Tennessee health care system will soon not hire smokers, tobacco users

Starting March 1, a health care system in Tennessee will not hire people who use tobacco or nicotine products.

According to WJHL, Mountain States Health Alliance has outlined on its web site that those interested in applying for a job will not be considered for a position if they smoke or use other kinds of nicotine products.

Law experts are saying smokers cost more to insure and take more sick days, so they can be a liability and have a poor impact on the company.

Some health care workers are outraged by the new standard, saying a company can control whether a person smokes during work hours, but they shouldn't be able to control what a person does in their personal time.

A representative of Mountain States Health Alliance says health care workers know the effects of smoking and what it can do to a person's health.

The company says it has also received negative feedback from patients who say employees smell of smoke.

Mountain States says if a person applies and fails the nicotine test, that person can reapply after six months.

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