If You Use Tobacco Products Its Going to Cost You More..

August 13, 2007 - If You Use Tobacco Products Its Going to Cost You More.. Charging workers who smoke more for their health care is becoming a widespread practice. Clarian Health, an Indiana hospital chain, will require workers who smoke to pay $5 out of each paycheck starting in 2009. For workers deemed obese, as much as $30 will be taken out of each paycheck until they meet certain weight, cholesterol and blood pressure standards. A PriceWaterhouseCooper's survey this year of 62 percent of the 135 top executives who responded, said their companies should require employees who show unhealthy behaviors to pay a greater share of their health care costs. Weyco, a Lansing, Mich., benefits administrator, recently adopted a policy to completely eliminate tobacco use from its work force. In 2003, the company introduced a policy of not hiring tobacco users and began offering smoking-cessation programs to employees, who were given a year to quit. "While other employers' health plan costs have spiraled, Weyco's have stayed the same," said Gary Climes, vice president and general manager of Weyco. (Firms dock pay of obese, smokers, Gregory Lopes, Washington Times) Effective January 1, 2002 the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department does not hire applicants who use tobacco. Smokers at Scott's Miracle-Gro Co. won't even be able to do that much longer. In October 2006, the Marysville, OH based company will begin randomly testing employees and giving pink slips to those who test positive for nicotine. The company announced the ultimatum in November, saying it was giving employees a year to quit, and offered to help with smoking-cessation programs. (Clock ticking down for smokers at Scott's Miracle-Grow, Susan Deutschle, Business First of Columbus, April 14, 2006). (from SNUS.biz)