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Companies make smokers pay

More firms are embracing nicotine testing to penalize puffers

MarketWatch’s Jen Wieczner reports, “While most firms that penalize smokers through tobacco surcharges—or that reward nonsmokers with lower premiums—still rely on their employees’ word, roughly 10% have started screening for nicotine (or its biometric marker, cotinine) to keep their employees honest, estimates Michael Wood, senior health management consultant at human resources firm Towers Watson. That’s up from only a handful of firms a few years ago.”

The article goes on to say, “Experts believe more firms will put workers to the test, as they increasingly levy steep fines on smokers: In 2014, nearly three-quarters of employers plan to reward or penalize employees based on their tobacco use, compared with only 44% this year, according to Towers Watson.”

Read on for the full article and StayWell’s Dr. Paul Terry’s take on testing.