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Health

MU Health Care To Stop Hiring Nicotine Users

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One of Missouri's largest employers will no longer hire nicotine users.

As of January 1, 2015, MU Health Care, the five-hospital University of Missouri health system based in Columbia, Mo., said it won't offer jobs to people who smoke cigarettes, cigars or pipes, chew tobacco or "vape" electronic cigarettes.

The health system made the announcement Thursday to coincide with the American Cancer Society's Great American Smokeout holiday.

In a statement, CEO Mitch Wasden said he wanted MU Health Care to "lead by example" when it comes to improving the health of patients, communities and the state.  

Current employees are exempt from the rule, but new employees will be tested for nicotine along with other drugs.

With about 5,757 workers, MU Health Care is the 19th-largest employer in the state.

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