Is a “no smokers” hiring policy unethical?

Minnesota is one of 29 states that makes it illegal to refuse to hire someone because they smoke. The American Lung Association opposes this law and takes the position that it elevates “smokers to a protected class.”

A growing list of organizations have a policy of not hiring smokers. “Many health care organizations, such as the Cleveland Clinic and Baylor Health Care System, and some large non-health care employers, including Scotts Miracle-Gro, Union Pacific Railroad, and Alaska Airlines,” are among the employers noted by the New England Journal of Medicine).

The no-smoker policies are typically justified by the health, insurance and productivity costs related to smoking.

Today’s Question: Is a “no smokers” hiring policy unethical?

Hat-tip to our friends at Marketplace for this one.