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.


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Jennifer Fink, RN, BSN

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.

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3 Responses to Hospital will not hire smokers

  1. Ana

    OMG! This is a very good idea! All respectable Health Care Facilities should do the same!
    I wouldn’t mind if smoking was made illigal all over the world! Yeah!

  2. Dan Wieleba

    Last time I checked Tennessee was still part of the US of A. What a complete act of discrimination and rights violations! Are they going to see if you eat at a fast food restaurants and not hire you if you do? Sad, very very sad.

  3. Laura

    I wonder if the hospital also refuses to hire anyone with a weight problem, since obesity and related diabetes and heart disease are considered to be the greatest health problems in America.

    Extremely discriminatory. Last time I checked, nicotine was not an illegal substance.