(KCEN) -- Some big changes are being made at Scott & White Hospital.
Come January, the health care system will no longer hire people who use tobacco.
Starting January 1, all new hires will be asked if they smoke and if the answer is yes, the interview stops there and they will not be considered for the position.
The new policy will be in effect for all Scott & White hospitals, clinics and affiliated business.
Once a new hire is employed they will be given random tobacco tests.
If they fail, the penalty can include possible termination.
Employees who were already hired before the policy goes into effect will be exempt from the random testing, but are urged to stop smoking.
Currently there are about 14,000 people who are employed by the hospital.
Scott & White Chief Human Resources Officer Marc Hallee said, "I think from our perspective we believe it's critical to make sure that our community is as healthy as they can be and we know that our own staff are own employees are a big part of our community and so we want to start at home with this."
The new policy includes smoking cigarette, pipes and dipping. Every type of tobacco is off limits for planning on being an employee at Scott & White.