Smoking Police Recruitment Forms

King Banian was given the “opportunity” by the state of Minnesota to fill out a health assessment in exchange for reduced co-pays on his insurance. He reproduces some of the questions related to second-hand tobacco exposure, which he found both inane and an invasion of his privacy. Moreover, he’s “concerned that health officials and health professionals are now trying to recruit private individuals to be part of the smoking police.”

More likely, though, the state is reinforcing the incentive to lie on questionnaires. Presumably, admitting that you spend time in areas where there are substantial amounts of cigarette smoke — let alone that, horrors, you actually smoke yourself — could be used to increase your premiums or to weed you out of the system entirely. Why would anyone, then, answer these questions honestly?

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Alan Kellogg says:

    OT: James, you have stealth pop-ups. A party is sneaking in pop-up ads into popular blogs. Science Blogs is having trouble with this. I have the URL for the pop-up in question. If you’d like that URL for investigational purposes, please drop me a line at my email.

  2. Eneils Bailey says:

    Think about an employer suspecting someone of being a homosexual, drug addict, or traffic offender.
    I used to be employed by a major computer company that would scold you for suspected smoking, at the same time paying out millions of dollars in medical payments for employees for the treatment of aids.(The company was based in California) They thought nothing of sending you out to detox if you were hooked on drugs, costing thousands per incident, but don’t smoke. We had employees who were habitual traffic offenders assigned company cars, putting the company at risk for millions of dollars, but don’t smoke in the car.

    I never participated in any of these activities, just find it strange that some organizations find that smoking is the “big problem” du jour.