MATTOON - As of July 1st, the Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center will no longer hire nicotine users.
Prospective employees will be scanned for nicotine, and users will be denied jobs.
Bernie Ranchero, Medical Director of Employee Health and Wellness says the purpose is to hire people who can model healthy living for patients. Furthermore, he says the policy will promote health for patients, keeping them away from third hand smoke.
Current employees are exempt from the policy, though Ranchero says they are encouraged to quit using nicotine. The hospital provides free nicotine cessation classes for all staff.
On Wednesday, many patients told WAND that they support the policy.
The hospital has been a smoke-free campus since 2008.