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Beaumont, Henry Ford To Adopt Non-Smoking Hiring Policy

ROYAL OAK (WWJ) - Henry Ford Health System and Beaumont Health System are the latest medical centers in Metro Detroit to hop aboard non-smoking bandwagon.

The hospital systems on Friday issued a joint statement announcing a smoking ban for employees hired after Jan. 1 as part of an "ongoing commitment to patient safety and employee wellness."

"As health care providers, we have a responsibility to take a leadership role in promoting healthy behaviors – starting with ourselves," said Beaumont's president and CEO Gene Michalski.

Talking to WWJ Newesradio 950, Henry Ford's Eric Bacigal explained more about the policy.

"During the work shift the individuals that are currently employed are not able to use any tobacco product, either during breaks or lunch, and they're not able to have any odor from smoke at all from the point when they report for their actual service until the end of their shift," Bacigal said.

Tobacco products include but are not limited to cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, snuff, chewing tobacco and e-cigarettes.

Job applicants will be screened to ensure they do not use tobacco. Current employees will be encouraged to quit. Both companies' current policies prohibit the use of tobacco products during work hours.  Employees who violate these policies are subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

"There's no question that we believe that healthier behaviors and not smoking is a positive thing for health care costs," said Jay Holden, Vice President of Human Resources at Beaumont. "And we think it's really important for patients because employees who smell of smoke, we have many patients that are sensitive to that -- people who are allergic to that."

Holden said current employees can be, and have been, asked to go home if they smell of smoke.

The health care systems will join the Detroit Medical Center and Botsford Hospital in adopting no-nicotine policies.

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