Assuming the smoking is during non-work hours. Why or why not?
Would you hire a babysitter/nanny that smoked?
I would have a couple of concerns. The person might be tempted to sneak a smoke while s/he was supposed to be looking after the children. It would mean that s/he wouldn't be supervising the children directly since s/he would have to hide behind a door or step outside. My second concern is general health. Smokers may have more trouble keeping up with active children and are more likely to get sick. A simple cold may last longer and symptoms may be more severe.
If you are talking about an occasional cigarette while out on the weekend, that wouldn't bother me (how would I even know about it?!) but if you mean a babysitter who smoked immediately before and after babysitting and routinely outside of babysitting, then no, I wouldn't if I could help it. I wouldn't trust that they wouldn't occasionally break the rules and sneak a cig during nap time or something, or that their vehicle and clothes were smoke free.
Though I am a hypocrite because both dp and my mom smoke and it drives me crraaaazzzyyy (even as a former smoker myself pre-kids), but I try to use it as a teaching tool about the perils of addiction and the effects of smoking..hopefully it will sink in! I wouldn't intentionally surround my kids with people who smoked though, particularly if I am paying them :)
Absolutely not. I think smoking is so disgusting and should be illegal for starters. I also think it should be illegal to smoke in a car if children are present. Second hand smoke or third-hand smoke if they are not smoking around the child is so awful for the children. No way. I hate smoking.
I think it's optimistic to think that someone who is a regular smoker would be able to quit for the day to care for your children. Everyone I know who smokes gets very, very cranky at their personal intervals, usually more like 1-3 hours between smokes. Then again, I guess someone could be a very light smoker and keep it to off-work hours. I would definitely never hire someone who would smoke right before work or with my kids.
I'm torn about the "shared values" argument though. I mean, I would never say a teacher or camp counselor should be fired for smoking, for example, especially if they do keep it as much to themselves as possible. I think that would be crossing a boundary as to how much of a person's personal life an employer can control.
Absolutely not. All the toxic substances still linger even though no one is actively smoking around your child, therefore they are still being exposed to the same things as if someone were smoking right in front of them. Also, I have a TON of smokers in my family, so please note that before I say what I do next. I think someone who smokes cannot adequately take care of themselves, so why would I want them taking care of my child? There's a reason they smoke after all, and if they want to stop and can't, well that means they have an addiction... which requires regular fixes which opens up the possibility to said nanny smoking in front of my child. Just my thoughts.