Nicotine user? U-Haul won't hire you starting in February

U-Haul rental in Kingston Ont. on Wednesday Feb. 3 2016

U-Haul rental in Kingston Ont. on Wednesday Feb. 3 2016

The truck and trailer rental company known for its identifiable orange and white design is implementing a nicotine-free hiring policy across 21 states in February - and Florida is one of them. Arizona also is one of 17 states where employers can choose not hire and are allowed to test for nicotine, though U-Haul hasn't yet chose to do that.

U-Haul employs more than 4,000 people in Arizona and is headquartered in Phoenix. The U-Haul policy will not affect current employees who may smoke or use tobacco products.

Applicants will be questioned on their nicotine use and will be screened for nicotine to be considered for employment.

The company also hopes to encourage employees to quit by waving a required wellness fee for people who don't use nicotine, according to officials.

"We are deeply invested in the well-being of our Team Members", chief of staff Jessica Lopez said in the release.

"Taking care of our team members is the primary focus and goal", she added, and "decreasing healthcare costs will be a bonus".

"Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County supports nicotine- and tobacco-free hiring policies for employers", Dan Suffoletto, spokesman with public health, told the Dayton Daily News.

In a move towards a healthier workforce, U-Haul has announced that the company will soon no longer employ nicotine users in 21 states, including MA. And the new rule won't apply to job applicants in most states. Out of those 21 states, only Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Washington prohibit testing for nicotine use.

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