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Ochsner CEO Rails Against Smoking

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, April 9, 2012

"We are getting into your life because what you do in your life is directly paid for by me," he says. "If you go home and watch television I don't pay for that. You don't send me the bill for your cable. No, that's your business. The demarcation between rights and responsibilities and who carries the costs is a fairness issue."

"This has been flipped to where somehow my right to choose what I want to do has been translated to my right to make everybody else bear the cost of my choices," he says.  

As for efforts to eradicate smoking among Ochsner employees, Quinlan says the self-insured health system's approach includes premium discounts for employees who don't smoke and cessation support for employees who do.

"Repeated studies show that people want to quit smoking, but it is an addictive behavior and usually the more you push on people in a way that generates resistance, you don't help them. There has to be acceptance for there to be change," he says. "And the tack that we take is that this is an unfortunate and addictive habit that people develop early in life often with the acquiescence of government and society."

Quinlan is particularly incensed by laws in Louisiana and more than two dozen other states—pushed by Tobacco industry lobbyists—that prohibit employers from discriminatory hiring policies against smokers.

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31 comments on "Ochsner CEO Rails Against Smoking"


wooli (5/23/2012 at 9:20 PM)
"'the poorer...the blacker''how condesending.Ihear the desancendents of the founders at Ochsner think he is a charlentin.

weelo (5/23/2012 at 6:14 PM)
How Condesending.

Poor Mentally Ill smoker (5/22/2012 at 11:01 PM)
Most say that they cant beleive he said this . OH YES HE DID GO THERE. Who is filing the calss action Law suit on behalf of the poor, Black , And mentally ill ,which will be alot of poor black mentally challenged people cause thats going to hurt there pockets more than anything .Him stepping down wasnt from his copmments its been in the works for 18 months come on people do you beleive that horse manure. He thoughtit and said it so that must be his feelings that he says are statistics ,I heard on local tv an news commentator read the study that Quinlan said the information was from and it wasnt said like Quinlan said it !!!!!!!!!.