As the whole health care industry focuses more strongly on prevention, Missouri hospitals are trying out new ways to create truly smoke-free campuses.
This past week, the second hospital system in Missouri (Saint Francis Medical Center) adopted a nicotine-free hiring policy, complete with requiring applicants to take a nicotine test. The first Show Me State health care organization to make this leap was Truman Medical Center back in 2006.
In many states, including Missouri, labor laws prevent employers from refusing to hire based on tobacco use, but not-for-profit hospitals are exempt. And, it’s a growing trend across the United States. More than 6,000 companies nationwide have adopted a nicotine-free policy, including several other hospitals, Alaska Airlines and Union Pacific Railroad.
It’s a bold move that shows hospitals really practice what they preach. Of course, there’s also a financial benefit. It’s estimated that employers loose $12,000 a year for every employee that smokes.
Check out the details in this Bloomberg Businessweek article.
What do you think – have organizations gone too far with a nicotine-free hiring policy?