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Geisinger will stop hiring smokers
Times Leader (Wilkes-Barre PA) ^ | 12/29/11 | Steve Mocarsky

Posted on 12/29/2011 4:54:10 PM PST by Born Conservative

Health care provider announces that tobacco users will not get jobs.

Smokers need not apply.

That’s the message Geisinger Health System is sending to future job applicants.

Starting Feb. 1, Geisinger will no longer hire applicants who use tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigars and chewing or smokeless tobacco, the health system announced on Wednesday.

“Geisinger is joining dozens of hospitals and medical organizations across the country that are encouraging healthier living, decreasing absenteeism and reducing health care costs by adopting strict policies that make smoking a reason to turn away job applicants,” Richard Merkle, chief human resources officer, said in a press release.

Merkle said non-nicotine hiring policies are legal in 20 states, including Pennsylvania.

Current employees are not affected by the new policy. Geisinger isn’t the first local employer to implement a no-nicotine hiring policy.

Anthony Matrisciano, a spokesman for Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania, said the health insurance provider implemented such a policy at the beginning of this year. Blue Cross also prohibits employees from smoking within 200 feet of the building.

Wyoming Valley Health Care System and Community Medical Center in Scranton did not return calls inquiring about their smoking policies.

Amy Brayford, vice president of Human Resources for Geisinger, said saving money on health care costs related to smoking was not the impetus behind the hiring policy. “The driver for it is … improving the health of our employee population and creating a healthy environment for our patients and employees,” Brayford said.

Geisinger will spend nearly $100 million on employee health care and prescription drug coverage for its nearly 15,000 employees in 2012. There were more than 2,800 new hires in 2011.

While Geisinger hopes to see health care savings in the long run, Brayford said implementing the policy will cost Geisinger money because a nicotine test will be added to the routine pre-employment drug screenings.

During the hiring process, all applicants – including those seeking full- and part-time positions, flex, volunteers and students enrolled in Geisinger-based schools – will be tested.

The urine test will include screening for cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, snuff, nicotine patches, nicotine gum and cigars. The test only detects active nicotine users, not those exposed to second-hand smoke.

Applicants who test positive for nicotine can re-apply in six months; a list of smoking cessation resources will be provided.

Brayford said there are no plans to randomly test new employees – or any employees – for nicotine or any other drugs.

“You have to have a trust relationship with employees, that is very important to us,” said Lynn Miller, executive vice president and chief administrative officer, Geisinger Clinical Enterprise.

As a reward for healthier living and incentive for current employees who smoke to quit smoking, Geisinger will offer discounts on employee contributions to their health insurance plans for non-smokers beginning in 2013. Matrisciano said Blue Cross makes contributions to employees’ health care savings accounts when they achieve certain health milestones in the company’s wellness program, such good cholesterol and blood pressure levels and not smoking. The accounts can be used to pay for things such as co-pays on doctor visits and prescription drugs.

Miller said the decision to implement the no-nicotine hiring policy was well thought out, as was the health system’s decision to make all Geisinger campuses tobacco-free in 2007.

Marcy Marshall, Geisinger director of communications, public relations and marketing, said Geisinger has disciplined and even fired employees for smoking on campus.

The American Lung Association, the American Cancer Society and the World Health Organization all have similar hiring policies, and there are hospitals in Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas that do not hire smokers, Marshall said.

Julie Kissinger, spokeswoman for the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania, said such policies are a growing trend, statewide and nationally.


TOPICS: Business/Economy
KEYWORDS: geisinger; hire; smokers; smoking; tobacco
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1 posted on 12/29/2011 4:54:13 PM PST by Born Conservative
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To: Born Conservative

I bet peter puffers are welcome.


2 posted on 12/29/2011 4:57:32 PM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: Born Conservative
The urine test will include screening for cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, snuff, nicotine patches, nicotine gum and cigars. The test only detects active nicotine users, not those exposed to second-hand smoke.

But...but...second hand smoke KILLS, doesn't it? ; )

3 posted on 12/29/2011 4:57:36 PM PST by EGPWS (Trust in God, question everyone else)
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To: Born Conservative

What about drinkers or Tylenol users. How bout people who drive full sized pickup trucks or hunt?

Slippery slippery slippery


4 posted on 12/29/2011 5:01:33 PM PST by cripplecreek (Stand with courage or shut up and do as you're told.)
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To: Born Conservative
saw this (and its ugly variations)coming 20 years ago.

Hey, look: "some pigs are more equal!"

5 posted on 12/29/2011 5:01:50 PM PST by the invisib1e hand (Ignorance is no excuse.)
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To: Born Conservative

From the article:

“Merkle said non-nicotine hiring policies are legal in 20 states, including Pennsylvania.”

Are non-alcohol hiring policies “legal”?


6 posted on 12/29/2011 5:02:13 PM PST by ngat
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To: Born Conservative

Smokers, the new jews.


7 posted on 12/29/2011 5:04:05 PM PST by SpaceBar
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To: Born Conservative
Geisinger is joining dozens of hospitals and medical organizations across the country that are encouraging healthier living, decreasing absenteeism and reducing health care costs by adopting strict policies that make smoking a reason to turn away job applicants

If the goal is to encourage healthier living, then I'm pretty sure that the policy will be amended to include fat people in the "not hiring" category, because, they have higher health care costs, are absent more than non-fat(obese) people, and might be less productive than normal-sized people. It's coming.
8 posted on 12/29/2011 5:04:50 PM PST by adorno (<)
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To: Born Conservative

A drunk HR lady for the company I worked for in the late ‘80’s told me they secretly tested for nicotine at the pre-employment drug screen. If it came back positive and a competing candidate didn’t they recommended hiring the competing candidate. This place had 1500 employees and they’d had several die very expensively from lung cancer.

Frankly, I’m surprised this isn’t standard procedure, given medical costs and the clear correlation between smoking and medical outlays. If you smoke in England, I’ve read NHS won’t allow you to receive organ transplants.


9 posted on 12/29/2011 5:08:11 PM PST by Gen.Blather
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To: adorno

Our local hospital will kick a patient out if they leave the property to smoke.

Last time I was in the hospital some 15 odd years ago, I had a whole network of nurses who would take me to the cafeteria to smoke at all hours of the day or night.


10 posted on 12/29/2011 5:08:59 PM PST by cripplecreek (Stand with courage or shut up and do as you're told.)
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To: Born Conservative

Some of our brightest firmware writers are smokers. Some of our best hardware engineers chew snuff. Let the madness begin.


11 posted on 12/29/2011 5:09:14 PM PST by eyedigress ((Old storm chaser from the west)?)
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To: Born Conservative

POTUS need not apply there. Doesn’t he use nicotine gum or some such?


12 posted on 12/29/2011 5:11:49 PM PST by petitfour
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To: Born Conservative
I wonder if they'll stop hiring queers.

ML/NJ

13 posted on 12/29/2011 5:12:33 PM PST by ml/nj
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To: eyedigress

Look at the pictures of Mission Control back in the days when we actually put men on the moon.

Buzz cuts, pocket protectors, cigarettes and coffee with scotch in the evenings.


14 posted on 12/29/2011 5:26:50 PM PST by cripplecreek (Stand with courage or shut up and do as you're told.)
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To: cripplecreek

Believe me I know. Smoking was allowed everywhere up until I left the service. Different times.


15 posted on 12/29/2011 5:31:09 PM PST by eyedigress ((Old storm chaser from the west)?)
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To: Born Conservative
And yet they have no problem with hiring alcohol consumers. Alcohol consumption has ruined more families, destroyed more lives and careers than tobacco ever will........

Nobody cares since smokers have already been successfully identified, stigmatized, demonized and now ostracized..........It's all part of the plan.

Time to ban alcohol!

16 posted on 12/29/2011 5:35:36 PM PST by Hot Tabasco (Santa missed my house again....or maybe he's stuck in the chimney. I'll go look.......)
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To: eyedigress

Back in the 60’s, patients and visitors could smoke in the patients hospital room.


17 posted on 12/29/2011 5:38:49 PM PST by umgud
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To: All
Oh, man. This thread is funny. All these conservatives who advocate the right of businesses to serve who they want, say to hell with affirmative action and cheer when people are allowed to choose who they wish to associate with without reprisal are now turning the table around because a company wants to hire people who don't smoke.

Hypocrites!

18 posted on 12/29/2011 5:39:02 PM PST by raybbr (People who still support Obama are either a Marxist or a moron.)
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To: Born Conservative

How about me? I’m a runner & have had several ortho injuries that have consumed some healthcare $$$

What bullcrap. The groups that one could discriminate against are unlimited. How about promiscuous homosexuals?? After all, THAT’S a high risk lifestyle.


19 posted on 12/29/2011 5:40:12 PM PST by surroundedbyblue (Live the message of Fatima - pray & do penance!)
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To: umgud

They stopped that in the 70’s but my dad would call a cabby to bring him smokes. It was kinda clever I guess.


20 posted on 12/29/2011 5:41:01 PM PST by eyedigress ((Old storm chaser from the west)?)
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To: petitfour
"POTUS need not apply there"

He and Bill both smoked on the roof.
Take a look at the roof of the White House sometimes. There are two things that look like old large chimneys.
One of them is a smoking room, the other is full of guns and ammo.

21 posted on 12/29/2011 5:44:42 PM PST by AGreatPer (Obama has NEVER given a speech where he did not lie!!!)
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To: Born Conservative

FDR and Congress set 62 years to be the age of S.S. (Don’t tell anybody that the average lifespan was short of that at the time.)

The FED can get bent.


22 posted on 12/29/2011 5:45:36 PM PST by eyedigress ((Old storm chaser from the west)?)
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To: raybbr

Don’t call me a hypocrite.

I do support businesses’ rights to choose who they serve. The point here though is that one group is being singled out while others (who are actually more high risk) are not all in the name of political correctness.

I learned in grad school from a nursing professor that only 15% of smokers will actually develop cancer. Where he got that stat & if it’s true I don’t know but it’s interesting.

By the way, radon gas causes more lung cancer than smokies (think Dana Reeve). So if Geisinger wants to be consistent, then they should only hire non-smokers who have a radon reduction system in their house.


23 posted on 12/29/2011 5:45:57 PM PST by surroundedbyblue (Live the message of Fatima - pray & do penance!)
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To: Hot Tabasco

It’s my religious right and duty to take a little wine for my stomachs sake. That’d be meddling to interfere.


24 posted on 12/29/2011 5:47:36 PM PST by BipolarBob (I don't mind you shooting at me, Frank, but take it easy on the Bacardi!)
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To: All

I did a 3 month rotation at Geisinger during grad school. Their cafeteria served the usual fatty, fried, greasy processed crap. That was the only place around to eat. Wonder if they will promote better nutrition since they claim to want to foster a healthy environment for employees & patients.

Bunch of PC hypocrites.


25 posted on 12/29/2011 5:49:50 PM PST by surroundedbyblue (Live the message of Fatima - pray & do penance!)
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To: surroundedbyblue
Don’t call me a hypocrite.

I do support businesses’ rights to choose who they serve.

Okay, then you should have no problem with this.

So if Geisinger wants to be consistent, then they should only hire non-smokers who have a radon reduction system in their house.

If they have the right to choose then they also have the right to be inconsistent.

Right?

26 posted on 12/29/2011 5:54:04 PM PST by raybbr (People who still support Obama are either a Marxist or a moron.)
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To: Born Conservative

Lots of places do this already. Go work somewhere else if you don’t like it. Private business.


27 posted on 12/29/2011 5:55:57 PM PST by vpintheak (Occupy your Brain!)
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To: eyedigress
An ashtray and coffee cup right there in front with a room full of celebratory cigars.

Photobucket
28 posted on 12/29/2011 6:00:45 PM PST by cripplecreek (Stand with courage or shut up and do as you're told.)
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To: cripplecreek

Thanks! Buy season one of “Lost in Space”. You get the pilot and the same darn thing! LOL!


29 posted on 12/29/2011 6:02:36 PM PST by eyedigress ((Old storm chaser from the west)?)
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To: vpintheak

My company has a NO-TOBACCO policy. Yea right.....


30 posted on 12/29/2011 6:03:53 PM PST by eyedigress ((Old storm chaser from the west)?)
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To: Born Conservative

Back when I was a manager at a meat packing plant I stopped hiring smokers because I couldn’t ever keep them in the plant. They were always out on the loading dock having a smoke.


31 posted on 12/29/2011 6:09:38 PM PST by Straight Vermonter (Posting from deep behind the Maple Curtain)
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To: vpintheak
Lots of places do this already. Go work somewhere else if you don’t like it. Private business.

Tell that to bar owners in states where they have been forced by law to ban smoking.

Don't worry, they'll get around to something you do.
32 posted on 12/29/2011 6:11:40 PM PST by cripplecreek (Stand with courage or shut up and do as you're told.)
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To: Straight Vermonter

Haven’t you heard, meat is murder. Better ban it.


33 posted on 12/29/2011 6:13:23 PM PST by cripplecreek (Stand with courage or shut up and do as you're told.)
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To: cripplecreek
Look at the pictures of Mission Control back in the days when we actually put men on the moon.

Buzz cuts, pocket protectors, cigarettes and coffee with scotch in the evenings.

Many engineers out there died of heart attacks in their 30's back in those days, from the stress.

34 posted on 12/29/2011 6:17:16 PM PST by BerryDingle (I know how to deal with communists, I still wear their scars on my back from Hollywood-Ronald Reagan)
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To: surroundedbyblue

They have since banned “trans fats” in all of their cafeterias. No more Middleswarth chips...


35 posted on 12/29/2011 6:31:12 PM PST by Born Conservative
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To: Born Conservative

It’s their choice. Only idiot libs would boycott or attempt to force them to hire people that they don’t want to hire.


36 posted on 12/29/2011 6:48:25 PM PST by rivercat (Typed on my OSX-free MBP! Windows 7 (SP1) FTW!)
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To: Gen.Blather

NHS the 3rd largest employer on the PLANET...

to cover a lousy 50 million people...talk about bloated bureaucracy!

(#1 is the Chinese Army,# 2 is the India Railway system)

After a few years of Barrycare, I bet it will be 2nd.


37 posted on 12/29/2011 7:12:30 PM PST by WOBBLY BOB (Congress: Looting the future to bribe the present.)
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To: cripplecreek

You don’t go to the bar to improve your health?

I won’t drink to that.


38 posted on 12/29/2011 7:14:02 PM PST by WOBBLY BOB (Congress: Looting the future to bribe the present.)
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To: cripplecreek
Haven’t you heard, meat is murder. Better ban it.

We used to get hilarious letters from those folks. We posted them up on the bulletin board for everyone to laugh at.

39 posted on 12/29/2011 7:18:43 PM PST by Straight Vermonter (Posting from deep behind the Maple Curtain)
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To: WOBBLY BOB

Ever notice that you don’t see signs in businesses that say “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone” anymore.

Its because business no longer has that right unless uncle government agrees.

Personally I think a business should be able to refuse service to anyone for any reason. If the owner doesn’t like blacks, let him refuse to serve them, chances are he won’t be in business for long but that’s his choice.

As far as smoking is concerned, its seldom the wish of a company to refuse to hire smokers. Its either pressure from an insurer or government. In lots of counties here in Michigan, you can’t even smoke on the property of businesses and that’s the law not a choice.


40 posted on 12/29/2011 7:29:13 PM PST by cripplecreek (Stand with courage or shut up and do as you're told.)
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To: surroundedbyblue

Did this professor also tell you how many develop COPD? Smoking is nasty but I do not like the obvious discrimnation. I wonder how much homosexuals cost us annually with mental help issues/ sexually transmitted diseases, in addition to the rampant drug use in these communities.


41 posted on 12/29/2011 7:31:00 PM PST by ThisLittleLightofMine
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To: cripplecreek

False argument. No government agency is telling them to do this.


42 posted on 12/29/2011 7:40:11 PM PST by vpintheak (Occupy your Brain!)
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To: Born Conservative

My first wife was an OBGYN Nurse there in the 1970’s. She was the only nurse who did not smoke in her group.


43 posted on 12/29/2011 7:41:53 PM PST by bmwcyle (I am ready to serve Jesus on Earth because the GOP failed again)
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To: surroundedbyblue; raybbr

“I learned in grad school from a nursing professor that only 15% of smokers will actually develop cancer. Where he got that stat & if it’s true I don’t know but it’s interesting.”

Never mind cancer it is COPD that you have to worry about. When I hear of someone getting that I know why they got it SMOKING! Like my last idiot redneck neighbor who was ordered by her doctor to quit smoking because she was getting it but still took off her patch to smoke. I don’t feel any pity for her in fact when she has to haul an oxygen tank around 24/7 I will laugh in her face and say “you just had to smoke didn’t you?”

and raybbr you are correct is it private business let them hire who they don’t want!


44 posted on 12/29/2011 9:23:19 PM PST by Morgana (I only come here to see what happens next. It normally does.)
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To: ThisLittleLightofMine

You are darn right about COPD! See my post 44! I would dare to say it is worse to die of COPD than lung cancer. The last stages the person is on oxygen 24/7 and never really catches their breath. Constant labored breathing if you can imagine. Like an asthma attack that just never ends.

I met a high school friend not too long ago and found out that people I knew back then are already dead. One is dead of COPD! It bothers me that this person was only 35 when they died! I knew this person smoked clear back to Jr. High but for real. What a way to die! NOT! (As we said in school)


45 posted on 12/29/2011 9:32:46 PM PST by Morgana (I only come here to see what happens next. It normally does.)
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To: Born Conservative

Makes economic sense — the cost to insure smokers is higher.


46 posted on 12/30/2011 1:51:06 AM PST by Cronos (Party like it's 12 20, 2012)
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To: Born Conservative; Eric Blair 2084; SheLion; Gabz; Hank Kerchief; 383rr; libertarian27; ...

I wonder if smokers-only and non-smokers-only water fountains are up next?

Nanny State PING!


47 posted on 12/30/2011 2:08:59 AM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (Occupy DC General Assembly: We are Marxist tools. WE ARE MARXIST TOOLS!)
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To: Morgana

The #1 cause of COPD worldwide is unvented wood and coal fires. It also has causes other than smoking.


48 posted on 12/30/2011 4:19:01 AM PST by Born Conservative
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To: Born Conservative

“Geisinger is joining dozens of hospitals and medical organizations across the country that are encouraging healthier living,decreasing absenteeism and reducing health care costs by adopting strict policies that make.....”

A hiring men only policy pfeferable..... OK, how would that be accepted? Heck, given the potential for the added costs of matertinity leave, the costs that children bring into health insurance, etc. Then it must be OK to hire only men....


49 posted on 12/30/2011 4:59:27 AM PST by CSM (Keeper of the "Dave Ramsey Fan" ping list. FReepmail me if you want your beeber stuned.)
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To: Gen.Blather

Lets see.... You use correlation as your basis for logic and then hold up the UK’s NHS as an example.... I smell ozone.


50 posted on 12/30/2011 5:04:23 AM PST by CSM (Keeper of the "Dave Ramsey Fan" ping list. FReepmail me if you want your beeber stuned.)
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