Smokers Need Not Apply, Says Penn. Hospital


Looking for a job in the medical field? Beginning in February at one hospital in Pennsylvania, smokers need not apply.

Geisinger Health System in Danville, Penn. will not hire smokers, starting on February 1. Pennsylvania is one of 19 states allowed to screen job applicants for signs of smoking, and the hiring move is not unprecedented: an Anchorage, Alaska hospital made the same decision in November of this year, while a Cleveland, Ohio hospital implemented a similar ban in 2007.

According to CNN, those who test positive for nicotine will be offered help to quit smoking and an opportunity to reapply in six months. A spokeswoman for the hospital said that secondhand smoke will not traced by the test.

Existing employees will be grandfathered in under the new policy; smokers currently employed are not at risk of losing their job.

The hospital says the move is to improve the wellness of their staff. It could also prove to cut health care costs among employees: some studies have shown that smokers pay $500-$2,200 more in annual medical expenses than non-smokers.

Increased productivity among staff could prove to be another bonus of the policy: studies have also revealed that as smoke breaks accumulate throughout the day, smokers wind up working less than their non-smoking counterparts.

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  • by Anonymous on Jan 9, 2012 at 05:20 PM
    Oh have issues
  • by Oh well Location: too bad on Jan 9, 2012 at 12:42 PM
    They won't hire smokers, but they'll hire pedophiles, gays and lesbians, who committ unnatural acts between men with men and women with women, and even worse, sexaully abuse kids. That really makes a lot of sense, sounds like "Mystery babylon and Sodom and Gomorrah" have teamed up.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jan 9, 2012 at 05:21 PM in reply to Oh well
      you have issues.....
  • by Leanne on Jan 9, 2012 at 06:39 AM
    Where does it all end? I had a dentist here in CS once who always smelled likes whatever he had for lunch. Add his assistant who smelled of cigarette smoke and I about got nauseated everytime I went for a check up. Honest truth!
  • by The Future Location: Dallas, TX on Jan 8, 2012 at 03:53 PM
    This is fantastic. I have worked for a company who already did this. Whether you like it or not, smoking is stupid. Why hire someone who is morbidly obese (w/o disease) or a smoker? Both are clearly associated with stupidity, laziness, and not being able to handle stress. If you don't have the discipline and common sense to take care of yourself, how are you going to be a good employee? Why make others pay higher insurance rates? Why hire someone who is going to be needing constant smoking breaks? Stop smoking people. Use a little common sense. Yes, you have every right to destroy yourselves and apparently those around you. Employers have every right to not hire you. This is in no way discrimination.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jan 9, 2012 at 06:35 AM in reply to The Future
      From Texas. Of course.
  • by Chris Location: Illinois on Jan 8, 2012 at 07:08 AM
    To Glenn Steele: The no smoking policy is discrimination without a doubt. One of the main reasons for absenteeism is drug and alcohol abuse. Not smoking cigarettes. I work in the Medical profession. At the top of the list of abusers are Medical professionals who abuse drugs and alcohol. So, if you are not planning on testing all the employees who work for Geisinger, then you have no right to be targeting one type of person. And, you can't allow current employees who smoke to work there and continue smoking, this is absolutely outrageous! Were you people drunk at the time you came up with this stupid idea? This is America, you have no right to hold judgement against anyone for what they choose to do with their own life. Be prepared for many lawsuits. Why don't you work on getting your current employees sober before you go attacking anyone else. The President of Geisinger should be fired for allowing this no smoking issue to be implemented. I live in Illinois too so it's not only discrimination against residents of PA being wrongfully judged, this affects all Americans. And by the way, why do you have so many non citizens working at the Hospitals? Do we have that many stupid Americans that you can't hire people from your own Country????
  • by S on Jan 3, 2012 at 08:32 AM
    Let me ask you this, when the hell have you had a doctor that smelled like smoke? I sure haven't and if you do maybe you shouldn't see that doctor. I am a smoker and you wouldn't even be able to tell I am. The people that smoke in closed in spaces like a house or a car with closed windows are the ones that stink. This is discrimination and if they're going to so this than they should get rid of obese people. Medical condition or not, some of these workers are too big to claim a medical condition. And they can try to not hire smokers but it won't work anyways, there are ways to hide it. And it falls under discrimination.
  • by DanReeves Location: CO on Jan 2, 2012 at 04:16 PM
    Allright, let me break it down like this -- Smoking shouldn't be government controlled. In a truly free market it's up to the business owner whether or not to allow smoking on thier property or not. It's still a free country right? If that is the route this/these hospitals want to go then that's THIER decision. I am a smoker but I have been to bars back in the day when you smoked your lungs out at the bar. I do remember there were a few select bars in town that were non-smoking bars. By God that's their decision. That being said, smokers make up like 60 - 80% of hospital's profits because they are some obviously unhealthy mofos... (don't quote me on those numbers but it's close)
  • by Jared on Jan 2, 2012 at 01:24 PM
    Legal or not, healthy or not, as a non smoker I don't want to be in the hospital smelling smoke on my doctor or nurse. It smells. I would say the same about medical professionals wearing too much perfume or having BO.
  • by Klimentoid Location: Malaysia on Jan 2, 2012 at 12:46 PM
    I was a smoker for a long time but then i realized that my life had gone to the worst ... i wan't healthy at all and i realized that everything my folks always tried to tell me that in life the most important thing is health ... you can have it all but without health you cannot live to enjoy anything. Anyways i was always smoking and always waking up feeling tired and smelly breath all the time ... i had heart problems and what not... i even smoked e-cigs but didnt help only took a turn to the worse.. I had a heart attack and decided to quit for good! And i did but not alone and im not ashamed to admit it because i had some help from some products from this site <- is the place to be if u want to be smoke free like me and i Hope that kids that are reading this and are still not addicted but are trying cigs out !! STOP !! NOW!! Please :( Thanks
  • by Bradman on Jan 1, 2012 at 06:52 PM
    You can become fat from thyroid disease and other medical issues. Smoking is always a choice unless you have a mental illness.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jan 1, 2012 at 07:23 PM in reply to Bradman
      Being fat is a choice, whether you like it or not. Choosing to eat poorly directly affects how a body functions, including thyroid issues. Choosing highly processed foods for your child will likely result in an obese adult.
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