Anybody who tests positive for tobacco or nicotine products will not be able to gain employment at Sparrow hospital..

April 24, 2011There are almost as many "no smoking" signs at Sparrow Hospital as there are cigarette butts along its campus. The hospital banned smoking on site years ago, and whether or not people listened, it's taking the next step in its anti-tobacco policy.

"Anybody who tests positive for tobacco or nicotine products will not be able to gain employment at Sparrow," said John Berg, a Sparrow marketing executive.

Lucky for current employees who smoke, that only goes for new hires starting May 1, 2011. Still, those we talked to--smokers or not--didn't like it.

"See that's crazy to me, your freedom of choice...that's why I live in America," said Jacob McPhail, a non-smoking employee.

"I don't think that's fair. I think if they don't want them smoking on campus that's fine but I think what you do on your own time should be up to you," said employee Michael VanDussen, who does smoke.

The sparrow campus has been smoke free since 2007 and the signs are everywhere to prove it. But there's also proof the policy isn't always enforced. We found a pile of cigarette butts swept up just feet from a no-smoking sign outside the building, not to mention, people coming and going for smoke breaks there too.

"I've seen people smoke right next to the non-smoking sign and nobody say anything about it whatsoever," said McPhail.

The new policy won't be quite as easy to get around. Applicants who test positive for nicotine can apply back only after 90 days. It's the latest move, the hospital says, to promote healthy living.

"Whether you're talking about emphysema or lung cancer or COPD and pneumonia, heart disease, congestive heart failure, and heart attack, all of these are effects of a lifetime of smoking," said Berg. "This is is a habit that robs families of loved ones. It cuts people's lives short."

These are things anyone in the health care industry should know first-hand, he added.

RFEERENCE: Smokers Need Not, 2/22/2011

A few related news briefs:
.Detriot, Michigan 3- area hospitals; want a job do not use tobacco..
Franciscan Health System - seeking a job don't use tobacco or don't even hang with people that use tobacco..
Hennepin County, Minnesota - planning no smoking on all county property even inside your own car..;
Get that job in health care just quit smoking or don't start using tobacco..;
Each smoker costs an employer about $3,400 annually in higher health care bills..;
Massachusetts - Anna Jaques Hospital jobs - if nicotine test is positive do not apply..;
Massachusetts Hospital Association - as of January 1, 2011 will no longer hire users of tobacco products..;
Hospital in Georgia will no longer hirer new employees that use tobacco..;
Tennessee - hospital will no longer hire people that use tobacco products..



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