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Smoke Screening

Some employees have to take workplace smoking policies home with them.

This story appears in the September 2002 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Eric A. Nieves doesn't understand what all the fuss is about. "Thousands of companies have implemented this," says the director of human resources for the city of St. Cloud, Florida. In March, the city became one of a handful of Florida cities that are following the example of North Miami, which stopped hiring tobacco users in 1990 and won the ensuing discrimination case in the Florida Supreme Court in 1995.

The furor in media and workers' rights circles is fueled by how far St. Cloud will go to ensure the rules are enforced. North Miami never asked applicants to sign affidavits. Nor does it medically test them once they're hired. Though St. Cloud doesn't plan to regularly test anybody, it's still an option for employees whose cheating becomes a problem.

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