smoke, cig, tobacco

Published on August 29th, 2013 | by NSB Observer

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Bert Fish Will No Longer Hire Tobacco Users

Effective January 1, 2014, Bert Fish Medical Center (BFMC) will no longer hire tobacco users to improve the overall health of the workforce and reduce health care benefit costs.  BFMC became a tobacco-free campus in 2009.

“Our mission is to improve the overall health of our Southeast Volusia community, not just treat illness,” says Chief Executive Officer Steve Harrell. “Bert Fish Medical Center sets an example for other businesses to improve the health of their workforce by not hiring tobacco users.”

BFMC provides free tobacco cessation counseling and nicotine replacement therapy to employees and their families, and the community in eliminating the use of tobacco products.  Currently, employees are required to complete an attestation regarding their use of tobacco products if they are participating in the BFMC health care benefit plan. Employees who test positive for nicotine can expect to pay higher premiums for their health care benefits

The health risks and related costs associated with tobacco use have caused BFMC to mobilize action for moving toward a tobacco free future by focusing on the health of its workforce while containing the escalating costs associated with tobacco use.  The Center for Disease Control provides evidence that smoking or second hand smoke exposure contributes to 443,000 premature deaths annually and results in $193 billion in health care costs and lost productivity.

Over 50 years of research has proven that tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death and disease in the US, imposing a huge health and financial burden on families and businesses.   Employees who smoke cost, on average$3,391 more a year for health care.  In addition, smoke breaks during work may be disruptive and subject patients/colleagues to the unpleasant smell of smoke on employees’ clothing.

Tobacco users who are interested in more information or who would like to enroll in a free tobacco cessation class can call 1-877-784-8486 or visit website www.ahectobacco.com.


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