Tobacco ban causes some to grumble

Smokers should have the right, they say, but also agree they should stop

Banning tobacco use at hospitals makes sense, but only to a point, said a couple sitting — and smoking — outside St. Mary’s Hospital on Wednesday.

“In all good conscience,” said Richard Graham. “We should stop smoking.”

Graham was sitting with his wife, Ethel, outside St. Mary’s, where they are regular visitors while their sons get medical treatment.

Quitting might be a good idea, Ethel said. And St. Mary’s might be within its rights to prohibit smoking, she said.

“There’s a right to smoke when you’re under stress,” though, she said.

The ban won’t go over well with everyone, including patients, said employees who were taking their smoke breaks at the hospital’s smoking area on the far west property line.

Those break areas will be gone March 1, when the tobacco ban goes into place.

“I’ve seen patients with IVs” rolling them out to the smoking area for a drag, said one employee. “It’s not fair to the patients and visitors.”

At the nearby Marillac Clinic, Tom and Sally Patton were smoking and watching construction of the new hospital tower high above while they waited for their appointment.

“It’s probably a good idea, actually,” Tom said of the ban.

“Yeah,” said his wife Sally, “We need to stop.”


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