Main Line Health announced Monday that beginning May 1, it will no longer hire tobacco and nicotine users to work at any of its facilities.
Current employees who use tobacco and nicotine products will be required to disclose that information, Main Line Health said in a statement, and beginning in 2015 will have to pay extra for health care benefits because of their tobacco and nicotine use.
“As a health system, it is our responsibility to set an example of wellness and disease prevention for our patients, employees and the community,” said Paul Yakulis, senior vice president of human resources for Main Line Health. “And, as good stewards of our financial resources, we also know that placing this focus on smoking – a behavior related to significantly increased medical costs – can improve both our employees’ health and Main Line Health’s financial well-being.”
New job applicants will be required to certify that they have been tobacco- and nictoine-free for at least 90 days, and must promise to remain so during their entire employment at Main Line Health, the company said. Additionally, applicants will be required to pass a nicotine lab screening test.
Any employees found to be in violation of the policy will face disciplinary action, which could include the completion of a smoking cessation program and random tobacco and nicotine screenings for two years.
All Main Line Health facilities have been smoke-free areas for the past 25 years.
Main Line Health consists of Bryn Mawr Hospital, Lankenau Medical Center, Paoli Hospital and Riddle Hospital, as well as Main Line Health campuses in Broomall, Collegeville, Exton and Newtown Square. Additionally, Main Line Health operates Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital; Mirmont Treatment Center, and the Home Care Network. Finally, the network of Main Line HealthCare physicians falls under Main Line Health umbrella.
All told, some 10,000 employees and 2,000 physicians work for Main Line Health, the company said.