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U-Haul Will Stop Hiring Smokers in 21 States

January 2, 2020, 5:30 PM UTC

U-Haul is kicking butts out of its labor force.

The truck rental giant has announced it will no longer hire smokers or any nicotine users in 21 states starting Feb. 1. The policy will not impact current employees who use tobacco products.

Some states don’t allow employers to make hiring decisions based on a person’s nicotine use, but nearly half of the states do, where the policy will be implemented. Those states are Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.

“We are deeply invested in the well-being of our team members,” said Jessica Lopez, U-Haul’s chief of staff in a statement. “Nicotine products are addictive and pose a variety of serious health risks. This policy is a responsible step in fostering a culture of wellness at U-Haul, with the goal of helping our team members on their health journey.”

It’s rare for companies to issue a widespread ban on smokers, but the trend is starting to grow somewhat. Last August, the city of Dayton, Ohio announced it would no longer hire anyone who used nicotine. And Premier Health Partners, last year began assessing a $520 health care benefits surcharge on any workers who smoke, chew tobacco, or live in a household where others smoke.

The movement has international momentum as well. Last April, Nagasaki University in Japan said it would no longer hire faculty members who smoke.

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