Benefits of Workplace Cotinine Testing

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Drug and alcohol testing is a no-brainer to test for in any pre-employment background check, but those aren’t the only substances your business should be testing for. Tobacco, like alcohol, is legal but it can have just as negative an impact on your workplace. A cotinine (nicotine) test can help your company decide on policies for employees that use tobacco or even reconsider hiring.

What is a Cotinine Test?

Cotinine is a chemical produced by the body from the nicotine in cigarette smoke. When measured through blood, hair, saliva or urine, it can indicate how much cigarette smoke has entered a person’s body. Your cotinine levels can indicate an individual’s smoking habits or their exposure to secondhand smoke. Now, that being said, a qualified person should not be rejected a job because of their personal habits or exposure to a friend or family member’s secondhand smoke.

Lower Insurance Costs

Smoking employees’ average health insurance cost is $1,145  (American Cancer Society), compared to $762 for non-smokers. Smokers live an average of 13 years less than non-smokers so there is a possibility that your company will have to deal with more life insurance payouts. As a bonus — Fire insurance companies often offer a discount — sometimes up to 30% — for smoke-free companies.

Increase Productivity

Smokers miss 60% more work days annually due to acute and chronic conditions exacerbated by tobacco use. Four 10-minute sessions a day adds up to one month each year of lost productivity. By adding a cotinine test to your workplace wellness program now, your company could identify who would benefit most from a tobacco cessation program.

Avoid Lawsuits

There have been lawsuits filed against businesses who allow smoking on their premises by non-smoking employees because of medical conditions related to secondhand smoke inhalation. In some cases it could be a violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act to allow smoking on site; employees or customers with respiratory issues should not be exposed to smoke.

If your business is in need of a reliable and accurate workplace drug testing program, please contact ARCpoint Labs today.

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