The privacy rights of the employees at one university campus have just been “smoked”.

University of Missouri Health System is rolling out a new “nicotine-free hiring policy” that forbids new employees from using nicotine – on or off the clock.

Come Jan. 1, the system will no longer hire people who use any form of nicotine, will test for nicotine during pre-employment drug screenings, and can fire employees if it’s sniffed out later that they misled human resources, according to the policy.

Banned products include: cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco, snuff, clove cigarettes, electronic cigarettes and similar products, MU health officials say.

A memo on its employment website tells candidates they “must certify that they do not and will not use nicotine products during their employment with MU Health Care, both on and off duty.” If caught later, they could be fired.

Its officials have called the new policy “a natural progression” as health care gravitates toward “wellness and prevention,” but some argue it’s an invasion of privacy and could lead to similar policies on the obese or other lifestyle choices.

University of Missouri Health Care operates medical facilities across the state. Under its new policy, applicants will be asked if they use nicotine products. If they say “yes,” they will be given info on how to quit and invited to re-apply in three months.

“If we suspect that an employee who is hired after the implementation of this policy goes into effect is using nicotine products, we will follow our normal disciplinary process,” Mary Jenkins, spokeswoman for MU Health Care, told The College Fix by telephone. “Our normal disciplinary process could include drug screens, written warnings, and terminations if the actions [nicotine use] continue.”

The policy will be grandfathered in, essentially exempting current employees. However, it will allow employees and their families to reduce their health care insurance premiums if they permanently snuff their butts.

Some have concerns about the new policy.

“[I’d] hate to see any employer assume that he or she has the right to control their employees’ behavior 24/7,” Dan Viets, president of the Missouri Civil Liberties Association, told The College Fix in an email. “Drug testing is leading to more and more of this.”