Maryland hospital to stop hiring applicants who smoke

Cigarette Smokers
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ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- A hospital in Annapolis, Maryland recently announced it will stop hiring employees who use tobacco.

Anne Arundel Medical Center made the move on Thursday.

"We want to have a healthy workforce; a healthy environment for our patients and our visitors." Dr. Stephen Cattaneo tells WJZ that for the center's 4,000 employees it's about practicing what you preach.

How do you get legally get around hiring someone who smokes? "So, in Maryland there are no discrimination laws against folks who smoke," Cattaneo says.

The new employment policy doesn't go into effect until next summer. But this July, the medical center's six campuses will also impose complete bans on tobacco use including e-cigarettes.

The new policies aren't sitting well with everyone. Some people, even one ex-smoker WJZ talked to think it goes too far. They think people should be allowed to smoke if they are outside.

Current employees who smoke won't lose their jobs once the changes take effect. But they will have to follow the new rules.

The no-smoking policy is not the first of its kind in the country. The Cleveland Free Clinic became tobacco free in 2007.


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