

Silound
07-16-2012, 08:13 AM
Some Google research and I learned a few interesting things about this particular test.

Urine is the preferred medium to test, because Cotinine is concentrated about 10X higher in urine than in circulation.

Passive exposure (second hand smoke) can lead to levels as high as 30ng/ml in urine, which is consistent with levels of light smokers. The FBR website specifically states that there is no determining line between a light smoker and someone who is exposed to secondhand smoke in sufficient quantities.

Sounds like you were hanging out at the local dive bar last week a few times. :)

jjirons69
05-13-2013, 08:52 AM
No reason for a new thread -

Our most recent enrollment is now going to require tobacco screening with our normal random drug testing. Else you pay $15/week for tobacco use. What gives?? So $780 a year for me to enjoy a 3-4 cigars per week? This is absurd. Still trying to get my hands around this...

FUEL
05-13-2013, 09:01 AM
Unfortunately Bear, allot of companies are going smoke free for all employees. A local hospital here wont hire any new employees that smoke.I know this is an old post but how the hell is that legal? Its been a few years since right out of college working in HR but the farthest I've seen is testing to see what insurance you would qualify for. I can't imagine a company refusing to hire someone because they herf.

FUEL
05-13-2013, 09:04 AM
Yep

The next class coming will be the obese.
Thats been present under the table for years and years. I know personally as I once was...

sevans105
05-13-2013, 09:22 AM
Worked for an insurance company for years. This is becoming a much more common thing...as is the obesity screening. Many insurance companies offer discounts for smoke free employees, wellness programs, percentage of employees with "healthy" BMI's, etc, etc.

Many many many studies out there to prove healthy employees are more productive employees and healthy employees are cheaper to insure...less medical claims. While I agree that occasional cigar smoking isn't really a big deal, the tests don't discriminate HOW the cotinine enters your system.

This is the reality. Smoking IS bad for you. Drinking IS bad for you. Being overweight IS bad for you. To argue otherwise is simply denial.

Employers view employees as a tool and insurers view them as a risk. Employers want to get the most use out of their tools and insurers want to mitigate their risk. "Encouraging" better behavior through financial pressure is an effective way to accomplish both those goals.

While I have serious issues with Govt interference in personal choices, I have no issue with businesses choosing to lessen their risk.

FUEL
05-13-2013, 09:26 AM
No reason for a new thread -

Our most recent enrollment is now going to require tobacco screening with our normal random drug testing. Else you pay $15/week for tobacco use. What gives?? So $780 a year for me to enjoy a 3-4 cigars per week? This is absurd. Still trying to get my hands around this...This is common practice now and I've had to declare if I was or was not a smoker on paperwork but never took a test and have never heard a personal account about not being hired because of smoking. I get the rules of the work place and such and even get no smoking on corporate grounds as yeah I smoke cigars but I don't at work and hate smelling people that come back from smoke breaks.

I don't want to "be that guy" but the poster who said "But from an employer's point of view, I can't and won't defend the smokers or the obese." I find in extremely poor taste. Propensity to obesity is genetic and to a person like myself who fought it and fought it and fought it for 25 years before I had to take the only route to "get busy living or get busy dieing" as said in "Shawshank Redemption" is astonishingly ignorant.

To refine, I'm not saying obese need to be defended but to discriminate from complete employment due to it is the same as paying a woman less for doing the same job or not hiring someone because of the color of their skin in my eyes. Prolly why I like sales as you are hero of your own story.

Blueface
05-13-2013, 09:29 AM
Hugh,
If you only smoke cigars and are not an inhaler, you should be fine based on my personal experience.
I did this test immediately following three days of non stop smoking at a herf and my level came back as non smoker.
My wife, who doesn't touch a cigar and rarely sits with me as I smoke came up with almost same level as me (granted, she too was at the herf but didn't smoke).
My son, an occasional cigar smoker at the time came in around the same as mine.
I wanted to have myself considered a smoker and they refused to do so based on results.

OLS
05-13-2013, 12:31 PM
And the insurance rates being lower. I call BS on that.

Like a local Ambulance Chaser here says, "have you EVER seen insurance rates go down, even once?"
He was talking about tort reform and how the ICs all say that tort reform will cause insurance rates to
go down. We all know that wouldn't be the result of tort reform. And every time an IC lowers your
rates, it is because you have bought your employees a package with higher deductibles is usually all.

mosesbotbol
05-13-2013, 01:04 PM
I also feel this is waay beyond the pale. They are basically telling you what you can and can't do at home.

Ford had similar policies for years.

Blueface
05-13-2013, 06:30 PM
Like a local Ambulance Chaser here says, "have you EVER seen insurance rates go down, even once?"
He was talking about tort reform and how the ICs all say that tort reform will cause insurance rates to
go down. We all know that wouldn't be the result of tort reform. And every time an IC lowers your
rates, it is because you have bought your employees a package with higher deductibles is usually all.

Being on both sides of the fence, consumer and insurance company manager for over 30 years, I assure you, rates go up for a reason.
Companies are in business to generate revenue, especially if publicly held.
Fraudsters are in business to defraud these insurance companies and for every100, 3 get caught. Why? Laws are created to favor the plaintiff bar,
So, who pays for this fraud? The consumer via higher premiums.
Fact is a smoker is a higher risk, hence higher premiums.

BTW, I manage an insurance fraud operation. Speaking from knowledge.

mosesbotbol
05-14-2013, 06:11 AM
Fact is a smoker is a higher risk, hence higher premiums.

BTW, I manage an insurance fraud operation. Speaking from knowledge.

I've read studies where it was shown smokers have less total insurance cost over their life than non-smokers. Basically because they die sooner and with less long term care like nursing home etc...