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U-Haul to stop hiring nicotine users in 21 states

U-Haul announced it will soon reject job applicants who use nicotine in 21 states.

The company said the new policy will go into effect on Feb. 1 and be enacted in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.

The company said employees hired prior to that date will not be impacted by the policy.

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A file image dated Sept. 12, 2016 shows a U-Haul moving truck in the parking lot of an apartment complex in San Francisco, California. (Photo via Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images).

Job applicants in those states will see statements regarding the nicotine-free hiring policy on applications and be questioned about nicotine use, U-Haul said. In states where testing is allowed, applicants will have to consent to submit to nicotine screening in the future to be considered.

“We are deeply invested in the well-being of our team members,” U-Haul Chief of Staff Jessica Lopez said in a 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.”

The company already has a wellness program in place designed to help employees quit using nicotine, as well as other health, nutrition and fitness initiatives.

U-Haul, which is headquartered in Phoenix, employs more than 30,000 people across the U.S. and Canada.

“If we take care for our team members, they will take care of our customers,” Lopez added.

This story was reported from Cincinnati.