St. Bernards adds nicotine tests for new employees - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

  • Should a smoking or nicotine test prevent someone from getting a job?

  • Thank you for participating in our poll. Here are the results so far:

    Yes
    21%
    176 votes
    No
    79%
    679 votes

St. Bernards adds nicotine tests for new employees

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) -  The corner of Carson and Matthews in downtown Jonesboro is an area known to many as smoker's corner.  

This is because it is the area that is just off the St. Bernards Healthcare campus, which you are not allowed to smoke on.  

The area is used by employees and visitors to the hospital, but may be seeing less employees in the future due to a new policy.

St. Bernards now requires new employees to pass a nicotine test before they can work at the hospital.  

Jacque Ballard, Vice President of Human Resources at St. Bernards, said it is all about a new healthy initiatives campaign at the hospital which also includes exercise classes, nutrition classes and a sick call clinic for employees.

The anti-nicotine policy, though, has some locals talking.

Leslie Swan of Jonesboro said she doesn't agree with what the healthcare provider is doing.

"I think that should be their personal choice of whether or not they choose to smoke or whether or not they don't," Swan said.

While the new policy has been set up for new employment, Ballard said current workers at the hospital are grand fathered in and do not have to take the tests. 

The policy is only for new employees and it isn't just targeting smokers.

"Patches, gum, smoking, dipping, anything like that, that contains nicotine the screen would capture," Ballard said

While there are many different kinds of tobacco would trigger a read for nicotine in the system, Ballard said second-hand smoke would not be picked up in the test, which means those that live in households with a smoker would not have trouble during the test.

Copyright 2015 KAIT. All rights reserved.

  • Region 8 News</span><a class="customMoreLink" href="/Global/category.asp?C=4391" target="_top">More >></a>Region 8 NewsMore>>

  • Vandal dims woman's Christmas display

    Vandal dims woman's Christmas display

    Friday, November 24 2017 10:46 AM EST2017-11-24 15:46:36 GMT
    Friday, November 24 2017 11:10 AM EST2017-11-24 16:10:08 GMT
    (Source: Pablo)(Source: Pablo)

    A woman’s holiday spirit is far from bright after someone cut the cords on her Christmas lights.

    A woman’s holiday spirit is far from bright after someone cut the cords on her Christmas lights.

  • MSHP: Driver in fatal crash was drunk

    MSHP: Driver in fatal crash was drunk

    Friday, November 24 2017 10:36 AM EST2017-11-24 15:36:26 GMT
    Friday, November 24 2017 10:41 AM EST2017-11-24 15:41:03 GMT
    (Source: Raycom Media)(Source: Raycom Media)

    A man faces two counts of involuntary manslaughter following a one-vehicle crash that left two people dead.

    A man faces two counts of involuntary manslaughter following a one-vehicle crash that left two people dead.

  • Shoppers prepare for Black Friday

    Shoppers prepare for Black Friday

    Thursday, November 23 2017 11:35 PM EST2017-11-24 04:35:16 GMT
    (Source: KAIT)(Source: KAIT)

    Most shoppers began their Black Friday shopping a day early, going to stores Thursday night to pick up on bargains.  

    Most shoppers began their Black Friday shopping a day early, going to stores Thursday night to pick up on bargains.  

Powered by Frankly