Smokers, do not apply: U-Haul won't hire nicotine users in 21 states

New applicants will be asked if they use nicotine products, and those hired in the 21 states will need to agree to be screened for nicotine use in the future.
Image: U-Haul
A U-Haul truck travels along Interstate 10 near Palm Springs, Calif., on Feb. 27, 2019.Robert Alexander / Getty Images file

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
SUBSCRIBE
By The Associated Press

NEW YORK — U-Haul has a New Year's resolution: Cut down on hiring people who smoke.

The moving company said that it won't hire nicotine users in the 21 states where it is legal to do so, saying that it wants to ensure a “healthier workforce."

The new policy will start Feb. 1, and won't apply to those hired before then.

New applicants will be asked if they use nicotine products, and those hired in the 21 states will need to agree to be screened for nicotine use in the future.

The states where U-Haul's new policy will take affect are: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.

The company, which is based in Phoenix, has more than 30,000 employees.

U-Haul said it has made strides to encourage employees' health, including breaking ground on a new conference and fitness center in Arizona and implementing various fitness and wellness programs.

Some hospitals and other health businesses have implemented no-nicotine hiring policies, company officials said. Alaska Airlines has had the policy since 1985 to address health care costs and health consequences.