http://www.wsmv. com/health/ 22141687/ detail.html
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- A new proposal at the state Legislature would disallow state health insurance coverage to new employees who use tobacco products.
"People who use tobacco products are risking their health and causing more expense to the plan, so this is the attempt to try and hold down some of those costs," said Turner.The cost of health care for state employees continues to increase.
Each smoker costs the state about $3,400 a year in health care costs and lost productivity."This is kind of a starting point to start the debate, and hopefully we can do something to hold down the cost and still offer good coverage to employees," said Turner.
This isn't the first time the state has tried to do something about the impact of smokers on health care. Last year, state leaders proposed adding a $600 yearly surcharge to health insurance for state employees. That motion has been delayed.To help employees quit smoking, the state has made medications to help them quit more accessible by only charging a $5 co-pay.The Legislature will likely hear this proposal when it meets in January. Turner said the governor's administration is also working on some legislation to address rising health care costs.