Date of Award

11-1-2003

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Health, Physical Education and Recreation

First Advisor

Dr. JoAnn Eickhoff-Shemek

Abstract

To address the costs associated with employees who smoke, some organizations have adopted a policy of hiring nonsmokers only or may be considering such a policy. The purpose of this study was to explore the possible relationship between the degree of likelihood of adopting a policy of hiring nonsmokers only and four variables (type of service, number of employees, size of yearly budget, and the level of smoking policy). A written, mail-out/mail-back survey was sent to 130 nonprofit organizations in Omaha, Nebraska. Of the 130 participants in this study, 97 (75 percent) returned the survey. Descriptive statistics were calculated for all items on the survey. The hypotheses were tested using a chi square analysis and Spearman rho analyses. The alpha level was set at 0.05. No significant relationships occurred between the degree o f likelihood of adopting a policy of hiring nonsmokers only and the four variables. Four percent of the organizations represented in this study had a policy of hiring nonsmokers only and seventy-three percent of the respondents indicated that it would be “not likely” or “definitely not likely” for their organization to adopt such a policy. Possible explanations as to why most respondents indicated that it would be “not likely” or “definitely not likely” were: (a) lack of awareness about the law and the economic benefits of adopting such a policy, (b) adoption o f such a policy would interfere with finding qualified employees, (c) organizations represented in this study had a small number of employees who smoked, and (d) issues that could arise from privacy and enforcement issues. The data from this study suggest that there may not be a desire or interest to adopt a policy of hiring nonsmokers only. Other options, such as providing resources and organizational support for smoking cessation programs, may be more viable for employers to consider. Future research could consider characteristics of organizations that already have the policy in place, which option or combination of options may be the most effective in addressing the costs associated with employees who smoke, and other variables that may be more influential in predicting the likelihood of adopting a policy of hiring nonsmokers only.

Comments

A Thesis Presented to the School of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Health, Physical Education, and Recreation With a Concentration in Fitness and Wellness Management University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright 2003, Jillian M. Golden.

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