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By Lenore Skomal Erie Times-News staff blogger
Lenore Skomal is an award-winning author and veteran journalist in all forms of media. She is a weekly columnist and daily blogger for the Erie Times-News. She’s authored 17 published books, including an anthology of her columns, Burnt Toast available on her website   Read more about this blog.
Posted: December 12th, 2012
Mandatory smoking cessation classes for employees who smoke?

You might be thinking, “Not in my county.” But if you live in Fairfax County, Virginia, you’d be wrong. Elected officials there are looking at imposing mandatory smoking cessation classes for those of its 13,000 county employees who smoke.

WTOP reports the proposal is under consideration by county council. It replaces a former proposal that would have required all new hires in the county to be non-smokers, which was dismissed by the council.

Proponents cite rising health care costs for county employees as the reason behind what critics call the draconian measure.

Others liken the measure to Florida’s state law to drug test all state employees, which has been suspended by temporary injunction pending a lawsuit filed by the ACLU citing invasion of privacy. At issue is whether a government can regulate an employee, who is paid with taxpayer funds, outside of the work environment.

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