Already faced with smoking bans and rising cigarette prices, many Kansas smokers are learning that lighting up will cost them more for health insurance.
And lying about smoking could cost them their job.
A growing number of employers are requiring workers who use tobacco to pay higher premiums in an effort to lower health care costs.
Newton Medical Center recently informed employees that beginning July 1, it will impose a "tobacco-user surcharge" — $35 per two-week pay period — to employees who smoke or have a spouse or dependents who smoke.
"Studies show that folks who use tobacco typically have higher health care costs than those who don't," said Todd Tangeman, the center's human resources director.
"For those who make that choice, it seems reasonable that they would contribute toward their share of the costs."
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