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Published on November 20, 2014

MU Health Care Announces New Nicotine-Free Hiring Policy

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Effective Jan. 1, 2015, University of Missouri Health Care will no longer hire nicotine users.

Current MU Health Care employees are exempt from the new policy.

“Improving the health of our patients, as well as the community and the state, is central to our mission as a leading academic medical center,” said Mitch Wasden, MU Health Care chief executive officer and chief operating officer. “To do that, we need to lead by example.”

“The nicotine-free hiring policy is a natural progression as we focus more on wellness and prevention,” Wasden said. “It’s fitting that we are making this announcement today, which is also the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout holiday.”

Under the new policy, applicants for jobs at MU Health Care will be asked if they use nicotine products at the beginning of the application process. If applicants say “yes,” they will be given tobacco-cessation information and given the opportunity to re-apply for jobs after 90 days. If an applicant says “no,” then the application process will proceed.

All new hires at MU Health Care undergo pre-employment drug screenings. Beginning Jan. 1, 2015, nicotine will be added to the drug screening list.

The new policy covers nicotine products including cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco, snuff, clove cigarettes, electronic cigarettes and similar products.

In 2006, all MU Health Care facilities went tobacco-free inside and out.