This is in response to the July 18 letter "A Past Due Policy." Kimberly Walters mentions patients' thoughts about employees who come back from their breaks or lunch smelling of cigarettes. Well, how about when I arrive to work in the morning while I was smoking in my car on my way to work? Is UPMC then going to come out with a policy to tell me that I can't smoke in my car on the way to work, before I'm even on the clock? I am free to do what I want, when I want, on my own time. These policies are ridiculous.
I understand their issues. If you look at the employees, you would see that the medical field has the most smokers out of just about any other field. It's fine for UPMC to make policies about smoking on its property, but when it comes time for my lunch, I'm on my own unpaid time away from its property, with the ability to do what I want. I'm not being paid for my time on lunch. If UPMC wants to enforce this policy, then make lunches longer so employees have time to change clothes and take a shower. I mean, to not even let people use their electronic cigarettes on their lunch or even smokeless products. Please!
I'm sure that the American Civil Liberties Union will look at the policy and make its own judgment. In the meantime, I will continue to smoke on my time.