No smoking at work or at home: WellSpan will stop hiring tobacco users
York-based WellSpan Health said Monday it will stop hiring tobacco users as of Jan. 1.
The owner of York Hospital and others, which banned smoking from its campuses in 2006, said the latest move "is yet another step in WellSpan's journey to reduce the detrimental impacts of tobacco use in our community."
After the new policy is in place, people offered jobs at WellSpan will be tested for tobacco and nicotine and those who test positive won't be hired. People who test positive can apply again after 12 months.
But they won't be tested again after they are hired, and there are no plans to identify or punish employees hired after Jan. 1 who are later found to be using tobacco, according to WallSpan spokesman Brett Marcy.
WellSpan noted that 20 percent of adults in York and Adams counties identify themselves as regular tobacco users, as do 13 percent of Lancaster County residents. Tobacco use is considered the number one preventable cause of death.
"Our goal is to promote tobacco-free living and to create a healthier and more pleasant environment for those who visit or receive care at a WellSpan facility," Robert Batory, WellSpan's chief human resources officer said in a news release.
WellSpan noted that Ephrata Community Hospital, which became part of WellSpan last fall, has had such a policy since 2011, and the WellSpan board members decided to make it system-wide.
That means it will like become the policy at Good Samaritan Hospital in Lebanon, which is expected to become part of WellsSpan.
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