McLaren Greater Lansing: Smokers Need Not Apply

By: News 10
By: News 10

McLaren Greater Lansing announces it will no longer hire people who use nicotine starting Friday.

"As a mid-Michigan health care leader, McLaren Greater Lansing has the ability to impact the well-being of hundreds of thousands of individuals through the direct care we provide and by the examples we set," said Floyd Chasse, vice president of human resources, McLaren Greater Lansing. "This new policy will create a healthier environment for our patients, caregivers, visitors and the entire community."

McLaren already screens potential employees for drugs and will add nicotine to the drug-testing panel. Anyone who tests positive will be ineligible for employment at McLaren.

Existing employees are not affected by the new policy, but the hospital will continue to offer resources to employees who want to quit.

Sparrow Hospital in Lansing implemented a nicotine-free policy on May 1, 2011. It only applies to new hires, but it actively encourages all their employees to be nicotine free.

Allegiance Health in Jackson has had a tobacco-free policy since July 2010. It includes patients, employees, staff, vendors and volunteers. They don't test new employees for nicotine, but new hires do have to sign off on the tobacco-free policy, which means they can't use tobacco during work hours.

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  • by olivia Location: grand lege on Mar 17, 2013 at 10:46 AM
    thats good
  • by Sarah Location: Lansing on Feb 5, 2013 at 06:01 PM
    I agree with Grandmother has COPD and is in this hospital often. She does not need the doctors and nurses smelling like cigarette smoke...its not healthy for the patients. Especially those with severe breathing problems.
  • by WTH Location: Lansing on Feb 5, 2013 at 06:50 AM
    Isn't that some form of discrimination? Are they going to fire the current employees that smoke?
  • by Courtney Location: Location on Feb 4, 2013 at 09:01 AM
    I could go along with this if they were also banning people who drink, eat too much sugar, don't exercise, are dpressed, have cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and on and on. All of these cost healthcare dollars and what an individual does on his or her time is his or her business. If it isn't taking place at work, why is it their business, especially if someone is quitting on the patch or gum or e-cigarette.
  • by Name Location: Location on Feb 4, 2013 at 05:27 AM
    I could understand that they wouldn't want nurses or doctors smoking. That makes sense and there is a valid and legal argument for this. I could see this causing problems for Mclaren down the road though. If they reject an applicant because of nicotine use, but an existing employee doing the exact same job could use nicotine (via gum or patch) I would find an attorney.
  • by RT Location: Lansing on Feb 3, 2013 at 09:40 AM
    One can certainly understand the rationale behind a move like this. Another large hospital in Lansing (I won't mention the name because WILX tends to not post any comments mentioning that institution) has a similar policy. Smoking is an unhealthy lifestyle choice which increases the healthcare benefit costs for the organization and I can understand the economics of such decisions. The concern is where does it stop? Does the organization now govern employee body weight? How about an employee with a chronic condition like diabetes? How about cholesterol levels? Maybe this is the future for employers...they're private organizations who can hire whoever they choose based on their own criteria.
  • by john Location: anywhere on Feb 2, 2013 at 05:10 PM
    Good for you Mclaren. I would be disgusted if anyone helping me at a hospital smelled like smoke. They should be setting an example.
  • by Tom Location: Lansing on Feb 2, 2013 at 08:42 AM
    Nicotine by itself does not cause cancer or heart disease and basically has the same effect on the body as caffeine. It's the smoke, with all it's dangerous chemicals that causes these problems. Seems like out of everyone, a health care company would now this.
  • by James Location: Lansing on Feb 2, 2013 at 08:37 AM
    Why are they going after nicotine? It basically affects the body exactly like caffeine does, but nobody is getting fired over a cup of coffee. Cigarette smoke contains over 4000 chemicals. 69 of these chemicals are known to the state of California to cause cancer. Nicotine is not one of these chemicals! Those who have done a good thing and quit smoking but are using e-cigs, nicotine gum, patches etc will not be able to get hired. NOT RIGHT.
  • by Mark Location: Lansing on Feb 2, 2013 at 06:36 AM
    So, the Food and Drug Admin. do not lable nicotine as a banned substance in products but McLaren makes their own set of rules. What next, caffeine drinkers or employees who consume large soft drinks or are too heavy and might suffer ailments connected to being overweight?
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