A Maryland hospital will start testing job applicants for nicotine use next July, a new hiring policy that's sparking controversy over its targeting of smokers, the Baltimore Sun reports.
Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis is following the lead of a growing number of health systems, universities and other businesses that have adopted the policy to control health care costs and promote a healthy workplace. The hiring policy — a urine test for nicotine screening for cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco and e-cigs — is legal in Maryland and is part of Arundel Medical Center's ban on the use of tobacco products in its buildings as well as on the sidewalks, parking lots and garages of the campus.
Critics say the policy — which doesn't apply to existing employees — is intrusive and sets a dangerous precedent.
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