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      Local healthcare employer just says no to smokers

      If you're a smoker, your job search just got a bit more difficult.

      ProMedica Health Systems announced on Tuesday that they will soon begin hiring only those applicants who are tobacco-free.

      The local healthcare group says all potential employees will be asked to disclose on their application whether or not they use tobacco. If they state they do not use tobacco and their post-offer drug screening proves otherwise, applicants will not be hired. Those individuals who declare tobacco use, along with those who do not pass a drug screening, will be permitted to reapply for a position after a 90-day period.

      The move comes in an effort to foster a healthier workforce and promote a strong commitment to health and wellness, according to a company statement.

      "We are proud to be among the first employers in our region to implement this practice; other large healthcare systems throughout the U.S. have implemented similar policies successfully, said ProMedica President and CEO, Randy Oostra, in a written statement. "This decision supports ProMedica's commitment to improving the health of those we serve by asking our employees to model and benefit from the healthy behaviors we promote to our patients and communities."

      The practice will go into effect as of Jan. 1, 2011.

      What do you think of ProMedica's plan to screen job applicants for tobacco use? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below. If you have not left a comment on this site before, registration takes less than 30 seconds.