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Henry Ford to Implement No-Nicotine Hiring Policy Jan. 1

Job applicants will be screened for signs of nicotine as part of the hiring process.

Henry Ford health systems, including Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital, announced today they will not hire job applicants who use tobacco products, effective Jan. 1, 2013.

Job applicants will be screened for signs of nicotine as part of the hiring process.

Henry Ford joins a growing number of local and national health care systems that have implemented a no-nicotine hiring policy, reinforcing their commitment to good health and wellness.

Henry Ford CEO Nancy Schlichting says the “health and well-being of our patients, employees and visitors is our top priority. The no-nicotine policy strengthens our commitment as role models for providing a healthy environment for everyone at our facilities.”

While the screening and ban on nicotine use only applies to new job applicants, Henry Ford also is enhancing their existing policies that prohibit the use of tobacco at their facilities, launched in 2007. This includes prohibiting employees from using tobacco products or smelling of tobacco at any time during their workday.

The measure represents Henry Ford’s ongoing commitment to patient safety and employee wellness. Tobacco products include but are not limited to cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, snuff, chewing tobacco and e-cigarettes. Employees who violate these policies are subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

Henry Ford offers Health Alliance Plan's Health Engagement program, which offers lower out-of-pocket costs for employees who meet certain lifestyle requirements, including not using tobacco products. Smoking cessation support, which may include counseling, classes and medications, are also available to all employees and their family members at no cost. The offer of free cessation counseling or classes is also being extended to community members for a limited time. Community members who take part in Henry Ford’s Tobacco Treatment Services, such as the Smoking Intervention Program and Freedom From Smoking classes, will be eligible for a discount on tobacco cessation medications when they purchase them at HFHS pharmacies.

justpat 1515 September 29, 2012 at 02:46 AM
This is ridiculous folks! Next soda pop, beer, wine, and did I mention jaywalking! True smoking is harmful but it is totally none of any employers business what is done outside their walls. There is no excuse for this infraction of people's rights to privacy and freedom. All the nurses will just start popping pills.....Great!
David Justice September 29, 2012 at 12:04 PM
I knew this day was coming and as justpat mentioned a clear violation of peoples rights, its LEGAL to buy tobacco, smokers already cannot smoke on the grounds and in fact some cannot even smoke in there cars on the property. How this can be allowed it beyond me?
Cynthia Loucks September 29, 2012 at 12:05 PM
I agree with Henry Ford. I hate smelling smoke on health care workers. Being a patient is even worse when the nurse taking care of you smells like a chimney!!!! I also don't enjoy seeing all the workers outside the hospital smoking!!! I know its difficult to quit but I also know if you truly want to change a bad habit you can!!!! I smoked for years and gave it up. The freedom and benefits of being a non smoker out weighs being a smoker!!! Yes its true what you do away from your job is Your business but when it does effect your job (smelling of smoke) then your employer has every right to step in and take action especially at a health care facility.
David Justice September 29, 2012 at 12:12 PM
Cynthia I respect your opinion, but I dont like women wearing to much perfume and makes some people sick, should we sniff women for unwanted perfume smell as well?
Cynthia Loucks September 29, 2012 at 01:40 PM
Yes. There are policies for perfume also. I don't like or enjoy too much perfume or cologne on woman men. People have allergies to perfume as well cigarettes. You have to consider others when out in public. What you do in the privacy of your home is your business once you leave your home you leave your privacy.
Dr. Lisa M. Orick-Martinez September 29, 2012 at 02:35 PM
I have to agree about the smell. Perfume, cigarettes, greasy foods, vomit, etc. Not pleasant. If the hospital decides this is part of the job description (as is non-drug addicts, convicted felons, etc.) then it is their right to add this to the job description. The company has to pay (for now anyway) health benefits and if you smoke research proves that smokers have health problems and a loss of longevity of life. Why should my company pay for your unhealthy habit and the resulting medical bills? Just like, why should your tax dollars pay for promiscuity? If you want to have sex, then purchase your own birth control pills or pay for your own abortion, same with Viagra, and don't get me started with that! If you want to smoke, then don't expect to be considered for a job at that hospital!
my rantings September 29, 2012 at 03:42 PM
OK Cynthia, from what you say the only place i can smoke is in my own home and its the only place i have privacy rights? what country do you live in ? Do you work at the hospital ? My wife does and we both smoke, this goes way beyond dont smoke on hspital grounds. i have a letter in front of me that was sent to all hospital employees and if my wife comes home for lunch (she does most of the time since we live very close to the hospital) and has a cigarette in the pivacy of her own home (as you say) she can be terminated. you talk about it being a bad habit, yes we all know its bad for you but so is sugar and salt. since you and others like you say we should quit i have to give up sumthing i enjoy. yes i said it even tho i know its not good for my health sum of us smokers dont want to quit and enjoy it. that is my choice not yours not henry ford hosp not our govmt. that is what this is all about is freedom of choice. you talk about people haveing allergies yes that is true. People also have allergies to cats and dogs does that give henry ford hosp the right to say you cant own a cat or dog if you smell like your dog or have a bit of cat hair on you??? Hmmm over the past several years smokers have been made out to be bad people and second class. i am so sick of this. i am not a bad person. i am not breaking any laws. I can go on about the ins comp, the tex dollars but i am out of space.
my rantings September 29, 2012 at 04:19 PM
WoW! you talk about sexual life styl, I agree with you on that but they still pay for health care for homosexuals, isnt that high risk? oh but we cant talk about that its an invasion of rights. as a smoker hap has requiered my wife and i to take blood test for nicotine. and pay a higher premeum for our ins. an aditional $100 a week is being deducted from my wifes pay on top of what we had been paying. witch is ok it is a choice we make after all. and we dont have a problem with the no smoking on the grounds. but to say my wife can be terminated after 20+ years for smoking outside of work is wrong. you bring up tax dollars, well i dont like my tax dollars paying for health care for every crack head, drug addict and hooker but our gvmt says we have to now. on the suject af taxes as smokers we pay very hi taxes. better than 50% of the cost of tobacco produtcs is tax, how much of that goes into health care? how hi would health care be if you took that away. no disrespect Dr. Lisa but you comment above about job description are you saying that im no better than a drug addict or felon ?
my rantings September 29, 2012 at 04:29 PM
by the way my wife and i hardly ever get sick or go to our doctor, in the past 3 years we each have only gonr to see our doc once a year for our annual hap assement.
Mick Bo September 29, 2012 at 07:24 PM
Yep, you can tell that you are a "reformed" smoker!
Mick Bo September 29, 2012 at 07:30 PM
I have to agree with "my rantings"! Isn't this discrimination? Next it will over weight people, obese people, folks that have B.O. and bad breath~ Are they going to monitor your diet and if you shower and brush your teeth daily? Oh~ and what about the Doctors? Is this going to apply to the "money makers" of the hospital staff? Probably not~they bring in too much money to lose any of them! Big brother is not only always watching he is now infringing on our personal rights!
Mick Bo September 29, 2012 at 07:31 PM
How many of your peers smoke Dr. Martinez??? Will they lose their jobs?
wanda collins September 29, 2012 at 08:45 PM
Put ten people in the garage with the door shut and a running car, lets see how many come out alive. Do you drive? What's that emission doing to your lungs? Do you ever complain about the soot on your car from the parking lot? Fine particle pollution consists of a complex mixture of soot, heavy metals, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxides. Yes right in your back yard. All attributed to respiratory disease. I am pretty sure they even have an agreement to clean employees cars when the power plant sends out soot. Do you drive? Don't tell me to quit smoking when you are sending out much more air pollution. What about the sewage treatment facility smells, are you enjoying that? I am just so sick of this discrimination. But one thing I'd like to point out, A NONE smoker can smell like smoke too, if his other who he lives with is a smoker. So this means all you none smokers who have smoker friends, you must tell those friends you can't see them anymore because you will lose your job because his smoke smell is on you.
Cynthia Loucks September 30, 2012 at 12:21 AM
My friend is a Respiratory Therapist Job Security for her.
Dr. Lisa M. Orick-Martinez September 30, 2012 at 04:10 PM
Yes, I know your friend, an excellent therapist. Back to the real issue, the hospital has decided not to HIRE anyone who uses tobacco products. Yes, later the article states that Henry Ford Hospital is also prohibiting current employees from using and smelling of tabacco during the work day. Everything can be traced back to money. The hopsital does not want to pay more for health care for those employees whose lifestyles, by choice, cost the hospital more money, in this case, smoking. It sounds as if they are also trying to insulate themselves from future liability by the prohibition of use and odorous nature of toabcco. All the other issues aside, the hospital has the "right" as an employeer to do this. Personally, I don't like it either, but as a company it it their "right" to make this requirement. In another context, personally, I wholely support the First Amendment (Freedom of speech) yet I abhore those who burn the United States Of America flag. But I can't have it both ways, I support others' rights, even those I disagree with, or I don't support our First Amendment. By the way, there is no "right to privacy" in the United States Constitution.
Cynthia Loucks September 30, 2012 at 05:00 PM
Amen Dr. Orick-Martinez well said!!!! It's your choice to smoke and it's your choice to either stay with that employer or seek a new one. The employer is not forcing you to stay employed with them. Smoking like alcohol and drugs and some foods is an ADDICTION. We the people created this addiction and we the people can un create the addiction.
Mick Bo September 30, 2012 at 10:37 PM
Cynthia..........good luck with uncreating any type of addiction. Especially IF it's not yours~
John_T September 30, 2012 at 11:27 PM
Let's go with the "it's my right to smoke outside of workplace" argument for a second. If you are holding to that argument, then I would assume that you would also agree that the employer should not be paying anything for you outside of work. In other words, the health insurance that your employer offers and pays a major chuck for you is not only for if you need to use it if something were to happen when you were at work, but also if you were not at work. Which would lead to the conclusion that, your employer could argue that they are not responsible for paying for any part of a health insurance premium for you or your family outside of the hours that you work. Let's run the numbers in a simple example. Let's say you work a normal 8 hours a day. That comes out to 2080 hours a year of work. But, you get 6 holidays a year, 10 vacation days, and let's say you take 1 sick day a quarter, so 4 sick days a year. So you are actually only working 1920 hours a year. There are 8760 hours in total for a year. Which means, your employer could make the argument that they are not going to pay your health insurance premium for the 78% of the time that you are not at work, because hey, your "rights" are important to them.. So, they say that you are responsible for 78% of the health insurance premium, they will only pay the other 22%. Total health care premiums are on average $5,615 for single coverage, $15,745 for family and employees on average pay 25%. I'll let you do the math.

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