U-Haul won’t hire nicotine users in 21 states, including Iowa

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FILE – This Aug. 28, 2017 file photo shows cigarettes displayed on a store shelf in New York. With a new law enacted in December 2019, anyone under 21 can no longer legally buy cigarettes, cigars or any other tobacco products in the U.S. It also applies to electronic cigarettes and vaping products that heat a liquid containing nicotine. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

PHOENIX — U-Haul announced Monday that it will start rejecting job applicants who use nicotine starting Feb. 1 in 21 states.

This includes Iowa.

Other states in which the policy will be enacted are Michigan, Arizona, Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.

Aside from seeing statements regarding U-Haul’s nicotine-free hiring policy, job applicants in those states will be questioned about nicotine use. In places where testing is allowed, they will have to consent to submit to nicotine screening in the future in order to be considered. 

The company says the move is part of its commitment to promote a healthy workforce. 

“We are deeply invested in the well-being of our team members,” U-Haul Chief of Staff Jessica Lopez said. “Nicotine products are addictive and pose a variety of serious health risks. This policy is a responsible step in fostering a culture of wellness at U-Haul, with the goal of helping our team members on their health journey.”

U-Haul already has in place a program to help current employees to quit using nicotine, among other health initiatives. 

“If we take care for our team members, they will take care of our customers,” Lopez added. 

According to the company, U-Haul employs more than 30,000 people across the U.S. and Canada.

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