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WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Forget an inappropriate Facebook page or a bad rap sheet -- a very addictive but legal habit could make looking for a job in Wilmington harder than it already is.
Wilmington city leaders are brainstorming ideas to keep their current and future employees healthy and that's why they're thinking about controlling the use of tobacco.
Studies show smoking can do more harm than good. In 2010, the Wilmington Fire Department helped launched these discussions on tweaking the current tobacco policies in hopes of sparking healthier lifestyles.
"I think there's been mixed results," said Wilmington Fire Department Asst. Chief Jon Mason. "Some of the folks like it and others have been saying it's too big brotherly."
Mason is one of the people heading up the wellness group in the city. It's geared toward creating healthier, happier and safer lifestyles for city employees.
The idea process is a very convoluted one for the city. While different options are being discussed, city attorneys are keeping a close eye on the legality of the ideas.
Some city employees feel like new regulations on the use of tobacco products would infringe on their rights. Those heading up the efforts said that is not their intention, rather they are looking to create a healthier workplace.
New rules could also help save the city some money with it comes to health insurance. An idea that is very popular in a still struggling economy.
"That is a challenge for any organization and what they have done over the years is come up with various incentive programs to try and be more preventative," said Dylan Lee, a spokesman for the city of Wilmington.
Ideas of implementing a hiring policy to only consider those people who do not smoke tobacco has also been brought to the table, but no final decision has been made on any level.
Some firefighters said they are on board with the idea of eliminating tobacco use altogether. They said giving up smoking wouldn't be the worst thing in the world.
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