Australia: No Smoking on Hospital Grounds

Smoking

Hospitals in Canberra city, the capital of Australia, do ignore smoking ban. Thus in March around 600 people were observed smoking cigarettes in forbidden areas near hospitals. This data is revealed due to crackdown on smokers last month. There was proposed to make hospital grounds totally smoke-free from September current year.

Bev Turello from  Health Services Union  told recently she observed an increase of cigarette butts around the campus and she attributed it to a lack of direction. According to Turello, although smoking is banned here but there are no smoking signs informing people about it. Better signage is needed.

Data released in March by  ACT Health demonstrate that security guards spoke to 592 visitors or employees who smoked cigarettes outside the hospital’s designated smoking areas. These numbers are much higher than usually.

Visitors say that they sometimes see smoking people right behind of no smoking signs. One visitor said that he has to accompany his 85-year-old mother to and from hospital after a heart attack and they are forced to walk through clouds of tobacco smoke despite no-smoking signs around.

Banning smoking from hospital grounds was a constant challenge, but it would be fair to subject employees ignoring the smoke-free policy to disciplinary action under their employment contracts.  Security guards, who monitor the hospital ground, must be tougher and issue fines or penalties for smoking violations.

Empoyees who smoke must get a necessary cessation advice and acess to quit smoking programs. Patients addicted to nicotine must be provided with free nicotine replacement therapy such as patches or gum.

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