MU Health Care won't hire smokers starting in 2015

2 years 2 months 3 days ago November 20, 2014 Nov 20, 2014 Thursday, November 20 2014 Thursday, November 20, 2014 11:52:00 AM CST in News
By: Amanda LaBrot, KOMU 8 Reporter
Embed Code Copied

COLUMBIA - MU Health Care announced it won't hire smokers starting on Jan.1, 2015.

The new nicotine-free hiring policy exempts current employees, but all new applicants will be asked if they use nicotine products. If the applicant says "yes," they'll be given tobacco cessation information and given the opportunity to re-apply for jobs within 90 days. 

The policy will add nicotine to MU Health Care's pre-employment drug screenings.

Associate Professor of Family and Community Medicine Kevin Everett said banning nicotine isn't a new concept.

"Numerous health care organizations have adopted not hiring those who use tobacco products, or nicotine-free policies, across the nation," Everett said.

MU Health Care Chief Executive Officer Mitch Wasden said the new policy will help the hospital "lead by example."

"Improving the health of our patients, as well as the community and the state, is central to our mission as a leading academic medical center," Wasden said.

Everett agreed, "One of Mu Health Care's primary missions is ensuring the health of our patients. And as we move forward and try to advance and become one of the leaders in the state as an academic health setting, we want to make sure we're leading by example. We're creating a culture of health here, and our employees will take the lead on that."

MU adjunct law professor Sandy Davidson said the policy not discriminatory.

"There is no constitutional right to smoke, so from that perspective, there's not a legal problem," Davidson said. "Employers can't discriminate in many different ways, discriminating against smoking would not fall into any protected categories."

MU Health Care has been a smoke-free campus since 2006, and officials say asking employees to be smoke-free is a natural progression. 

"In health care, we've come to strong conclusions that tobacco use is unhealthy for everyone, both the user and the non-user," Everett said. "It's the leading cause of death and disability in this country and this state. I think this is a next step in our organization's strategy to build out healthier work forces and create a healthier environment for people to be healed when they're here as patients."

Davidson said, "If any employers should be looking at nicotine-free policy, it would seem to me that employers of health care workers would be the logical ones to say 'no smokers.'" 

Another consideration Davidson brought up was employers' decreased health costs if employees don't smoke, and patients who are more sensitive to smoke won't have worry about the smell left in clothes or hair. Davidson also said regulating smoking could be a slippery slope for future regulatory policies. 

Cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco, snuff, clove cigarettes and electronic cigarettes are all included in the policy's list of banned nicotine products.

 

 

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - A twin-engine Beechcraft Baron aircraft had a crash landing on Monday afternoon at Columbia Regional Airport. It... More >>
23 minutes ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 4:38:00 PM CST in News
ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (AP) — A proposed bill would impose penalties on Missouri gun owners who don't report a lost... More >>
1 hour ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 3:16:34 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - If you're a Missourian and have purchased dairy products in the past 14 years, you might be eligible... More >>
2 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 2:55:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again (and again and again). Sleep is incredibly important. It’s... More >>
3 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 1:47:00 PM CST in News
AUDRAIN COUNTY - A Vandalia man was sentenced to seven years in jail after he encouraged a 13-year-old to have... More >>
3 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 1:43:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway released an audit on Shelbina municipal court in northeast Missouri that found... More >>
3 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 1:13:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Economic Development Director Stacey Button is not looking for a new airport manager. Former Columbia Regional Airport... More >>
4 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 12:32:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia police are looking for a possible link between a shots-fired call and a shooting victim who showed... More >>
7 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 9:35:00 AM CST in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say a decomposed body has been found near a bridge in a Kansas City... More >>
10 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 6:30:00 AM CST in News
LA MONTE - The Pettis County Prosecuting Attorney's Office filed charges against three men after a home invasion Saturday night.... More >>
22 hours ago January 22, 2017 Jan 22, 2017 Sunday, January 22 2017 Sunday, January 22, 2017 6:47:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - The MFA Oil Break Time shootout featured talented athletes from all around Missouri on Sunday. There were six... More >>
22 hours ago January 22, 2017 Jan 22, 2017 Sunday, January 22 2017 Sunday, January 22, 2017 6:45:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Less than 24 hours after a call for help identifying the driver in a hit-and-run, Columbia police have... More >>
1 day ago January 22, 2017 Jan 22, 2017 Sunday, January 22 2017 Sunday, January 22, 2017 4:40:00 PM CST in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura, whose electric arm helped his team win the 2015 World Series title,... More >>
1 day ago January 22, 2017 Jan 22, 2017 Sunday, January 22 2017 Sunday, January 22, 2017 2:36:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Two people were arrested Friday in connection with a terroristic threat, according to an email from Columbia police.... More >>
1 day ago January 22, 2017 Jan 22, 2017 Sunday, January 22 2017 Sunday, January 22, 2017 2:08:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Police officers responded to shots fired early Sunday morning in Columbia, according to a news release. ... More >>
1 day ago January 22, 2017 Jan 22, 2017 Sunday, January 22 2017 Sunday, January 22, 2017 1:26:00 PM CST in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis police say a 20-year-old man is charged in an attack on a 12-year-old girl... More >>
1 day ago January 22, 2017 Jan 22, 2017 Sunday, January 22 2017 Sunday, January 22, 2017 12:51:01 PM CST in News
JASPER (AP) — A southwestern Missouri man is taking recycling to the extreme by building a house made from everything... More >>
1 day ago January 22, 2017 Jan 22, 2017 Sunday, January 22 2017 Sunday, January 22, 2017 11:03:00 AM CST in News
COLUMBIA (AP) — A University of Missouri professor hopes his invention of a new mug that maintains the coffee's temperature... More >>
1 day ago January 22, 2017 Jan 22, 2017 Sunday, January 22 2017 Sunday, January 22, 2017 10:56:06 AM CST in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 37°
5pm 37°
6pm 36°
7pm 39°
8pm 37°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

5:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 5
5:30p
NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt
6:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 6
5:00p
American Dad!
5:30p
American Dad!
6:00p
Family Guy

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
The Celebrity Apprentice
9:00p
Timeless
7:00p
Supergirl
8:00p
Jane the Virgin
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld