Monday, March 14, 2011

Smokers Need Not Apply

Just read that a local hospital is refusing to hire smokers and is requiring nicotine tests before hiring. In the interest of seeing whether this is a new or a trend, I searched the web.  Apparently, hospitals are refusing to hire smokers all over.  The theory is to promote a healthy atmosphere and to save on healthcare costs.

Perhaps its the pessimist in me, but I wonder if this is an across the board decision or only going to work against the lower level employees? Are hospitals truly willing to forgo hiring the hot shot surgeon or specialist to head up a lucrative department simply because she or he smokes? Perhaps I'm jaded, but I've seen a ton of doctors who smoke and I've also seen hospitals only care about the bottom line. I don't believe any hospital would choose not to hire the hot shot doc.


  1. Yup, it makes you wonder! Is the motivation based on health and safety concerns, or on not wanting hourly workers to have their 15+ minute smoke breaks throughout their shifts. And how do you regulate if you are hiring a smoker or not? It's not as if you can drug test for it, right?

  2. Actually, the article I read said that two offers were rescinded because the people failed the nicotine test. Apparently, they can drug test for it!

  3. Interesting take...I wouldn't have thought of that initially, but I totally see your point!

    Thanks for the really nice comment on my MOGO post the other day. Comments like that make my day. :)

  4. I've always laughed that hospital workers smoke at all. Honestly, I don't think this will stick at any level.

  5. Very good point. Maybe they pass the test THEN start smoking again.

  6. They do a saliva swab to test for it. Life insurance companies do them all of the time to decide rates. IMHO I don't think you can base any kind of hiring policy on that though... It's not like we're talking about a drug test for illegal drugs. As long as smoking is legal, it shouldn't be any of the employer's business what people do outside the workplace.


Having a child with a CHD is like being given an extra sense---the true ability to appreciate life. Each breath, each hug, each meal is a blessing when you've watched your child live off a ventilator, trapped in an ICU bed, being fed through a tube. Each minute is a miracle when you've watched your child almost die and come back to you.
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