Since 1945, U-Haul has been serving millions of people. One out of five people move each year, and if you're average, you'll move about 10 times in your life. In the past 75 years, a lot of changes have happened at U-Haul, but this year, the company is moving in a new direction in their hiring practices. U-Haul said it won't hire nicotine users in the 21 states where it's legal to hang the sign "Smokers Need Not Apply."

Starting February 1, a new direction in policy will be launched, but won't apply to those hired before then. So if you are a new applicant, you'll be asked if you use nicotine products, and if you live in any of the 21 states where it's legal to do this, you'll also agree to be screened for nicotine use. That's a new American spirit, in fact; pass me one while I ruminate over this.

If you live here and want to apply for a job at U-Haul, Massachusetts is one of the 21 states where you can be tested to see if you're fibbing or not about using nicotine.  U-Haul, which employs about 30,000 people, joins Alaska Airlines, some hospitals, and other health businesses that have implemented no-nicotine hiring policies. They haven't said whether or not they'll stop renting their trucks and trailers to smokers, but they have made major strides to encourage employees' good health and fitness.

So U-Haul has made a 2020 New Year's resolution: cut down on hiring people who smoke to ensure a healthier workforce.

Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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