Hospital in Georgia will no longer hirer new employees that use tobacco..

July 9, 2010 - Effective July 1, Gwinnett Medical Center (GMC), Lawrenceville/Duluth, GA is reinforcing their no-tobacco commitment with a new policy that prohibits offering employment to any tobacco user.

Current employees will not be impacted by this change, but can take advantage of the hospital’s employee wellness program to stop smoking. For those associates who are tobacco users, GMC offers a smoking cessation program to assist with quitting.

GMC believes—and national studies show—that hospitals and other healthcare organizations that permit tobacco usage send a message to healthcare consumers that tobacco is not a health hazard. The health impact of tobacco use has a devastating effect on individuals and communities. “This is a matter of practicing what you preach. Hospitals and healthcare providers should lead the way in promoting good health. By not hiring people that use tobacco products and helping current employees to quit, we are trying to lead by example” said Steve Nadeau, VP, human resources for GMC.

Breathe Happy: Live Happy. That’s the new slogans around the Gwinnett Medical Center campuses to help communicate and launch the renewed Smoke Free campaign.

“GMC is dedicated to supporting the health and well being of our hospital community and the broader community we serve,” said Phil Wolfe, president and CEO of GMC. “For many years, smoking has been prohibited either inside or outside of any GMC facility. We believe we must lead by example in maintaining a healthy and safe environment for everyone.”

The real benefits of quitting far exceed anything financial. One year after quitting, the risk of coronary heart disease is cut in half. Five years after quitting, stroke risk returns to that of a non-smoker. And in 10 years, a former smoker’s risk of lung cancer is about half of that of someone who continues to smoke.

Reference: Gwinnett Medical Center Bans Smoking for New Employees, Gwinnett Medical Center, 7/6/2010.

A few related news briefs:
Tennessee - hospital will no longer hire people that use tobacco products..;
Massachusettes - smoker loses job and then loses in federal court..;
Getting harder for tobacco users to find a job...