Only tobacco free employeess??

  1. What are your opinions on hospitals refusing to hire people that use tobacco (either chewing or smoking)? Do you know of any that have this policy?

    Our medical center has no smoking in or out allowed but we have just created a policy that checks for tobacco in a UA. Those found positive cannot reapply for employment for one year.
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  2. 41 Comments

  3. by   klone
    I have a HUGE problem with that. I think smoking is a noxious habit, but until it's made illegal, then IMO no employer should be able to discriminate on the basis of being a tobacco smoker.
  4. by   klone
    The more I think about this, the more I would be inclined to contact the ACLU.

    Can someone test positive from second hand smoke from spending several hours in a smoky bar?
  5. by   TNgirl2010
    Seriously? I don't smoke and am all for making hospitals smoke free, but I think it's wrong to refuse to hire smokers. Does this go for all hospital employees, like maintenance people and housekeeping too?
  6. by   NeoNurseTX
    I agree with you guys. What's next, can't drink wine?? It's all employees. I agree that we shouldn't use it at work but what people do legally outside of work is no one's business. And this is coming from someone who abhors the habit.

    ACLU wise - we are not forced to work here (and those already working here it will not apply to) so I'm wondering if it is even something they could interfere with.
  7. by   RNlvn
    From the employers side healthy employees are just better for business. The policy however is wrong in so many ways.
  8. by   NeoNurseTX
    What scares me is that I've heard NO ONE complain.

    And apparently it's completely legal where I live. I love my job and don't want to be a squeaky wheel because the squeaky wheel gets fired, but this is over the line.
    Last edit by NeoNurseTX on Jul 3, '10 : Reason: added link
  9. by   Zookeeper3
    I know cleveland clinic was transitioning to smoke free... employees had a year to quit and they would to UA testing as well. This may be due to the rising cost of health insurance premiums.

    My husbands businness handled that differently though... smokers pay a higher premium. I say add your non diet compliant obese employees as well... those who don't keep thier diabetes undercontrol... hmn, why not DNA testing... there could be more expensive illnesses that are not smoking related, don't hire those people either....

    ONe foot on the banana peel.... these insurance companies have too much control.
  10. by   RN_2012
    Is it possible this allows for cheaper employee health insurances rates for the hospital?
  11. by   corky1272RN
    Yeah, my hospital just emailed all the employees. It is now a new policy there. I don't really agree with it but I don't think it's discrimination. If they don't want to hire blondes (or smokers) that is their choice. Smoking is not protected by the EEOC like sex, race, religion, etc. I do like the suggestion to have smokers and non-compliant employees pay higher premiums though.
  12. by   meandragonbrett
    I don't care if you choose to smoke...that is your decision. I should NOT have to smell it on you while at work nor should the patients.
  13. by   Fribblet
    Seems if they are doing this for cheaper health care premiums or to promote a "healthy" environment, then they should put their money where their mouth is and extend the policy.

    No unhealthy snacks, no sodas, no alcohol consumption while off duty, moving traffic violations are grounds for termination, and every employee must have a healthy BMI.

    Otherwise, they should f*** off, imo.
  14. by   fungez
    I've never smoked but stories like this make me want to pick up the habit.

    This is not about our health. This is about looking good and reducing insurance premiums.

    If hospitals are so concerned about our health they would ensure we get our breaks and lunches, ensure that we had easily accessable lift equipment, and get rid of vending machines that are crammed full of junk food. They would mandate safe staffing ratios, instead of fighting it tooth and nail.

    I know they use the excuse that smokers call in sick more. Okay, and nurses with young kids call in more as well. People with chronic illnesses call in a lot too. They going to weed those people out, as well?

    Making smokers pay increased premiums is one thing, telling them they can't indulge in a completely legal activity in their time away from work is another. Next they'll be telling us how much we can weigh and how much we have to exercise.

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