Are People Who Smoke Disabled
In February 2000, the Royal College of Physicians published a report on nicotine addiction which concluded that “Cigarettes are highly efficient nicotine delivery devices and are as addictive as drugs such as caffeine heroin or cocaine...."
The Government's Scientific Committee on Tobacco and Health have stated that: Nicotine has been shown to have effects on brain dopamine systems.
There is no universally accepted definition of addiction although the World Health Organisation has defined addiction as: “A state, psychic and sometimes also physical, resulting in the interaction between a living organism and a drug, characterised by behavioural and other responses that always include a compulsion to take the drug on a continuous or periodic basis in order to experience its psychic effects, and sometimes to avoid the discomfort of its absences. Tolerance may or may not be present.”
Typical physical symptoms following cessation or reduction of nicotine intake include craving for nicotine, irritability, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, restlessness, sleep disturbances, decreased heart rate, and increased appetite or weight gain.
It has also been suggested there is a Genetic Influence. Recent research suggests that certain smokers may be predisposed to nicotine addiction through the effects of a gene responsible for metabolising nicotine. This mutation is in the gene, known as CYP2A6.
On the basis of the above definition's, it is possible to demonstrate a scientific basis for defining nicotine as an addictive substance and that nicotine addicts have a disability.
Logic would suggest that the proposed Government Smoking Ban Bill will be unenforceable, as Section 4 of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 quite clearly states that It is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against a disabled person.
1.—(1) Subject to the provisions of Schedule 1, a person has a disability for the purposes of this Act if he has a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.
Provisions Supplementing Section 1
1.—(1) "Mental impairment" includes an impairment resulting from or consisting of a mental illness only if the illness is a clinically well-recognised illness.
4.—(1) An impairment is to be taken to affect the ability of the person concerned to carry out normal day-to-day activities only if it affects one of the following—
(b) manual dexterity;
(c) physical co-ordination;
(e) ability to lift, carry or otherwise move everyday objects;
(f) speech, hearing or eyesight;
(g) memory or ability to concentrate, learn or understand;
or (h) perception of the risk of physical danger
Dept Work and Pensions Press release
Bugger where's me fags. I need a nicotine intake to keep up with all this joined up thinking