Hospital smoking ban sparks debate

A HOSPITAL and school smoking ban to come into force on Thursday has sparked a major debate.

The State Government has announced that people who smoke within five metres of health facilities and school grounds will face on-the-spot fines of at least $227.

Student nurse Nicole Cuff said she welcomed the move.

She goes to great lengths to prevent her children breathing in toxic smoke. She gives smokers a wide berth.

"I hold my breath when I walk by a smoker," the mother of five said.

"We'll walk around far enough away that we don't have to breathe in the smoke."
 

Nicole Cuff welcomes legislation banning smoking at all private and public hospitals and health services in Queensland from January 1, 2015.
Nicole Cuff welcomes legislation banning smoking at all private and public hospitals and health services in Queensland from January 1, 2015. Kevin Farmer

 

Wilsonton resident Josh Harris said he was against the new legislation.

The non-smoker said he was concerned about people having to travel out of the hospital to light up.

"A lot of people will have trouble," he said.

Mr Harris said people who had undergone surgery would have issues negotiating the hill off Pechey St.

"It will make it harder for staff who smoke to run up and down the hill to have a smoke," Mr Harris said.

"There's not that much second hand smoke from the designated smoking area as it's well ventilated."

Do you agree with the new smoking laws?

This poll ended on 31 December 2014.

Current Results

Yes

60%

No

39%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Mrs Cuff said nurses and health care professionals should not only promote health, but act as leaders in health promotion and effect change for positive health outcomes.

"No healthcare workers should be seen smoking on hospital grounds or expose others to their smoke," she said.

The Withcott resident said she had issues with smokers her whole life.

"I have an allergic reaction to cigarette chemicals and suffer from migraines if I'm exposed them for a long period of time."

She said smokers should be more considerate about their actions.

"We don't appreciate you blowing smoke in our faces," she said.

Mrs Cuff said it appeared police were lax in enforcing current legislation.

"I've never seen anyone fined for smoking close to entrances.

"It's our right to be able to breath in fresh air."

Acting Health Minister Mark McArdle said the changes were aimed at making Queensland a healthier place to live and raise a family.

"The buffer at health facilities will help disperse smokers that congregate at entry points."

THE GREAT DEBATE:

PRO

Alyssa Gabrielle Dietz: It should be Australia wide. I hate walking into hospital with my babies and being met by a wall of smoke. It's disgusting.

Maureen Secombe: I can't wait to see smoking banned in all public places.

Lara Dolling: Support! Hospitals are not the place for smoking.

Link Clegg: Take your filthy habit somewhere else. The sooner people can only smoke at home the better for society.

Jenny Crook: There is nothing more abhorrent than seeing someone hooked up to a drip smoking outside a hospital. Good use of taxpayer funds treating that person in a public hospital, not.

Jacqueline Redford: Yes I support it all the way. Being an ex-smoker and walking out into people smoking in the doorway is disgusting and it smells terrible. Smokers need to have a bit more respect for non smokers.

CON

Kimberley Nolan-Rowe: They build bigger beds, chairs and ambulances for obese people, yet smokers are still treated like social outcasts. Anyone that says they walk through smoke to get into a hospital is obviously walking through the very small designated smoking area away from the doors on purpose. You don't like the smoke, but smokers don't like being treated like subclass citizens.

Karen Murray: No I have never been a smoker, but hospitals are a very stressful place and people with this addiction may need a place near the premises to smoke.

Margaret Stanley: This is a hard one. I have never been a smoker "but" there are patients who are heavy smokers and terminally ill though still mobile wouldn't it be cruel to cut off this only bit of pleasure they now have. They could have a room of some sort available, especially in smaller hospitals.



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