Dayton Bans Nicotine Use for New Employees

F.J. Thomas

Dayton, OH (WorkersCompensation.com) – The city of Dayton, Ohio recently adopted a policyprohibiting any use of nicotine for new employees hired after July 15. The new policy defines nicotine use as “generally means inhaling, exhaling, burning, vaping, any lighted cigar, cigarette, and e-cigarette or pipe, chewing or any other type of tobacco use.”

Nicotine will be included in the screening process and those employees who test positive must be actively engaged in a cessation program. After the probationary period, the employee will be screened again and if the test is again positive, their employment will be terminated.

Employees who test negative are expected to abstain from nicotine and can be tested at any time if nicotine use is suspected.

Dayton City Manager Shelley Dickstein believes providing a healthy environment for employees is vital “…The City of Dayton (City) has a vital interest in maintaining a healthy and safe environment for its employees and visitors, while respecting an employee’s individual choice,” Dickstein stated. “Consistent with these concerns and with Ohio law, the … policy has been established to foster a healthier workplace and environment by encouraging employees to promote a healthy lifestyle.”

Union representatives for the Dayton Fraternal Order of Police assisted in creating the policy; however, according to a CNN interview, acting president of Lodge 144 Jerome Dix believes the policy may hurt current employees and hamper finding new talent.

“We understand why they’re doing this, to curb the detrimental cost smoking has on health care, and we understand their mentality,” Dix said. “But it’s going to really hurt our recruiting efforts.”

A 2018 study of police workers in Daman, India which has implemented tobacco laws that can include penalties, shows that even police officers are not deterred by fines and laws. Tobacco use was reported in 11 percent of police officers. Additionally, only 37 percent were aware of the penalties involved with violation of the tobacco laws in their province. Another Indian studypublished in the Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention also shows an increase of tobacco use among those in law enforcement.

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