U-Haul decides to no longer hire nicotine users in effort to support healthy workforce

U-Haul International, the do-it-yourself moving and storage company, is taking healthy New Year’s resolutions to another level in 2020.

In the final days of 2019, the company announced it would no longer hire applicants who are nicotine users beginning Feb. 1. The new hiring policy for U-Haul goes into effect in 21 states, however, the company stressed in a press release “Team Members hired prior to that date will not be impacted by the policy.”

As one might expect, reactions to the new hiring policy have been a mixed bag with many non-nicotine users supporting the move and many nicotine users denouncing it but, from a public relations perspective, U-Haul is positioning itself as a company that empowers a healthy workforce according to U-Haul Chief of Staff Jessica Lopez.

“We are deeply invested in the well-being of our Team Members,”  said Lopez in the press release. “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 employs more than 30,000 across the U.S. and Canada, and is among Arizona’s largest employers with 4,000-plus Team Members. Arizona is among the 21 states where it is lawful to decline hiring individuals who use nicotine products.

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