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IPFS News Link • Employment & Jobs

Pima County may vote to refuse to hire smokers

•, By Mariana Dale

The two-part policy would take effect in July 2015. It prevents the county from hiring smokers and slaps a 30 percent health insurance surcharge on employees who do smoke or use other tobacco products.

County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry said the Board of Supervisors is scheduled to vote on the ban during their Dec. 16 meeting.

County health officials predict the new policy could save the county more than $1 million annually on health-care costs as tobacco-users retire and are replaced with healthier workers, according to a memo issued by Huckleberry.

"Our taxpayers pay for our health insurance because we are self-insured," Huckelberry said in an interview. "Anything we can do to reduce the cost is beneficial."