SSM Health Care Won’t Hire Smokers

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Photo: KMOX

Photo: KMOX

CBS St. Louis (con't)

Affordable Care Act Updates: CBSStL.com/ACA

Health News & Information: CBSStL.com/Health

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis-based health care organization says it wants to improve the health of its employees and set an example. So if you’re a smoker don’t apply.

SSM Health Care will begin a tobacco-free hiring policy in July. Applicants at the seven SSM hospitals in the St. Louis area will be asked whether they have used tobacco in the last six months. Anyone who answers yes will be eliminated from consideration for a job.

SSM spokesman Chris Sutton says cost-cutting is a side benefit because. Federal statistics show that a typical smoker costs a company $3,400 annually in health care costs and lost productivity.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press

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