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Tobacco-Free Hospitals, Clinics & Workplace
At Ballad Health, we promote wellness and healthy living for you, your family, our team members and our communities.
As part of this commitment, all our locations are entirely smoke and tobacco free.
To protect you and others from the harmful effects of tobacco, nicotine and secondhand smoke, we do not allow smoking or the use of smokeless tobacco products or e-cigarettes (electronic nicotine-delivery devices) in any of our hospitals, clinics or other facilities – either inside or outside the buildings.
Tobacco-free hiring for a tobacco-free team
As a part of Ballad’s hiring process, we test for tobacco and nicotine use.
If the test is positive, the hiring process will stop, and that person will no longer be eligible for a position with Ballad. This requirement also affects contracted workers who would potentially work on-site at Ballad locations.
We have current team members who use tobacco and nicotine products that were hired before our new policy started, but the bottom line is…
…we no longer hire new employees who use these products.
What if you don’t pass the screening?
Testing positive for tobacco or nicotine now doesn’t mean you can never be part of the Ballad team.
Applicants disqualified by positive tests are eligible to reapply for open positions after three months.
If you don’t pass the test, we sincerely hope you’ll kick the habit and come back to explore other opportunities.
Why hire tobacco free?
Ballad is committed to promoting healthy living and providing high-quality patient care.
This commitment isn’t just to our patients. It’s to our team as well.
And if this policy encourages even a few job candidates to quit using tobacco or nicotine products, our community will be that much healthier, and we’ll all be better off for it.
Not only that, but we have a responsibility as a health care provider to better model the healthy behaviors we promote and work to foster in our region.
Ballad team member support
Ballad assists team members who smoke by providing free cessation products. We can also help them succeed through our employee assistance program, which offers other smoking-cessation support.
Dangers of secondhand exposure
While we’re committed to modeling and fostering healthy, tobacco-free lifestyles, we ultimately restrict the use of tobacco and nicotine products due to the health risks they pose to our patients, visitors and team members.
Many people are severely allergic to cigarette smoke. For some, it can trigger a reaction serious enough to send them to the ER, especially if a self-administered dose of epinephrine (like an EpiPen) isn’t on-hand.
And there are numerous other conditions that studies have linked to secondhand smoke, including:
- Acute and chronic bronchitis
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
- Lung cancer
- Cardiovascular disease and heart attacks
- And more
Kicking the habit – why it’s important
In addition to the dangers of secondhand smoke, the health effects of smoking have long been known.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that smoking increases the risk for coronary heart disease and stroke – two of the leading causes of death – by two to four times.
The chances of developing lung cancer are at least 25 times higher for smokers. And smokers are 12 to 13 times more likely to die from COPD than nonsmokers.
Smokeless doesn’t mean harmless!
Smokeless tobacco actually delivers about the same amount of nicotine as other tobacco products and contains at least 30 chemicals known to cause cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.
In fact, smokeless tobacco has been linked to cancers of the mouth, tongue, cheek, gums, esophagus and pancreas. It also contributes to an increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke.
Need help getting tobacco free?
We want to help our community members live healthier, and quitting tobacco use is a key part of that. That’s why Ballad offers tobacco and smoking cessation classes to the general public.
For details or to register, please call 833-8-BALLAD.