Hospital in SE Missouri won’t hire smokers

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) — Starting next year, smokers need not apply for jobs at Saint Francis Medical Center in Cape Girardeau.

The Southeast Missourian newspaper reports that starting Jan. 1, the hospital will no longer hire smokers. Applicants will be tested for nicotine as part of a pre-employment screening.

The policy will not affect current employees, who will continue to be offered access to tobacco cessation programs and other incentives to stop smoking.

A spokesman for the Missouri Hospital Association says he knows of only one other hospital in the state with a similar policy — Truman Medical Center in Kansas City.

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Information from: Southeast Missourian, http://www.semissourian.com

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