Central Florida hospital no longer hiring smokers

Applicants to be tested for nicotine

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NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. - If you smoke, don't bother applying for a job at Bert Fish Medical Center in New Smyrna Beach.

Starting Jan. 1, the hospital will no longer hire tobacco users.

The Daytona Beach News-Journal reports applicants will be tested for a nicotine byproduct and sign an agreement to remain tobacco-free throughout their employment. The policy doesn't apply to volunteers, medical staff or some 700 employees who are already working at the hospital.

In 2009 the hospital became a smoke-free campus. In January 2012, it started charging $25 per paycheck for smokers who elect to take health insurance.

If an employee hired after Jan. 1 tests positive for the nicotine byproduct will be subject to disciplinary action up to termination.

The hospital offers free tobacco-cessation counseling to employees and their families.

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