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U-Haul to stop hiring nicotine users in 21 states


Applicants will be questioned about nicotine use and must consent to testing where allowed

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Moving and storage company U-Haul announced it will soon refuse to hire people who use nicotine products in the 21 states where such an employment policy is allowed.

What are the details?

In a news release on Monday, U-Haul declared it would implement its new nicotine-free hiring policy starting Feb. 1, noting that employees "hired prior to that date will not be impacted."

"We are deeply invested in the well-being of our Team Members," U-Haul chief of staff Jessica Lopez said 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 Member on their health journey."

The states where the policy will go into effect include Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington state.

According to the Washington Examiner, those states "allow companies to decline hiring people who use nicotine products" such as cigarettes, vaping products or chewing tobacco.

U-Haul, a company that employs more than 30,000 people in the United States and Canada, also stated in its news release that
"in states where testing is allowed, applicants must consent to submit to nicotine screening in the future to be considered."

Anything else?

After news broke of U-Haul's new policy, the company's name began trending on Twitter with some calling for a boycott against the firm. Smoking-cessation advocate Dr. Eugene Gu wrote of the move, "Tobacco addiction is a disease not a crime. UHaul's decision to discriminate against smokers for hiring decisions is unconscionable. Smokers should be encouraged to quit—not left without jobs and opportunities. We need to help our fellow human beings not cast them away like this."

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