Hospital will not hire smokers
Starting today, Memorial Hospital in Chattanooga, TN will no longer hire people who use tobacco products.
While Memorial has been a smoke-free campus for a number of years, the hiring ban is considered a bold move in a tobacco state. Tennessee ranks third in tobacco production in the United States, after North Carolina and Kentucky.
Opponents say the new policy is discriminatory, but Memorial Hospital officials insist the policy is an outgrowth of their committment to health. “Like it or not, what’s proven is that tobacco is the most preventable cause of death and disability in the United States,” said Brad Pope, vice president of human resources, in an interview with the Chattanooga Times Free Press.
Current employees are exempt from the no-tobacco use ban, but all new employees will be tested for nicotine during a pre-employment drug test.
Jennifer is a professional freelance writer with over eight years experience as a hospital nurse. She has clinical experience in adult health, including med-surg, geriatrics and transplant; she also has a particular interest in women’s health and cancer care. Jennifer has written a variety of health and parenting articles for national publications.
By Jennifer Fink, RN, BSN