Baylor Health to Not Hire Tobacco Users

Thursday, Sep 22, 2011  |  Updated 6:01 PM CDT
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Baylor Health Care System will not longer hire anyone who uses nicotine. Whiles testing future employees for drugs, they'll also test for nicotine.

Susy Solis, NBC 5 News

Baylor Health Care System will not longer hire anyone who uses nicotine. Whiles testing future employees for drugs, they'll also test for nicotine.

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Starting in 2012, those who use tobacco in any form will not be hired by the Baylor Health Care System.

In an attempt to be a good role model, the hospital system says they'll stop hiring people who use nicotine on Jan. 1. 

Current employees who smoke or dip tobacco will be forced to pay an additional surcharge for health insurance, but they aren't at risk of losing their jobs.  The surcharge, which is $50 this year, goes up to $650 next year, DallasNews reports.

Baylor has offered a smoking cessation program, paid for by the company, to their employees for a number of years.

Baylor currently screens applicants for illegal drugs. Adding a screen for nicotine will cost about $60,000 per year, the paper reported, and it'll detect metabolized nicotine from cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco, gum and even patches.

There is no federal law to prohibit companies from not hiring smokers, however, many states do have such laws.  Texas is not one of those states.

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