Linglestown (Dauphin County) -—It’s a hard habit to break – but if you smoke getting a job could be impossible.
Starting in February 2012, Geisinger Health System will not hire employees who test positive for nicotine.
Amy Brayford, Vice President of Human Resources at the Danville based Geisinger said, “It’s like a natural extension that we would not hire smokers in the future, “commenting on the policy Friday.
Geisinger employees roughly 15 thousand people across the state and on average pays out nearly 100 million dollars annually in health care costs.
Not only would a nicotine free employee cut on costs of care but provide a better environment.
“It will increase the health of our population and we’ve had a few candidates who say it’s a great thing,” added Brayford.
But not everyone agrees with the new plan. Brett Kachel has smoked for years, “People have the right to smoke,” he said.
Kachel added, “It’s like telling someone they can’t drink.”
Still, Geisinger stands by their decision.
“Users are not a protected employee class, said Brayford. She added, “We don’t see it as an infringement on personal liberties.”
Current smokers at Geisinger will be grand fathered into the program and will be offered smoking cessation workshops.