Monday, September 30, 2013

CoxHealth New Hiring Policy Gets Tough On Smokers

The hospital chain out of Springfield, MO, CoxHealth will no longer hire people who use tobacco products.

CoxHealth announced at a news conference on Friday Sept 29th 2013, that it is adding nicotine screening to the tests that an applicant must pass in order to get hired.  CoxHealth leadership has said that the new policy is part of their overall mission to improve the health and wellness of their community.

Click here to see the press conference:

The employees at CoxHealth all too often see first hand the effects of smoking.

Dr. Abe Abdalla, medical director of Hulston Cancer Center, "Simply put, smoking is the worst self-inflicted harm any human being can do to herself or himself.  Certainly as a cancer doctor, I see the devastating impact of smoking every day, not only on the patient, but also on their family."

So if you're want to work for CoxHealth you'll need to live and lead by example. Starting on November 21, all new hires will have to pass a nicotine screening.  If they don't pass, they don't get the job.  Period.  What's cool though is they will be offered admission into a stop smoking program, they can get no cost help to stop, and they will be invited to reapply in 90 days.

CoxHealth President and CEO Steve Edwards:  "We want employees who are healthy.  We think our employees must be role models to lead our community, to inspire our community to be a healthier place to work."

Smoking at Cox is already a challenge.  It is a smoke free campus for started and employees have to go at least 500 feet off the property to have a smoke.  AND they have to change clothes before coming back to work.  (Love that!)

"We think that if we're going to be leaders, we have to do things that not everyone likes, but we have to do what we believe is right, and so we intend to do that," Edwards said.

Cox is also offering an incentive for current employees to stop.  Edwards is creating a prize fund named after his father, Charlie, who was a smoker, but was also dedicated to healthcare.  Employees who quit could win $1,000 if they stay smoke-free for a year.

With that in mind, I'll make the following offer:  Any Cox employee or would be Cox employee can get my book "How To Stop Smoking Without Killing Anyone" for 50% off when ordered off this blog.  Send an email to for an invoice via PayPal.