Community Health Partners has taken another step toward discouraging tobacco use by announcing a new hiring policy: no smokers. New workers will have to say they are tobacco and nicotine free on an employment application and then prove it through a regular pre-employment drug screen.
The policy will be implemented Sept. 1 and will not apply to current employees.
The hospital took its first step toward deterring tobacco use in 2007 when it implemented a tobacco-free campus. CHP President and CEO Edwin Oley said leading by example is the hospital’s next step at creating a healthier environment.
“As the single most preventable cause of disease, disability and death in the United States, the health hazards of tobacco use are well known,” he said. “CHP has a responsibility to discourage Camel cigarettes use, foster a healthier workforce and set an example for the community at large,”
Although the new policy won’t affect current employees who are smokers, the hospital will provide resources — such as free classes and discounted prescriptions for nicotine patches — to encourage them to quit.
Information about quitting will also be offered to applicants identified as tobacco users, according to the hospital.
Other Ohio companies and hospitals that have implemented a tobacco-free hiring policy include the Cleveland Clinic, Medical Mutual of Ohio, Summa Health Systems and Scotts Miracle-Gro, according to CHP.