By Nathan Baker
Mountain States Health Alliance hopes to stub out cigarettes and other tobacco products at its 13 hospitals and seven urgent care clinics in the region by refusing to hire new employees who smoke.
MSHA Communications Manager Teresa Hicks said the new rules will not affect the system’s current employees, but after March 1, those seeking jobs with the company will be screened for tobacco use.
“As health care providers, we see the effects of tobacco use on a daily basis, and they’re truly horrific,” Hicks said Thursday morning. “We believe as health care providers we should set an example for healthy lifestyles among our team members and the community at large.”
Hicks said hospitals have received a number of complaints from patients, many of whom are especially sensitive to odors and airborne allergens, regarding employees who smell of tobacco smoke.