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

Comments (3)
  1. Val Turner says:

    Personally, If I had a serious health problem, I would prefer to have the most knowledgeable, best trained, and most experienced individual responsible for my care. I couldn’t care less whether or not they smoked.

  2. jim says:

    As an ex-smoker (smoked 25 years, smoke-free 13 years) I agree with SSM. Give you a reason to quit.

  3. Bill Hannegan says:

    This ban doesn’t apply to SSM doctors, only nurses and housekeeping staff. Is that fair?

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