Smoking as a Career Limiting Move in Healthcare

Smoking as a Career Limiting Move in HealthcareThere’s been a steady stream of hospitals in the first few months of this year announcing that they won’t hire smokers:

It’s a bold move and, with the high rate of smoking in many health professions, it’s clearly no easy decision.  So, why are health systems looking at this?

  • Reducing healthcare costs: The obvious answer is the direct savings of having fewer smokers.  A typical smoker costs $1,400/year more to insure than a non-smoker.  Under current regulations, organizations that are imposing the costs of bad health behaviors on employees are only able to recoup a small percentage of these actual costs.
  • Employee efficiency: Non-smokers spend more time working; they take fewer breaks and fewer days off due to illness.  At the 2009 World Healthcare Congress, Safeway President and CEO Stephen Burd indicated that this absenteeism costs employers an additional $3,000 per smoker per year.
  • Living the brand: Healthcare organizations doing this are making a pledge to live their brand.  Healthcare providers have a special responsibility to promote healthy behaviors with their patients, and also the community.  That responsibility starts at home, so look for more providers taking the plunge into a smoker-free workplace in the future.
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Ben Dillon

About Ben Dillon

Ben’s a big picture type of guy. He loves sharing new ideas in digital marketing, keeping a watchful eye on healthcare industry trends and seeing how it all intersects. A sought-after speaker, writer, blogger and current SHSMD board member, Ben’s an influential voice in healthcare marketing, helping organizations across the country embrace online strategies to engage health consumers. Combine his industry savvy with his background in software development and you can see why he’s also an important member of Geonetric’s software team, ensuring our content management system stays a step ahead of market needs. Ben holds a master’s degree in eBusiness and strategic management from the University of Iowa and a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from the University of Michigan. When he’s not traveling and evangelizing, Ben enjoys cooking with his family and playing the Big House with the University of Michigan Alumni marching band.

2 thoughts on “Smoking as a Career Limiting Move in Healthcare

  1. Pingback: Staying on Message – GeoVoices

  2. Smoking can create on the job problems. One too many smoke breaks. Smoke in your clothes. And for some reason smoke always blows in the face of the person that hates it the most. Good read.


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