Hospitals shift smoking bans to smoker ban



More hospitals and medical businesses in many states are adopting strict policies that make smoking a reason to turn away job applicants, saying they want to increase worker productivity, reduce health care costs and encourage healthier living. The policies reflect a frustration that softer efforts --- like banning smoking on company grounds, offering cessation programs and increasing health care premiums for smokers --- have not been powerful-enough incentives to quit. The new rules essentially treat cigarettes like an illegal narcotic. Applications now explicitly warn of "tobacco-free hiring," job seekers must submit to urine tests for nicotine and new employees caught smoking face termination.
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