USA Mobile Drug Testing compliance specialists are receiving questions daily about nicotine testing. Some companies test urine for traces of nicotine, while others operate on the honor system. Tobacco (nicotine) testing is readily available from USA Mobile Drug Testing.
As reported in the New York Times earlier this year, smokers now face another risk from their habit: it could cost them a shot at a job. More and more employers in many states are adopting strict policies that make smoking a reason to turn away job applicants, saying they want to increase worker productivity, reduce health care costs and encourage healthier living.
These policies reflect a frustration that softer efforts — like banning smoking on company grounds, offering cessation programs and increasing health care premiums for smokers have not been powerful enough incentives for employees to quit.
Here are some benefits for a smoke free workplace and nicotine testing in the workplace:
- Efficiency- No smoking breaks, which takes time away from jobs being done.
- Saving Money- Reduces Health Care Costs and fewer requirements related to accommodating smokers
- Safe Work Environment- Reduces the risks of fire hazards, and a healthier environment for those who don’t want to be around the smell and presence of smoke.
- Less Litter- No more cigarette butts on the premise.
- Enforceable No Smoking Policy- By doing this you can have more productive employees.
- Longer Lasting Materials- Cigarette smoke leaves toxins behind. Carpets, wallpaper, paint, ceiling tiles, furniture, tables, and flooring are all damaged and discolored by the smoke.
- Better Overall Work Environment- By using Nicotine Testing you gain focused employees who are ready to work. It increases overall productivity.
- Easy and convenient home or office collection.
Nicotine testing is available as part of a laboratory drug test or with instant test kits. A urine specimen is collected. The instant test kits provide only a qualitative, preliminary analytical result. A secondary analytical method must be used to obtain a confirmed result. Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) is the preferred confirmatory method – this would be a laboratory test with a urine specimen.
Nicotine is metabolized into 20 different metabolic products out of which, cotinine is used as a biomarker for nicotine testing as half-life of cotinine is comparatively higher than other metabolites and can be detected for up to 3-5 days upon last nicotine use. Our Nicotine test kit can usually detect Cotinine up to 4 days.
An employer considering implementing no smoking or tobacco- and nicotine-free policies should consult with legal counsel to (1) learn whether it operates in a state that restricts employment policies based on lawful use of products; (2) determine whether there are any exceptions that may apply to a particular workplace or set of employees; and (3) explore the wide variety of options available to employers in no-smoking initiatives and encouragement of healthier lifestyles.
There are potential legal challenges to smoke free workplace policies. Employers must consult with legal counsel prior to beginning any nicotine testing programs. USA Mobile Drug Testing is available to provide programs for nicotine (cotinine metabolite) testing. At this time however, policy development for smoke free workplace programs is not available from USA Mobile Drug Testing.