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Updated Aug 1, 2014 - 2:38 pm

Arizona county’s government could stop hiring smokers

TUCSON, Ariz. — Pima County may soon refuse to hire anyone who smokes and
smokers already on the payroll can expect higher health insurance rates.

According to a memo sent by County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry, prospective
employees would be tested for nicotine as part of the hiring process.

About 32 percent of county workers are smokers.

Huckelberry told the Arizona Daily Star that “not
hiring smokers is a way to avoid long-term medical costs.”

He said the expanded rules would promote a healthier workforce and save
taxpayers money on county health insurance costs, especially since the county is
self-insured.

Huckelberry hoped the initiative could go before the supervisors in September
or October and if approved, go into effect in January 2015 or the beginning of
the new fiscal year in July 2015.

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