I read with interest the July 11 article "UPMC Smoking Ban to Include Break Time" and the July 16 editorial "No Smoking: UPMC's New Tobacco Policy Makes Sense" regarding UPMC's updated smoking policy. This is a nationwide trend.
Recently, the University of Pennsylvania Health System in Philadelphia announced an even more restrictive policy. As of July 1, 2013, it is no longer hiring tobacco users as new employees, including physicians. This new policy is discussed in detail in the May/June issue of the Pennsylvania Gazette, the university's alumni magazine. The reasons are the long-term health benefits and cost savings for both the employees and the health system.
With only 18 percent of the U.S. population now smoking actively, I believe this policy will be adopted in the future by other progressive health care organizations.
C. VAUGHN STRIMLAN, M.D.