MU Health Care won't hire smokers starting in 2015

4 years 14 hours 37 minutes ago Thursday, November 20 2014 Nov 20, 2014 Thursday, November 20, 2014 11:52:00 AM CST November 20, 2014 in News
By: Amanda LaBrot, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

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 - The 17th annual Partnership Against Hunger collected nearly 12,000 pounds of food and more than $42,000 in monetary... More >>
2 hours ago Tuesday, November 20 2018 Nov 20, 2018 Tuesday, November 20, 2018 11:30:00 PM CST November 20, 2018 in News
MILLER COUNTY - The Miller County Sheriff’s Office conducted a large investigation on November 11 and 12 by the United... More >>
6 hours ago Tuesday, November 20 2018 Nov 20, 2018 Tuesday, November 20, 2018 7:31:00 PM CST November 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - City Manager Mike Matthes announced his resignation Tuesday morning and it has caused a lot of reactions from... More >>
7 hours ago Tuesday, November 20 2018 Nov 20, 2018 Tuesday, November 20, 2018 6:37:00 PM CST November 20, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON DC - Health officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an alert for consumers to avoid... More >>
7 hours ago Tuesday, November 20 2018 Nov 20, 2018 Tuesday, November 20, 2018 6:19:00 PM CST November 20, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson is renewing a lobbying ban for members of his office. Parson... More >>
7 hours ago Tuesday, November 20 2018 Nov 20, 2018 Tuesday, November 20, 2018 5:46:59 PM CST November 20, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Margie Vandeven will be reinstated as the education commissioner of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education... More >>
8 hours ago Tuesday, November 20 2018 Nov 20, 2018 Tuesday, November 20, 2018 4:49:00 PM CST November 20, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - On Tuesday afternoon Jefferson City Public Schools announced new administrative staffing appointments for Capital City High School... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, November 20 2018 Nov 20, 2018 Tuesday, November 20, 2018 4:02:00 PM CST November 20, 2018 in News
MARSHALL – One Salvadoran family in mid-Missouri could be split up with the end of what is called TPS or... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, November 20 2018 Nov 20, 2018 Tuesday, November 20, 2018 3:56:00 PM CST November 20, 2018 in News
CAMDENTON - The Camden County Sheriff's Office identified the victim in Monday's early morning homicide as Derek Ray Harrelson, 34,... More >>
10 hours ago Tuesday, November 20 2018 Nov 20, 2018 Tuesday, November 20, 2018 3:38:21 PM CST November 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia City Council approved a $12 million improvement project on Nifong Boulevard at Monday's meeting. The... More >>
10 hours ago Tuesday, November 20 2018 Nov 20, 2018 Tuesday, November 20, 2018 3:09:00 PM CST November 20, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The sheriff of a rural southeast Missouri county pleaded guilty Tuesday to federal charges for using... More >>
11 hours ago Tuesday, November 20 2018 Nov 20, 2018 Tuesday, November 20, 2018 2:27:00 PM CST November 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Mike Matthes will resign as city manager, effective Wednesday, the City of Columbia announced in a press release.... More >>
12 hours ago Tuesday, November 20 2018 Nov 20, 2018 Tuesday, November 20, 2018 1:32:00 PM CST November 20, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The State Board of Education announced Tuesday that Margie Vandeven will return to her role as commissioner... More >>
13 hours ago Tuesday, November 20 2018 Nov 20, 2018 Tuesday, November 20, 2018 12:44:00 PM CST November 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A judge sentenced a man to seven years in prison for his role in a robbery in April.... More >>
13 hours ago Tuesday, November 20 2018 Nov 20, 2018 Tuesday, November 20, 2018 12:19:32 PM CST November 20, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Police are looking for a man in connection with a shooting early Tuesday morning that left a... More >>
14 hours ago Tuesday, November 20 2018 Nov 20, 2018 Tuesday, November 20, 2018 11:12:00 AM CST November 20, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Police identified the victim in Monday's deadly shooting as 19-year-old Nilez R. Nichols. Jefferson City Communications... More >>
15 hours ago Tuesday, November 20 2018 Nov 20, 2018 Tuesday, November 20, 2018 10:43:00 AM CST November 20, 2018 in News
WARREN - A Benton County Sheriff's Deputy is recovering after he shot himself at a gun range Monday night. ... More >>
17 hours ago Tuesday, November 20 2018 Nov 20, 2018 Tuesday, November 20, 2018 8:13:00 AM CST November 20, 2018 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - It's a similar idea to paying a monthly fee for Netflix or a membership to a gym, but... More >>
1 day ago Monday, November 19 2018 Nov 19, 2018 Monday, November 19, 2018 11:19:00 PM CST November 19, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 31°
2am 34°
3am 34°
4am 33°
5am 33°