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Another US health system adopts “tobacco-free” hiring policy

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f4294 (Published 02 July 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f4294
  1. Michael McCarthy
  1. 1Seattle

The University of Pennsylvania Health System (Penn Medicine) has become the latest in a growing number of US health systems that will no longer hire smokers.

Holly Auer, the system’s spokeswoman, said, “We believe that our tobacco use hiring policy will help underscore Penn Medicine’s commitment to the health and welfare of not only our patients but to our employees and the larger community across the city and state.”

The University of Pennsylvania Health System includes the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, both located in Philadelphia.

Civil libertarians and unions have denounced similar tobacco-free hiring policies, saying that employers should have no say over what their employees do on their own time. And health policy analysts are concerned that such polices would simply make smokers conceal their …

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