Starting 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!”
It’s been a good week for substance users. After news about the privatization of alcohol sales, it has been reported that PA Sen. Daylin Leach proposed legislation to legalize recreational use of marijuana, following the footsteps of Colorado and Washington.
However, even if pot were to become legal in Pennsylvania, it would still be banned on Penn’s campus due to university policy. Cue les sighs of all the rooftop smokers.
If this news excites you, congratulations! You no longer have to go to drastic measures to hide the weedy stench on your clothes with women’s perfume or lie about your eyes being red due to “allergies.” Just relaaaaax, dude.
Dying to know why it takes 7 hours to be seen at HUP? Well, for the third year in a row, University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation ranked Philly as the least-healthy county in Pennsylvania, as Philly.com reports.
Philadelphia health care experts link this crummy ranking to elevated numbers of smokers, more STI’s, more violence, less access to recreational facilities, and limited access to healthy foods (good thing we have Commons). These experts also link economic standing with health, reflecting the disparity of Philly’s economy.
Tonight we were on our way to Van Pelt, feeling pretty good about starting work early and even better about the Raisinets Milk Chocolate Coated Raisin Treats we had just purchased at the Uncommon Market, but then we saw this guy!
He was speaking Spanish (we think it was Spanish), and stopping frequently to take exceptionally long drags of some sort of cigarette or cigar or beedi or kretek (did you know that kretek is an onomatopoeia that comes from the sound of cloves burning? Cool!) or something. We couldn’t really tell what it was, nor could we understand what was being said.
There was a three man camera crew documenting all of it, but no one would tell us anything. Do you know this man? There’s a photo from behind after the jump, in case that helps. Read the rest of this entry »