The new policy requires all individuals who receive a job offer from South Lake Hospital to take a cotinine test as part of the regular drug screening process
Clermont, Fla. — Effective Nov. 1, 2013, South Lake Hospital will implement a tobacco-free hiring policy. The new policy requires all individuals who receive a job offer from South Lake Hospital to take a cotinine test as part of the regular drug screening process. The cotinine test detects the presence of nicotine from all forms of tobacco. The level of cotinine present in the body can determine whether an individual is a primary tobacco user or is being exposed to tobacco through second-hand smoke.
“We are committed to being the leaders in the South Lake County community in preventative care and wellness and this new tobacco-free hiring policy reinforces that commitment,” said John Moore, South Lake Hospital president. “Our team members should be setting the example of good health behaviors for our patients, visitors, fitness center members and in our community as a whole.”
The tobacco-free hiring policy applies to new hires at all hospital-owned facilities including the hospital, South Lake Home Health, LiveWell Fitness Center, National Training Center, South Lake Endoscopy Center, South Lake Outpatient Surgery Center and the South Lake Hospital Outpatient Center (Four Corners).
The new policy will not apply to existing team members who are being grandfathered in under a tobacco-free policy launched in 2007. Under that policy, team members are prohibited from using tobacco products at any time during their shift. It also prohibits tobacco use in any company vehicle or on South Lake Hospital’s campus or external buildings. Team members who use tobacco products are encouraged to quit and are provided with tools and incentives to make quitting easier, including access to a free smoking cessation course held throughout the year at the LiveWell Fitness Center.
“Our goal with these policies is to promote and encourage the cessation of all tobacco use to help make our community healthier,” added Moore.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, cigarette smoking costs the United States more than $193 billion each year; $97 billion in lost productivity plus $96 billion in health care expenditures. Smoking is responsible for about one in five deaths annually in the U.S., about 443,000 deaths per year with an estimated 49,000 of these smoking-related deaths the result of secondhand smoke exposure.
Under South Lake Hospital’s new tobacco-free hiring policy, offers of employment will be rescinded for individuals who test positive for cotinine. Applicants who fail the cotinine test may re-apply after 180 days.
About South Lake Hospital LiveWell Campus:
South Lake Hospital’s LiveWell Campus includes the 122-bed non-profit hospital, in partnership with Orlando Health, Centre for Women’s Health, LiveWell Fitness Center, National Training Center, South Lake Endoscopy Center, South Lake Surgery Center, South Lake Home Health, South Lake Wound Care and campus partners Special Olympics Florida, Brandy Johnson Global Gymnastics and several medical office buildings. South Lake Hospital has been serving the healthcare needs of the South Lake community since 1947 and employs 1,100 employees and has more than 200 physicians on its medical staff.