Hartz IV: Smoking cessation otherwise punishment

As the magazine “Gegen-Hartz.de” reports in its latest edition, the Job Center Nienburg in Lower Saxony sends out invitations to older Hartz IV users to quit smoking as part of its “Perspective 50plus” project. The special thing about it is that the invitees are not given the choice to choose this course at will. The letter clearly emphasizes that participation is mandatory, otherwise the standard rate will be reduced by 10 percent for three months as a sanction.

"An important requirement for smoking cessation is the firm will to stop smoking," reports Christian Meyer, a medical doctor from Hanover. Because every smoker knows that smoking cigarettes damages health and significantly increases the risk of a heart attack or cancer. Meyer therefore criticizes the involuntary nature of the course, which should have little chance of success. The situation is different with incentives. These could increase motivation and encourage perseverance.

For “Gegen-Hartz.de” there is another aspect to be criticized. Every adult in Germany has the freedom to decide whether to use the glow stick or not. The agency apparently ignores this important aspect. (gr)

Also read:
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Smoking weakens cancer protection genes
Smoking is the main cause of COPD
Women die of cancer earlier and more often
Smoking men break down mentally faster
Immediate quit smoking symptom of lung cancer?

Photo credit: Thorsten Freyer / pixelio.de

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