Re: Smoking - Measures to encourage smoking reduction?

Discussion in 'Officers' started by BuggerAll, Apr 18, 2010.

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  1. BuggerAll

    BuggerAll LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    Edited to add: Anybody reading this for the first time I've changed the title from 'Smoking - Should it earn a black mark on OJARs/SJARS? When I initial wrote this I felt that the balance of potential good versus potential harm might be in favour of what I was suggesting. After reading what some other posters had to say on the subject I came to the conclusion that the balance is probably tilted the other way and the problems would not be outweighed by the good. The rest of this page is as I originally posted:

    On another thread discussing fitness a number of people have commented on the poor example set by officers and NCOs (and medical personnel) who are unable to pass a PFA and who are fat.

    I have also said that I think officers and NCOs and medical personnel who smoke are setting a bad example.

    Smoking is discouraged and the tax payer spends money on measures to help smokers give up should the 'system' be more discouraging?

    Should smoking be taken into account on OJARs and SJARs? I'm not suggesting that smoking should necessarily be a block to advancement but where candidates are otherwise equal then the non-smoker should get the job.

    Why? If some one is good at their job why should their private and personal habits matter? Smoking is not private and personal, its very public. The behavior of commanders influences their subordinates. Some people will start smoking because they are emulating an admired superior and more will justify continuing to smoke because 'if its good enough for the bosses its good enough for me'. Being a good commander makes it worse because the example is so much stronger.

    I know that the smokers will howl that this is an attack on their civil liberties - it is not. I am not proposing that their right to smoke be infringed merely that there may be consequences.

    Others will say: so what if soldiers smoke, where's the harm? They will point to their own levels of fitness as proof that there is no harm. So I agree having a few tabs will not do you any harm, but nobody does have a few tabs do they? The damage that smoking does is relatively long term.

    Smokers will usually try and draw a parallel with drinking and other poor lifestyle choices and suggest that drinkers (and lets face it most of us are) have no right to criticize smokers. They are not equivalent and even if they were the fact that nothing is being done about one problem doesn't not mean that another should be tolerated. And being fat, unfit and drinking too much are being dealt with.

    I wonder how much dereliction of duty could be put down to smoking. We all know that smokers tend to take more breaks than the rest of us to fed their addiction. We have all been on exercise where the smokers have lit up as soon as the DS disappear.

    Lastly an observation. I am a qualified motorcycle instructor. Many people find learning to ride a motorcycle 'stressful'. Its always the smokers who shake. Its always the smokers who have to stop and have a fag to calm down. The shaking hand on the roll up. I never see it in the non-smokers.

    I've been in stressful situations before and I've observed this nervousness before from smokers, I expect we all have but it so much more apparent when you have a small group of people in front of you all under the same stress. What I don't know is whether nervous people turn to smoking or whether smoking makes them nervous.

    Discuss... (if you want to)
  2. Well as a smoker will invariably be "Nipping out for a smoke break" several times a day then this fact alone would indicate the non smoker is more productive, less likey to suffer from respatory ailments and so on and of course indicates a lack of willpower on the smokers part, a lack of common sense for beginning the filthy habit in the first place then it is perfectly sensible to prefer the more sensible non smoker.

    (Awaits incoming from the nicotine addicts!)
  3. But smoking makes you look cool...
  4. Indeed. Many smokers revert to room temperature before their time, apparently (and statistically).
  5. Kills one in 2 smokers.. russian roulette with only 2 chambers in the gun!
  6. ergo, non-muslims are more productive because they don't have to pray five times a day? what about people with a weak bladder, or who go for a dump twice a day? shall we include those too? ;)

    by the way, i don't smoke and never have. if my lads wanted to go and join the smokers on smoke breaks, just to mill about and chat, i used to let them. the novelty soon wears off, trust me. especially mid-winter.

    i pity smokers for their dependency and weakness. anyone who claims they do it because they want to, rather than they can't kick the addiction, is a big filthy liar :D
  7. I smoke 10 a day, used to smoke around 20 a day and on tour I was smoking 40 a day sometimes.

    When I put in less work than my peers, or when I can't run past dozens of spineless 18-20yr olds during phys, feel free to discriminate, until then f*ck off.
  8. A prime example - should have been shot for slacking.


    As for this wishy-washy character, words fail me.

  9. I've never known anyone who failed to turn up for work the morning after smoking too many cigarettes. In fact they tend to be on parade early at least once...for the grim reaper.

    As for the "well they go out for a break" argument that's complete pants as long as the smoker's work is completed within the agreed schedule. I actually find my productivity imporoves if I go out & have a walk round the block with a tab & I frequently come up with new ways of approaching a problem when I've stepped away form it for a while.
  10. Stick it on the OJAR/SJAR if it impacts on how they have performed their duties throughout the year and if you feel that it impacts on their potential. Is this likely?

  11. Partly a load of bollax. I know plenty of soldiers and officers who smoke whether socially or regulary and can still make the grade on thier fitness. However it would be dull of me not to say that smoking does have a impacting factor on the fitness of soldiers or officers.

    I take the view if the Soldier/Offr are making the effort to improve thier fitness by having the self discipline and commitment to make the change ( ie smoking cessecation clincs healthy eating education etc), why should it be a detrimental to his overall performance as a soldier????

    Agreed that smoking is less socially acceptable nowadays but there still seems to be higher a trend espically in the army where we have a lot of smokers. And also agreed that if the soldier just sits on his arrse eats 10 pies down the naafi and smokes 40 tabs day and cannot be bothered to make the effort, thats where he does need to be scored down.

    For JNCO's and below it should be monitored by Cpls - to report to the C of C the lack of a persons activity, also WO's to monitor lower SNCO's and OCs monitor Junior Capts and Subbies etc....

    But to actually make an entry on thier OJAR/SJAR about whether they smoke or not, would be like stigmatizing a gay soldier in the mess for improper conduct when its just a sexuality issue.
  12. I enjoy smoking, although I am addicted to the nicotine, I like the social atmosphere of the smoking area and there's little I find more enjoyable than sitting down and having brew and a fag in the morning before work.

    I have quit for years in the past, and always missed it long after the physical addiction has worn off.

    If it was just about addiction, nicotine patches would solve that.
  13. cpunk

    cpunk LE Moderator

    You don't say?

    My view is that smoking should be treated like any other 'out of school' activity: if it is demonstrably having an effect on an individual's ability to do their job, then yes, it would seem to be perfectly reasonable to indicate this on an OJAR or SJAR. If not, then no.
  14. Do you drink tea/coffee at work? should this no be reflected on your report that you have a brew in work time?