Lifespan, one of Rhode Island's largest employers, is implementing a new policy that will make employees who use tobacco products pay a surcharge.
The policy will tack on an extra $600 a year to the medical benefits of any employee or spouse or domestic partner covered by company insurance who uses tobacco products. That includes cigarettes, chewing tobacco and e-cigarettes.
Lifespan will also offer employees free smoking cessation programs.
Lifespan’s CEO says it’s a way to encourage employees to quit.
Lifespan hospitals became smoke-free back in 2008, and two-and-a-half years ago required new employees to be non-smokers.
The surcharge for smokers kicks in on January 1st.
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