Smokers need not apply?

  1. So I've reached my 2 year mark & getting a little restless, toying with the idea of moving into a different dept or facility. I was looking at a website for another hospital & they have posted that they will no longer hire anyone that uses nicotine which will be screened for during the employment physical. Not an issue for me, but I found the bold underlined statement a little jarring. I understand that in healthcare we want to promote healthy lifestyles, but dictating personal legal habits to employees is a bit of a push don't you think? Is this common in other areas & just reaching my neck of the woods?
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    Joined: Sep '11; Posts: 1,155; Likes: 2,287


  3. by   roser13
    Do a search here on - it's been discussed quite a bit. And yes, it is becoming quite popular.

    As is a mandated flu vaccine. Personally, I don't have issues with either one of those things, but both of them certainly get people up in arms.

    I say, if you don't want to work for someone who mandates those things, don't apply there.
  4. by   Altra
    It is not an uncommon policy, neither in the healthcare industry nor in other industries.
  5. by   KittyLovinRN
    My hospital system has recently gone smoke free with hiring and sent an email out in July stating current employees have exactly 12 months to kick the habit. The argument I hear a lot from managers is that it cuts down (a lot) on breaks staff are taking outside of designated ones. Hospital nurses are given two 15-min paid and one 30-min unpaid (lunch) breaks...granted we all know these breaks are often a far cry from what other professions would call a "break". When I worked the floor I was constantly asked to watch patients of smokers, I hated it.

    This year employees are forced to either get a flu vaccine or sign a waiver & take an online education module.

    Sent from my iPhone using
    Last edit by KittyLovinRN on Sep 12, '13
  6. by   hherrn
    Part of it is likely due to health insurance.

    If you ran a cab company, who you hire drivers who were at a high risk for accidents?

    Assuming I am a hospital, why on earth would I hire a smoking nurse if I can find a non-smoking nurse?
  7. by   RNOTODAY
    here in ct too. my employer has a policy to either get the flu vaccine, or sign the waiver and you MUST wear a MASK during the flu season at work if you dont get the vaccine. thats wear the mask EVERYWHERE on the premises!!! all day!!!. i was shocked. i just started there.
  8. by   RNOTODAY
    also, no smokers are hired
  9. by   Caribbean Character
    Discrimination. I don't see them blood testing for residual alcohol and refusing to hire anyone who drinks because they tend to call out with a hangover. ( no, I don't smoke)
  10. by   Altra
    Quote from Caribbean Character
    Discrimination. I don't see them blood testing for residual alcohol and refusing to hire anyone who drinks because they tend to call out with a hangover. ( no, I don't smoke)
    No discrimination is present -- smokers are not a protected class.
  11. by   BluegrassRN
    We haven't gotten there yet, but we do get a 25% discount on our health insurance premiums if we are non smokers. I'd be more likely to lose a few pounds if we got another 25% off for being in a healthy BMI....
  12. by   madwife2002
    So If I dont smoke, dont drink, dont do drugs and get a flu shot will I get my insurance free?
  13. by   LisalaRN99
    My hospital hasn't gone so far as to advertise they won't hire smokers. Our campus is non-smoking. Patients are given nicotine replacement products and not allowed to leave the building. Staff and guests must stand out on the sidewalk to smoke. It looks like everyone is waiting for the bus! Annually we have a health screening...fasting bloodwork, blood pressure check, weight check. The bloodwork checks for cholesterol and glucose levels, as well as the presence of nicotine and it's metabolite, coltinine. If you have nicotine or coltinine in your blood work, you have to pay a higher insurance premium. With all instances of health risks factors: high BP, high cholesterol, high glucose, smoking, employees can take advantage of the employee wellness program. After you complete the program and show the new results, you get money in a health savings account...I think up to $250. For the smoking cessation, you get switched to the lower premium insurance plan, and get back the difference you paid in the premiums before you quit smoking. What it boils down to is that "someone" has always had to pay for people's individual "rights" to self determination when it came to poor lifestyle choices. Now, and I believe in the future, the individuals will be paying more for these choices.
  14. by   applewhitern
    We hire tobacco users. We are a no-smoking campus, so the smokers must leave the premises before lighting up. I am allergic to the smoke, and when the smokers get near me, I instantly start tearing, coughing, and get stopped up. It clings to their clothes and hair and makes me ill. The patients can smell the smoke on them, too, and it is kinda hard to teach anti-smoking stuff when the staff reeks of it.