More Hospitals Refuse to Hire Smokers

Puffing on a cigarette can be grounds for dismissal
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 11, 2011 11:32 AM CST
More Hospitals Refuse to Hire Smokers
Hospitals are getting tougher with employee anti-smoking policies.   (Shutterstock)

A new trend in hospital jobs: Smokers need not apply. In what some call “tobacco-free hiring,” medical businesses are refusing employment to smokers, insisting on blood tests for nicotine along with applications, the New York Times reports. The policy—which, the Times notes, treats a legal habit like an illegal drug—has spread across a number of states, and courts have upheld an institution’s right to use it.

“We felt it was unfair for employees who maintained healthy lifestyles to have to subsidize those who do not," says a hospital official in Missouri. "Essentially that’s what happens.” But others note that it’s a private matter, and wonder what’s next—a ban on unhealthy eaters? “It’s a stupid choice, but it’s a personal choice,” says one hospital worker who smokes.
(More smoking stories.)

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