NewsFebruary 20, 2013 at 12:38 pm

Penn Health System Will No Longer Hire Smokers

no smokingStarting in July, under a new policy intended to reduce healthcare costs and improve overall workforce health, the Penn Health System will stop hiring smokers and other tobacco users.

Current employees can keep doing what they’re doing (and it appears that 11% of them are tobacco users), but new job applicants must be tobacco-free for at least six months if they’re hoping to secure a position at places like HUP, Penn Presby, and a whole slew of other Penn Health locations.

While lowering healthcare costs and improving general wellness are noble causes, we worry that the Penn Health system might be overstepping some basic individual liberties. We know they’re saying, “For the common good!” But all we’re hearing is, “Fatties, you’re next!”

3 People have left comments on this post


By FATTY on February 20, 2013 at 12:38 pm

Smoking affects the patients and other people you hang out around. Even if you smoke outside the building, your breath is going to reek of cigarette smoke, and your patients and toddlers and people with asthma are going to inhale it. Being chubs does not directly affect your patients.

By Hey Fatty on February 20, 2013 at 12:38 pm

Are you seriously saying that smelling like cigarettes is the same thing as secondhand smoke?

Has all your fat clouded your brain?

By About time on February 20, 2013 at 12:38 pm

Fatty is absolutely correct, healthcare workers smoking does affect their patients (to “Hey Fatty,” try reading about third hand smoke: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/third-hand-smoke/AN01985)

I’m surprised it’s taken this long for them to implement a rule like this! When I walk past HUP and there are swarms of people smoking (many of them in their scrubs, no less!) I think…
1) They’re going to go back inside and care for patients in those scrubs that now smell like smoke. That’s disgusting!
2) They are setting a terrible example for patients. Healthcare professionals have a responsibility to teach their patients about the health dangers of tobacco use…maybe they should take their own advice!
3) If I were hospitalized and people taking care of me smelled like smoke, I would be pissed and would lose a lot of my trust in their medical judgements… they can’t even make a healthy choice about smoking for themselves!

Good move, UPHS!

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