McLaren to screen job applicants for nicotine use

McLaren Health Care will now be screening job applicants for nicotine use as a part of regular drug screenings

A Michigan health system plans to begin screening job applicants for nicotine use.

The Flint-Journal reports that Flint-based McLaren health care has instituted a no-nicotine policy for all job applicants, testing them for toacco use as part of the drug screening process.

The policy went into effect Friday and involves all McLaren facilities. It doesn't apply to current employees. Job applicants must also no longer be using smoking-cessation products, such as nicotine patches, to be considered for employment.

â??We have a responsibility to the community and our employees to take a leadership role in promoting healthy behavior,â?? said Rachelle Hulett, vice president of human resources at McLaren Flint in a written statement to â??We have laid the foundation for a healthier, tobacco-free workforce, starting with a smoke-free campus and now with this change in our hiring and screening policies. We will continue to lead the charge within McLaren and the health care community at large.â??

The new rule at McLaren is similar to nicotine-free policies adopted by several other health systems in Michigan. McLaren already bans the use of tobacco on hospital grounds.

Munson Health Care does not have a policy about employee tobacco use. Meghan Daigh, spokeswoman for Munson Health Care, says that smoking on hospital grounds, including in a car, is prohibited. Employees are also not allowed to come to work smelling like smoke.

Daigh says the policy is both because of the offensive odor and the harmful effects of second hand smoke.