According to Gallup, 14 percent said employers should be able to refuse to hire someone who smokes. Associated Press photo/Ibrahim Usta

Smokers and those who are substantially overweight — the obese — should pay more for health insurance. But when it comes to hiring these same categories of workers, most Americans do not believe employers should be allowed to discriminate against them.

That’s the high-level takeaway from a new Gallup poll of 1,000-plus U.S. adults. Gallup elicited attitudes toward smokers and the obese in two key areas: cost of health insurance and employment opportunities. Digging into the data, it appears that, when smokers and those who self-identify as overweight are asked the same questions, smokers are much more likely to jump to their own defense than are the obese.

Complete your profile to continue reading and get FREE access to, part of your ALM digital membership.

Your access to unlimited content isn’t changing.
Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Critical information including cutting edge post-reform success strategies, access to educational webcasts and videos, resources from industry leaders, and informative Newsletters.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM, BenefitsPRO magazine and events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and

Already have an account?

Dan Cook

Dan Cook is a journalist and communications consultant based in Portland, OR. During his journalism career he has been a reporter and editor for a variety of media companies, including American Lawyer Media, BusinessWeek, Newhouse Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, Time Inc., and Reuters. He specializes in health care and insurance related coverage for BenefitsPRO.

More from this author



Join BenefitsPRO

Don’t miss crucial news and insights you need to navigate the shifting employee benefits industry. Join now!

  • Unlimited access to - your roadmap to thriving in a disrupted environment
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and
  • Exclusive discounts on and ALM events.

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join BenefitsPRO

Copyright © 2022 ALM Global, LLC. All Rights Reserved.