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Smokers at Canberra Hospital

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!


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cross cross 12:24 pm 30 Oct 12

Yep KFC should be heavily taxed and come in plain packaging with graphic and disturbing pictures.

YeahBuddy YeahBuddy 11:35 am 30 Oct 12

TheDancingDjinn said :

YeahBuddy said :

Thumper said :

Surely it’s time to start forcing smokers into government funded stop smoking programs for their own good.

What about the fat people? Can we force them to join Weight Watchers or the gym?

And on another note – why is it not PC to call a fat person fat, but you can bag smokers? New research has actually shown that being fat is worse for your health long term than smoking (and don’t ask me to find it and post a link, I don’t have the time nor inclination, search yourself).

how does someone’s weight infringe on your life? apart from people’s beliefs that they have health issues that need hospital treatment. Someone’s smoking can make others sick, i used to smoke – it was not difficult for me not to smoke near entrance ways, and it was not hard for me to put my cigarette out before i threw it away, and it wasn’t hard for me to make sure my smoke didn’t go near some other peoples kids – those people and children didn’t chose to ruin their lungs – i was that moron.
Being heavy and smoking are both bad for your body, and they are both things we are never going to be able to control in others. If people want to do it then let them do it – as long as it doesn’t infringe on you, what do you care?

I was expecting way worse than that (probably still coming though!). I agree, your weight has no impact on me, and neither does someone else’s choice to smoke …. until you start throwing around that “cost to public health” argument, and then it affects us all. And to be perfectly honest, I don’t care if you smoke, or if you are overweight, I just think it is unfair that smoker’s cop it worse. Start a scare campain about the effects of being overweight and tax fatties for their unhealthy food.

Jungle Jim Jungle Jim 11:25 am 30 Oct 12

Thumper said :

Surely it’s time to start forcing smokers into government funded stop smoking programs for their own good.

Need to make smoking tobacco illegal first, surely?

cross cross 11:24 am 30 Oct 12

Thumper said :

Surely it’s time to start forcing smokers into government funded stop smoking programs for their own good.

You will be assimilated resistance is futile

TheDancingDjinn TheDancingDjinn 11:08 am 30 Oct 12

YeahBuddy said :

Thumper said :

Surely it’s time to start forcing smokers into government funded stop smoking programs for their own good.

What about the fat people? Can we force them to join Weight Watchers or the gym?

And on another note – why is it not PC to call a fat person fat, but you can bag smokers? New research has actually shown that being fat is worse for your health long term than smoking (and don’t ask me to find it and post a link, I don’t have the time nor inclination, search yourself).

how does someone’s weight infringe on your life? apart from people’s beliefs that they have health issues that need hospital treatment. Someone’s smoking can make others sick, i used to smoke – it was not difficult for me not to smoke near entrance ways, and it was not hard for me to put my cigarette out before i threw it away, and it wasn’t hard for me to make sure my smoke didn’t go near some other peoples kids – those people and children didn’t chose to ruin their lungs – i was that moron.
Being heavy and smoking are both bad for your body, and they are both things we are never going to be able to control in others. If people want to do it then let them do it – as long as it doesn’t infringe on you, what do you care?

YeahBuddy YeahBuddy 10:49 am 30 Oct 12

Thumper said :

Surely it’s time to start forcing smokers into government funded stop smoking programs for their own good.

What about the fat people? Can we force them to join Weight Watchers or the gym?

And on another note – why is it not PC to call a fat person fat, but you can bag smokers? New research has actually shown that being fat is worse for your health long term than smoking (and don’t ask me to find it and post a link, I don’t have the time nor inclination, search yourself).

Thumper Thumper 9:21 am 30 Oct 12

Surely it’s time to start forcing smokers into government funded stop smoking programs for their own good.

kakosi kakosi 11:26 pm 29 Oct 12

They are smoking outside right?

The way people carry on you’d think they were related to these people. You’re gonna die from something, and are probably more likely to get cancer or heart disease because of crap genetics or from the additives in the food you’re eating or from air pollution, or any other of a million different reasons, than from passing by someone outdoors smoking.

c_c™ c_c™ 10:43 pm 29 Oct 12

I remember a while back seeing from the NCPH, the back entry to the Admin building resembling a cigar lounge. Doctors, nurses and patients with general visitors, all in a circle smoking, with literally clouds of smoke around. Why it sticks in my mind is there was an ACT Public Health sign behind them – great irony.

HenryBG HenryBG 10:41 pm 29 Oct 12

m_ratt said :

HenryBG said :

Why do the staff not have an area in which to have a cigarette where it doesn’t affect people?

1. Smokers should be considerate enough of their own volition to ensure they go somewhere that their actions won’t affect people.

2. They do – it’s anywhere that’s not on the hospital grounds. It’s not far from anywhere in the hospital to the edge of the campus.

1. People in general are not considerate.

2. Wishful thinking isn’t the same thing as competent management. Hence the problem described by the OP.

People want to smoke. You get rid of the smoking areas, and people smoke anywhere and everywhere. This is hardly rocket surgery.

Jethro Jethro 9:47 pm 29 Oct 12

dpm said :

[Just ask for a health insurance quote – those guys do their sums on this stuff pretty well.

No they don’t. It’s one of the reasons I refuse to purchase private health insurance. In Australia health insurance premiums are in no way based on risk factors of those being covered, so a healthy, non-smoker who exercise for 45 minutes a day and eats a good diet of lean proteins and vegetables pays the same premium as an unhealthy person who smokes a pack a day, eats nothing but cheeseburgers and considers walking to the fridge for another can of coke as their daily exercise. The premiums of healthy people effectively subsidise the private health care costs of unhealthy ones.

Watson Watson 9:39 pm 29 Oct 12

I’m not sure if the ‘smokers vs fatties’ war is all that helpful. For example, level of exercise is a factor that’s very important when you discuss serious/expensive health conditions too. It seems logical that most people who are overweight probably don’t exercise much, but there are plenty of skinny people who don’t either. Exercise is vital for cardiovascular health and has been mentioned as a factor in preventing alzheimers and other chronic illnesses.

And to those who say the staff at TCH need to get off the premises to smoke: why? How does that even help anyone at all? Surely there is some area somewhere where non-smokers would rarely pass and where there’s no aircon vents or exits where they could smoke in peace.

Smoke-free workplaces/premises aren’t about the effect on other people. It’s patronising “we will punish you for doing something we don’t like and think is stupid” bull crap.

Also, now we cannot fart outside either?! So where should I go to fart? Is there a designated farting place somewhere I didn’t know about?

PoQ PoQ 9:10 pm 29 Oct 12

Tetranitrate said :

I don’t understand why the government and anti tobacco folks in general are so puritan when there are good harm minimization alternatives. Nicotine itself isn’t that much worse than caffeine provided it doesn’t enter the body with an added helping of carcinogenic tar.

Because the wowsers want it to be immoral and wrong more than they want it to be illegal. And to quote PJ O’Rourke:

“…I care so much I can’t eat. I can’t sleep. It broke up my marriage. And because I care more than you do, I’m a better person. And because I’m the better person, I have the right to boss you around.”

That said, smoking near AC vents is a nuisance.

LSWCHP LSWCHP 8:33 pm 29 Oct 12

dpm said :

At the population level obese people generally suffer worse health and die earlier. Just ask for a health insurance quote – those guys do their sums on this stuff pretty well.
As for no one being in hospital due to being overweight, try dialysis, endo or podiatry for starters….

I work with a guy in his 30s who I’d regard as moderately overweight, and he could not obtain life insurance when he got married. Nobody would would insure him at any price. Says a lot about the actuarial data associated with excess weight and poor health.

dpm dpm 6:29 pm 29 Oct 12

TheDancingDjinn said :

I was once rather heavy – (i have lost 120 kgs and am now a healthy weight – just to give you an idea on how big i was) Not once did i ever need medical attention at the hospital, for anything. I have not met one person who was heavy EVER that has gone to the hospital to get medical treatment from something to do with their weight. I have no idea where people came up with this crap that all these heavy people are in hospitals all over the world, but i haven’t met one, and i wasn’t one myself.

The same things that effect heavy people effect small ones, my tiny mother had to have her gall- bladder removed from the stones she got ( never drank, never ate s*** nothing) my thin brother has Chrones Disease, and here i was never sick, never needing a doctor and hugely hugely fat.

1) One-off ‘case studies’ aren’t the best form of evidence. Nor is ‘I know lots of people who….’
2) Weight-related health problems are generally chronic. You dont often overeat one night and get T2DM. However, do I long enough and by the time you’re in your 40s, problems generally start appearing. At the population level obese people generally suffer worse health and die earlier. Just ask for a health insurance quote – those guys do their sums on this stuff pretty well.
As for no one being in hospital due to being overweight, try dialysis, endo or podiatry for starters….

m_ratt m_ratt 6:16 pm 29 Oct 12

HenryBG said :

Why do the staff not have an area in which to have a cigarette where it doesn’t affect people?

1. Smokers should be considerate enough of their own volition to ensure they go somewhere that their actions won’t affect people.

2. They do – it’s anywhere that’s not on the hospital grounds. It’s not far from anywhere in the hospital to the edge of the campus.

How_Canberran How_Canberran 4:58 pm 29 Oct 12

Kim F said :

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

Lets cut to the chase here people. Is it patients smoking or ‘seeing’ the patients smoking?
Me thinks it may be the latter, as smoking at a health facility just ramps up the perceived level of filthiness in some do-gooder eyes.

How Canberran

beejay76 beejay76 3:44 pm 29 Oct 12

neanderthalsis said :

The current measure for obesity is the Body Mass Index, a rather simplistic measure of body density. The BMI puts every single member of the current Australian Wallabies rugby team in the overweight or obese category. How dare those elite athletes who train hard and represent our country in competitive sport set such a bad example to the kids that look up to them by being statistically obese. Now they’re filling up hospitals with their pulled hamstrings (obviously self-inflicted, no-one forced them to train) when the beds could be better used for treating smoking related illnesses.

You’re being a little disingenuous here. A lot of people trot out this old chestnut when faced with the fact that we’re getting fatter. There are two problems with your assertion. First, and most obviously, is that our BMI is changing over time. This means we are heavier for our height than people used to be. You don’t even have to go back very far. 10 years will do. Now this might be due to all of us bulking up at the gym, but it’s much more likely that we’re porking it on instead.

This segues nicely into the second problem. High weight to height ratio can be because of lots of things. Lean body mass (muscle), fat, water and so on. The Wallabies, being pro rugby players have a very high proportion of lean muscle tissue. This pushes up their weight, and yes, BMI is not very useful for them. It’s also not likely to be useful if you’re a weight lifter, body builder or male gymnast. If you’re none of these things it’s likely to be reasonably useful in a coarse sort of way. If you’re not totally muscle-bound and your BMI is 30 you perhaps need to consider the possibility that you’re carrying excess fat. If that doesn’t bother you, then no harm, no foul. Also, the broad range of ‘healthy weight’ for each height does not mean that all women of 167cm are equally healthy at 53kg and 70kg. The range is partly to account for different body types.

It’s obviously not foolproof and doesn’t apply equally to all people, and you have to consider your own situation and not just BMI. Having said all that, it’s not as useless as some people make out, either.

Tetranitrate Tetranitrate 3:15 pm 29 Oct 12

cross said :

The answer is electronic cigarettes, if you can’t or don’t want to give up the nicotine habit replace it with a relatively harmless and odourless substitute.
After 35 years of smoking a pack a day and not wanting to give give up I stopped the day I got one with the added bonus of saving $100 a week and have not felt the need for an “analogue” ciggie for over 6 months.

This.
I don’t understand why the government and anti tobacco folks in general are so puritan when there are good harm minimization alternatives. Nicotine itself isn’t that much worse than caffeine provided it doesn’t enter the body with an added helping of carcinogenic tar.

TheDancingDjinn TheDancingDjinn 2:40 pm 29 Oct 12

neanderthalsis said :

HenryBG said :

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.

40% of Australians are obese! Call Today Tonight!

The current measure for obesity is the Body Mass Index, a rather simplistic measure of body density. The BMI puts every single member of the current Australian Wallabies rugby team in the overweight or obese category. How dare those elite athletes who train hard and represent our country in competitive sport set such a bad example to the kids that look up to them by being statistically obese. Now they’re filling up hospitals with their pulled hamstrings (obviously self-inflicted, no-one forced them to train) when the beds could be better used for treating smoking related illnesses.

I was once rather heavy – (i have lost 120 kgs and am now a healthy weight – just to give you an idea on how big i was) Not once did i ever need medical attention at the hospital, for anything. I have not met one person who was heavy EVER that has gone to the hospital to get medical treatment from something to do with their weight. I have no idea where people came up with this crap that all these heavy people are in hospitals all over the world, but i haven’t met one, and i wasn’t one myself. The same things that effect heavy people effect small ones, my tiny mother had to have her gall- bladder removed from the stones she got ( never drank, never ate s*** nothing) my thin brother has Chrones Disease, and here i was never sick, never needing a doctor and hugely hugely fat.

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