Almost exactly one year after the University of Pennsylvania Health System announced a move to weed out tobacco users from its payroll, Main Line Health just released details about a new tobacco-use employment policy, effective May 1, 2014, which will bar nicotine and tobacco users from employment at the health system’s four hospitals and other area facilities. Current employees will be required to disclose whether or not they use tobacco or nicotine products, and those who do will pay a surcharge for their health care benefits beginning in 2015.
Here's how it'll work, as per a press release issued today:
Under the “Tobacco Use Impact on Employment” policy, applicants will have to certify that they have not used tobacco products or nicotine in any form in the 90-day period prior to submitting an application to Main Line Health, and that they will remain tobacco-free during their employment with the health system. In addition, their offer of employment will be contingent on a negative nicotine lab screening result.
Employees found in violation of the policy will be subject to disciplinary action, requiring them to complete a smoking cessation program and be subject to random nicotine lab screenings for a two-year period.
To help current employees kick the habit, Main Line Health will offer a six-class smoking-cessation program that will include access to aids like Chantix or nicotine-replacement products. Employees who complete the course will get a $100 bonus.
The new policy comes five years after Main Line Health instated a smoke-free policy its campuses' grounds; it has barred smoking inside its facilities for more than two decades. Hospitals in the Main Line Health network include Lankenau Medical Center, Bryn Mawr Hospital, Paoli Hospital and Riddle Hospital.
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