Main Line Health became the second hospital system in the Philadelphia area to ban the hiring of employees who use tobacco or other nicotine products. The ban goes into effect May 1, 2014. Smokers who are already employed will be required to pay a surcharge for their health care benefits beginning in 2015.
According to Paul Yakulis, senior vice president for human resources at Main Line Health, "As a health system, it is our responsibility to set an example of wellness and disease prevention for our patients, employees and the community." He added that "placing this focus on smoking, a behavior related to significantly increased medical costs, can improve both our employees' health and Main Line Health's financial well-belng."
The parent company of Bryn Mawr, Lankenau, Paoli, Riddle and Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospitals, Main Line Health is one of the largest employers in the Philadelphia suburbs with 10,000 employees. It banned smoking in its buildings 25 years ago and has not allowed smoking on its campuses since 2009.
The University of Pennsylvania Health System, which operates four hospitals and two specialty centers, as well as seven community practices in the Philadelphia area and southern New Jersey, implemented a policy last year not to hire smokers.