Mixed Reaction to No Smokers Hired Policy

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CLEVELAND-- The signs in front of MetroHealth say 'no smoking.' They could say 'no smokers.'

As of June 1, MetroHealth Medical Center will no longer hire anyone who uses tobacco.

MetroHealth System officials said in a news release, "This policy change reflects a desire to increase worker productivity, reduce health care costs and encourage healthier living."

If someone is interested in a job at MetroHealth Medical Center, they will be asked about their tobacco use.

They will also be tested for it.

If tobacco shows up in an applicant's system, he or she will not get the job and will have to wait three months before reapplying for another job, the release said.

The public is divided on the issue.

"Whatever people do one their own personal time is their own personal business. So, if they want to smoke or chew when they get off work, that's their business. I don't think they should hold that against them at their job," Michael Harris said.

The ‘no smokers’ policy applies to new hires only and does not affect people who already work here.

Jeronimo Gonzalez is a smoker who supports the ban for the comfort of non-smoking patients. He would quit smoking if he wanted a job at the hospital.

"Yes, if I really needed it, I would quit," Gonzalez said.

Other local hospitals have similar policies, including Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals and Summa Akron City.

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