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Smokers at Canberra Hospital

By Vindalu - 29 October 2012 73

It’s about time Canberra Hospital got serious about enforcing the total smoking ban at this health care facility and backing it up with on the spot fines.

The inconsiderate desperadoes that blithely puff away under the no smoking signs could well contribute to the cost of their own treatment and should be actively deterred from endangering the health of others.

If you want to see the extent of this problem take a look at how many butts that are swept up there every week – it’s thousands. It’s time a few butts were kicked!

What’s Your opinion?


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73 Responses to
Smokers at Canberra Hospital
Tymefor 1:06 pm 29 Oct 12

I think police officers can issue fines based on the smoking proximity to a licensed venue?? maybe that fine is to the venue though, and i don’t think the hospital counts anyway so doubt that would help. Also seems like a huge misuse of time for a patrol unit to be running around the hospital doing that.

there’s a fine that parks or someone can use for the littering of cigarette butts. was a big fuss about tens years ago with them trying to enforce that. I remember being in the city when a guy was being issued a fine. the inspector asked the guy for his ID but he said he doesn’t have any due to just ducking down for a smoke, so he gives his name as Hugh Dumass and some equally fake address. poor inspector didn’t even catch on till the guy ripped up the ticket and threw it on the ground as he was walking away.

hell that strategy would probably even work with police.

FioBla 12:24 pm 29 Oct 12

Photo request for: -35.344368, 149.101588

This is outside the makeshift corridor to the new Maternity wing.

Where pregnant women occasionally congregate to have a smoke.

We could call it the Powerpuff Women & Tots Corner.

devils_advocate 12:13 pm 29 Oct 12

gasman said :

And you assertion that smoking does not cause conditions requiring long-term and expensive treatment is just plain wrong. I’ll take you on a ward visit through the respiratory ward, the oncology ward, the vascular surgery ward and the coronary care unit, and you may change your mind.

This is probably one of the most oft-cited empirical analyses of the proposition that smokers die earlier and therefore there is a net saving to society in terms of avoided pension and aged care costs:

http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/ppr24a99/pdf;jsessionid=B2095054BFB3A36389C6DFD4069F121A.tobacco03

Since then some studies have sought to dispute the findings, but relying on different methodologies and definitions of what ‘costs’ are attributable to smokers (and different evaluations of the counterfactual). Those studies put the societal cost at something like 5-8 per cent increase above the status quo.

gasman 11:37 am 29 Oct 12

HenryBG said :

As for “contribute to the cost of their own treatment”, smoking as an activity is probably a net gain to the healthcare system, as it rakes in huge taxes and shortens people’s lives without creating conditions that require long and expensive treatments.

Seriously?

Tobacco rakes in about $7 billion per year in taxes (Federal, State, GST, excise, duty) in Australia, about 2.5% of tax revenue.

The costs to society are estimated at $31 billion per year, including both health and social costs. That means that non-smokers are subsidising smokers’ health costs to the tune of $24 billion per year in this country. Assuming we have 12 million tax payers, we each pay $2000 *extra* tax to support the addiction of smokers.

And you assertion that smoking does not cause conditions requiring long-term and expensive treatment is just plain wrong. I’ll take you on a ward visit through the respiratory ward, the oncology ward, the vascular surgery ward and the coronary care unit, and you may change your mind.

HenryBG 11:20 am 29 Oct 12

54-11 said :

Erg0 said :

They could probably also have a chat with a few of the nurses that I see furtively puffing away behind the corners of the buildings each morning…

The worst area for staff smoking where they shouldn’t is on the western side, near Yamba Dr. there is a sign saying “Strictly No Smoking.” It goes on to say that “Smoke from this area is affecting staff and patients in Medical Imaging”.

Never stops some nurses, including some in scrubs, from sending smoke plumes up the staircase straight into Imaging. They actually sit on the stairs directly below this sign, and where there is a direct flue created by the stairs into the Hospital.

Security staff patrol past the area many times a day but never is anything done.

Well, the hospital isn’t managing the issue properly then. Why do the staff not have an area in which to have a cigarette where it doesn’t affect people?
Putting “No Smoking” signs up everywhere doesn’t stop people from smoking, so it’s not a very clever thing to do.
I worked in a large hosp[ital once, and at one stage the eager beavers got it into their heads to remove all the ashtrays, get rid of all the nominated smokers’ corners, and put no-smoking signs up everywhere.
The consequences?
Without nominated areas, people started smoking everywhere, including under aircon vents, etc…
Without ashtrays, cigarette butts ended up everywhere.
With “No Smoking” signs up everywhere, smokers had no choice but to smoke in front of “No Smoking” signs – right in front of doorways, etc…
Complete disaster. Pisspoor management.

If you want to get rid of smoking areas, FIRST, you have to get rid of smokers, not the other way around.

As for “contribute to the cost of their own treatment”, smoking as an activity is probably a net gain to the healthcare system, as it rakes in huge taxes and shortens people’s lives without creating conditions that require long and expensive treatments.

This is unlike fatties, who eat low-taxed food and gain various conditions which cause enormous expense to the community including clogged-up hospital waiting lists and broken chairs at the Centrelink offices.
Seeing as over 40% of people are obese in this country these days, there are far more seriously expensive things to worry about than smoking.

gasman 11:12 am 29 Oct 12

This is the entrance to Canberra Hospital a few days ago:

http://www.gasbag.net/kayak/ciggies.jpg

It is a disgrace that the ban on smoking is not enforced at a major health institution, and that those of us that work there must walk through a cloud of second hand smoke to get into the building.

Alderney 11:09 am 29 Oct 12

tate_alec said :

Surely the air your breathing is much cleaner up on top of that horse of yours. You’re pretty high up.

Your right to do as you please ceases the moment it impacts on another.

How does the height of your horse (or mine for that matter) differ from the OP?

I for one believe it would be easier to regulate the places in which you are allowed to smoke rather than those you are not. Corral the #@$@#’s, they stink the place up for the rest of use (just to use some horsey language).

How’d they like it if I stood next to them after a, I don’t know, how about a juicy vindaloo, and farted next to them for five minutes, or, chucked my guts up in their laps and let them reek of my vomit for the rest of the day.

54-11 11:03 am 29 Oct 12

Erg0 said :

They could probably also have a chat with a few of the nurses that I see furtively puffing away behind the corners of the buildings each morning…

The worst area for staff smoking where they shouldn’t is on the western side, near Yamba Dr. there is a sign saying “Strictly No Smoking.” It goes on to say that “Smoke from this area is affecting staff and patients in Medical Imaging”.

Never stops some nurses, including some in scrubs, from sending smoke plumes up the staircase straight into Imaging. They actually sit on the stairs directly below this sign, and where there is a direct flue created by the stairs into the Hospital.

Security staff patrol past the area many times a day but never is anything done.

FioBla 10:57 am 29 Oct 12

Stop the fags.

FXST01 10:56 am 29 Oct 12

Kim F said :

It is really sad seeing patients with a drip in their arm and sucking on a fag !

What has this got to do with smoking? Oh you mean fag as in cigarette. Ok carry on.

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd 9:40 am 29 Oct 12

Who is going to give out the fines?

tate_alec 9:37 am 29 Oct 12

I agree that it’s a pretty sad state of affairs, but I’m not too sure about the legality of the hospital imposing and enforcing on the spot fines.
Surely the air your breathing is much cleaner up on top of that horse of yours. You’re pretty high up.

bundah 9:31 am 29 Oct 12

Kim F said :

It is really sad seeing patients with a drip in their arm and sucking on a fag !

I reckon there’s nothing more aussie than seeing a patient wheeling out a stand with drip attached sucking on a fag 🙂

Erg0 9:28 am 29 Oct 12

They could probably also have a chat with a few of the nurses that I see furtively puffing away behind the corners of the buildings each morning…

Kim F 9:22 am 29 Oct 12

It is really sad seeing patients with a drip in their arm and sucking on a fag !

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