But it is absurd to be pushing your way through a big gang of smokers (and their smoke) to get into a hospital. Put the smoking areas further away and ENFORCE no smoking at the entrance. I also don't think any nursing/ care staff should be wasting time helping patients to get to these areas.
You could look at it from the perspective of a patient going through a really s*** time, possibly for the last time wanting to enjoy one of life's few remaining pleasures. I'm not a smoker but I'd not begrudge someone that any more than I'd begrudge them a walk in the grounds, slice of toast or a cup of tea... all of which probably require time/assistance from staff.
The huddle of smokers around doorways and the drift of dropped fag ends across pavements is an unfortunate side effect of the indoor smoking ban and our weather.
> prohibition certainly isnt the ultimate answer, but as it does for cannabis, heroin etc, it makes it harder to obtain and more socially unacceptable
And accounts for more than half of our prison population, people who will be released with far poorer life chances than they would have were they not jailed and a far worse outlook than they would have had were they passed into an arm the health system rather than the justice system. Our drugs laws are an absurd and backward consequence of our competitive system of populist politics.
> what other solutions would you consider, perhaps furtther raising the age to 21 to purchase?
No. Keep ratcheting up the tax, invest the proceeds on treatment, more and smarter health education, cessation services and customs enforcement. As the tax take dwindles so will the need for the additional spending.
Maybe, but it's still not right that other patients/ staff/ visitors have to push through this unhealthy mess to get to the hospital- it needs getting out of the way. There are usually clear signs forbidding smoking there, but hospitals must enforce them
They really should just ban it. I don't think you can lump in tobacco with "Cannabis, heroin, Cocaine, ecstasy, Speed, trips, etc " as it doesn't really do anything exciting or pleasurable. This is where it stands alone. It's sh1t. As for smoking in or around a hospital there should be no provision for it at all - patients or staff. The tax provided is falling thanks to illicit fags, and the ultimate aim I would imagine is to have no smokers at all and therefore no tobacco tax. Smoking isn't a right and it certainly isn't a stress reliever - heart rate and blood pressure increase immediately.
jeez, you'd think people were sat at the gates spitting at everyone who comes in. It's just a bit of smoke, you're not being poisoned. So it smells a bit rank, for the two seconds it takes you to get through the door grow the f*ck up and get over it. You'd think in a building where folk are dying all the time that people would be a little less preoccupied by the outrage of having to smell something for a moment while entering the building.
Intolerance, that's all that it is. You don't hear people giving a f*ck about strangers health unless it's smoking so don't play the "here to help" card. Alcohol and obesity related illness royally f*ck the NHS in the arse every year, smoking related disease is like a scratch on the NHS's back side in comparison, even without all the tax revenue smoking raises. Most people do things that are bad/risky to their health and a lot of it's applauded by society but because smoking's now a minority sport it's suddenly jumped upon as if it's the most damaging thing in the world. No ones saying it's not bad and by all means educate people, make it harder for people to start smoking, tax the f*ck out of it, label it with gruesome images, take it off display, change the packaging and ban it in enclosed spaces but can't we just leave it at that? Isn't that enough? Why the need to forcefully "help" all these poor addicted morons? Not everyone who smokes is a nicotine addict like not everyone who drinks is an alcoholic.
And while were at it, can we not go down the "but it's not even enjoyable and I've tried it" route, I've tried baileys and that's not enjoyable, or do I mean that I personally just don't like it? Does that mean that every time I see someone "enjoying" a glass I think, wow, that tastes like shit so they must have an alcohol addiction?
It's bemusing being a smoker and having a non-smoker come up and tell you you're not enjoying that. It's like me going up to someone eating a pack of crisps and saying, "hey, they make your mouth taste like shit don't they? I can smell them from here, yuk *wretch noises*. You know how many calories are in them? I bet you're on 20 packs a day, no evidence for that but I bet you are. Not a big fan of crisps me, you know they'll make you obese? Is that a bottle of coke you've got there? Yuk, rots your teeth that does. Do you know what root canal surgery is like? Here, let me put them in the bin for you, I'm here to help you, they're making your breath smell all cheesy and sugary, no one will love you looking like that, not when your all fat and addicted. Here, look at this picture of a fat persons greasy face, that's what you'll end up like if you keep on like this. It's ok, you're just an addict, you don't really enjoy them."
> Not everyone who smokes is a nicotine addict like not everyone who drinks is an alcoholic.
So what's the problem with not having a fag for a wee while? Just like the people who like a drink, but are not alcoholics, that manage to get through hospital visits without the need to head to the entrance for a dram or atinny...
> jeez, you'd think people were sat at the gates spitting at everyone who comes in. It's just a bit of smoke, you're not being poisoned. So it smells a bit rank, for the two seconds it takes you to get through the door grow the f*ck up and get over it.
Give up smoking. Grow the f*ck up and get over it.
Have you ever had an elderly relative with deteriorating health for whom a cigarette makes life bearable for a while?
I hate smoking but having seen how necessary it was for my mother's peace of mind towards the end I stopped being a fascist about it.
I feel angry about the nurse on the radio this morning who said she wouldn't waste her valuable time opening a door for someone in a wheelchair to get out to smoke while she asserted her own right to a cigarette break as a human right.
1) Smoking was banned from pubs years ago, when the primary business carried out in pubs is alcohol which tends to be bad for health.
2) Smoking is still permitted on hospital grounds, when the primary business of hospitals is making ill people's health better.
It's not exactly integrated thinking, is it?
If someone is ill and is in hospital, they need to MTFU and stop making the doctors job harder by smoking whilst ill. By all means there should be plenty of support for that, as it will help their healing.
If someone is terminal they should be given free range of various chemicals (drugs) that are going to do a lot more to make their last days less bad than smoking.
Any visitors can f--k right off away from the doors if they want to smoke, it's not hard is it, and the chances are that they're expected to do the same in their workplace and it's never killed them there.
No offence man, but I'm not really sure it's any of your business to put pressure on people. Educate and let people make their own informed decisions, disincentivise at most. I don't come into your life pressurising you to make healthier choices and asking people not to do so is not something that requires one to "grow the f*ck up". I'll pass that on to my 97 year old smoking gran though in case she needs the advice, although I think she's lived through enough to realise there are more important battles than forcing everyone to live like you want them to.
NHS managers seem only too ready to take the (smoking) patient's side should they raise a complaint claiming that they were spoken to discourteously by a staff member.
As a member of staff, it's not worth challenging someone if it means fending off a disciplinary
The Managers won't be the ones enforcing the matter.
> what other solutions would you consider, perhaps furtther raising the age to 21 to purchase?
How about just let people make their own decisions in life and stop trying to find "solutions" to problems that don't exist. If I choose to smoke that's my choice and it's not your place to tell me to stop. I know smoking does harm to me and I accept that, beyond making me aware of the issues you have no right to interfere.
I guess that's the question, how much it affects other people. I was in favour of the ban in pubs and enclosed public spaces and all the smokers I know seem to be happy with it this way. I can see how when you're ill you're more sensitive to smoke, so maybe the front door isn't the best place for a lot of smokers to gather. But here we're talking about banning it all over hospital ground, banning it for staff and generally demonising smokers when it should be a really simple, non-emotive issue...i.e. finding a compromise where people in hospital can smoke somewhere where it doesn't affect other ill people.
Most smokers don't want it to negatively affect others but I think when you get such a strong backlash and often over reaction it gets the same in response. Smoking's been disincentivised enough, people are knowledgeable about the risks, the help available, the smoking age has been raised, a lot of smokers (and all parents I know) smoke outside even at home and in general I think of all the things to complain about in society, smoking is something that doesn't affect non-smokers to a degree that needs more legislating against.
"Alcohol and obesity related illness royally f*ck the NHS in the arse every year, smoking related disease is like a scratch on the NHS's back side in comparison, even without all the tax revenue smoking raises."
..complete rubbish: all three areas (food booze and cigs) raise tax income and all three are of the same order of costs... genrally obesity top (~6£billion) then smoking and alchohol about the same (~3+£billion).
So obesity is twice the cost of smoking but you can still munch chocolate bars and wash them down with Coke, bought in the hospital shop, while you're on the ward. Good bit of joined up thinking banning smokers even more eh?
Similar thoughts crossed my mind when I saw this non-story on the news this morning. The NHS have far more important things to worry about, such as daft policies that mean you can't get basic diagnostic tests without having a consultant metaphorically 'kick your tyres' and say, 'yeah, there does seem to be something wrong, maybe we'll do some tests...' Thus halving the number of useful consultant sessions available (when they actually have some diagnostic tests in front of them), and doubling the time to get a diagnosis and treatment...
I detect a smokescreen to hide some other bad news...
Being in hospital, trying to get better, but suffering raging withdrawals, be that from caffeine or nicotine, is not going to speed recovery.
Sensible answer might be to prescribe nicotine patches to anyone in hospital and ban combustible substances anywhere on the grounds. Public hangings for anyone contravening the regulations with their organs going straight on to the transplant list or fresh for medical science.
> (In reply to Ben Sharp)
> You Largely Speak for me no this
I tend to agree. My general view is that I am perfectly happy for anyone to go to hell in any way they see fit, and if its not affecting me then I shouldn't have a opinion on it.
I'd far rather walk through a cloud of smoke on the way into a pub than a pile of vomit, but no-one appears to mind about alcohol, despite is causing many, many more health and especially social problems than smoking.
> easier to make tobacco illegal like most other addictive harmful drugs
As jKarran says, prohibition doesn't work.
If tobacco was made illegal then surely alcohol would have to be considered, plus large tax loses would have to be covered. Possibly meaning an increase in income tax, or maybe it would be put on alcohol.
Luckily I work in community mental health, not our local psych ward.
ACT health authorities will impose ''cruel and unusual'' punishment on its mental health patients when smoking is banned next year in treatment centres, according to advocates in the sector. Community sector mental health organisations say the plan allege the Health Directorate had gone to extraordinary lengths to overcome resistance.
The Canberra Times revealed last month health authorities were pushing ahead with their plan to enforce a total smoking ban at all ACT Health campuses, including mental health treatment centres, despite concerns from the Official Visitor and the Health Services Commissioner. Mental Health Consumers Network executive officer Dalane Drexler described the policy yesterday as ''dangerous and scary'' and said it amounted to ''cruel and unusual punishment'' for people facing long-term confinement for mental health treatment.
''We absolutely support consumers who want to quit smoking, we absolutely support the directorate for putting in programs to support consumers to quit by choice when they are well but we are opposed to an outright ban that will hurt people when they are at their most vulnerable when they enter treatment,'' Ms Drexler said.
There's a time and a place for banning smoking, and telling someone who's relative is dying on ITU or in resus not to smoke is totally inappropriate, therefore I think there should be smoking shelters in hospital grounds.
I've never smoked, but was involved in a really horrible incident a few years ago and after bring the little boy into A&E then had to wait around whilst he was stablilised in order to transfer him to alderhey hospital, my colleague sneaked off and hid in the bushes for a ciggerate (and time alone)... that is the only time I've been jealous of someone smoking
These topics are great to read and participate in, although as with any discussion there are those who take things to heart and get a bit riled, its nice to share ones own opinion and see how others react to it, and I for one find it very informative and educational.
Without security guards to enforce a ban at the entrances this is all so much hot smelly air. The only effect will be piles of fag butts around hospital entrances where before they *may* have gone in butt bins. Complete non story, surely NICE have actually been to one or two hospitals and should know this for themselves?
> There's a time and a place for banning smoking, and telling someone who's relative is dying on ITU or in resus not to smoke is totally inappropriate, therefore I think there should be smoking shelters in hospital grounds.
> I've never smoked, but was involved in a really horrible incident a few years ago and after bring the little boy into A&E then had to wait around whilst he was stablilised in order to transfer him to alderhey hospital, my colleague sneaked off and hid in the bushes for a ciggerate (and time alone)... that is the only time I've been jealous of someone smoking
15 years ago I gave up smoking after my dad died of lung cancer. Shortly after my dad's death, one of my best friends was diagnosed with breast cancer that had spread to secondary cancer in her liver. During the last 2 weeks before she died, I was leaving work and going up to the hospital for a few hours an evening, so her parents could go home and give time for her husband to finish work and get to the hospital. My wife at the time was looking after my friend's 4 year old son and 2 year old daughter while their mother spent her last 2 weeks of life in hospital, connected to drips and monitors. After a week of sitting for a few hours a day, holding the hand of one of my best friends and talking to her about the good times and fun we'd had, and how we'd rally and care for her kids after she'd gone, I was weak and I cracked and started smoking again. If someone had come and told me to put my cigarette out and tried to give me fine on one of the occasions I'd popped out to grab a coffee and a smoke, I think I'd have flipped. Of course I can see the irony in starting to smoke again in that situation, and I'm far from proud of it, but as a smoker, it was the only emotional crutch that got me through it at the time.
As an ex smoker what I hate about all these campaigns is the whiff of self righteousness and patronising aspects. The NHS sometimes seem overwhelmed with middle class folks on significant salaries who like nothing more than putting up signs to advise people to do this, or remonstrate them for doing that.
As someone who works more or less exclusively in NHS hospitals and who has started smoking again I'm inclined to agree that something should be done.
I go to a lot of sites that have notes taped to the windows saying things like please don't smoke here it gets into the ITU department. I've found that site with smoking shelter/areas do have less of a problem than those with a ban on smoking on hospital grounds.
My idea: first they build descent smoking shelters of a descent size, by all the entrances, not a million miles away just far enough so that it's not by the entrance and doesn't drift into the hospital, maybe a covered walkway. Secondly have different ones for staff and visitors.
The next 2 parts are the controversial ones, the first one, build in smoking rooms for patients only, double door airlock and a simple room with an extractor fan and some ash trays along with literature about stopping smoking and patches etc for free in there.
The last point which will no doubt get me some stick, extend the smoking ban so if your not in or at least by a shelter you get a fine, obviously some discretion with moving people along first would be needed.
As for obesity and being able to buy crisps, chocolate and sugary drink, f**k them off, entirely. More education for things like the dangers of smoking, drinking and eating shit. More of a helpful role for what's on offer in communities and advice on how people could be more active, not in a preachy way in a if people want the help they opt in kind of way.
Those are just my thoughts so feel free to rip them to shreds.
I saw Blackpool Hospital on the news last night singing the virtues of its No Smoking Policy with a representative next to No Smoking signs big enough to be seen from the moon.
Is the No Smoking policy enforced?
Is it B0ll0cks.
I have not heard of one instance where somebody was fined for breaching the no smoking policy on NHS property.
I got fed up asking people to move away from the No Smoking signs ages ago because it only leads to angry confrontation. I even sent emails to the Council but only got meaningless replies saying that the policy was routinely enforced.
I could not care less where people smoke. Well, that's not exactly true. I could not care less where people smoke, except for the selfish bast@rds who smoke near windows and entrances to the parts of the building that I want to pass through.
These selfish bast@rds even light their cigarettes up while still in the building while offering the excuse "I am just on my way out".
Nothing wrong with smokers, its just the selfish smokers who p1ss me off.
I'd agree with most of that, if hospitals, or any establishment for that matter, don't want people smoking by the main entrance, have a smoking shelter, nothing special, just a roof and some ashtrays, away from the main entrance. I've no desire for other people to breath in my smoke, but I'd rather the rain didn't put my cigarette out!
The majority of us would rather stand away from the entrance a few do anyway, but like you said its no fun in the rain so people find shelter. Of course there's always going to be some who still don't care but you get that with everything.
Smoking can damage your health
Smoking can kill you
Friends and family suffer untold grief when such unneccesary deaths occur
Most people find it hard to imagine what pleasure someone could get from such a senselessly risky activity
The NHS spends your taxes on treating the selfish people who inflict this harm on themselves
Obviously these reasons alone could justify a ban on all smoking
Now substitute climbing for smoking in the above
PS I'm an ex smoker who occasionally relapses. The anti lobby claim that even the briefest whiff of a fag as they pass through a doorway is nauseating. Personally I find the self righteous cant of these people at least as sickening. Without the wonderful appetite suppressing effect of nicotine I imagine most of them are probably overweight as well. Hope that, for their own good, the fat f**kers don't get fed when they are admitted to hospital.
Climbing is nothing like as dangerous and kills a much tinier fraction of its participants. Anyone who cant understand that people get pleasure out of either are really dumb. Smoking costs a huge amount alongside the other big oublic health issues. It is unpleasant for many to walk though groups of smokers so instead of digging their heels in, organisations need to set up convenient smoking areas away from main entrances. The anger expressed by too many in this important public health issue is understandable at times but not especially helpful..
A couple of hours in a nice warm car did nothing to prepare me. No overcoat, no scarf, no gloves, November, no idea; I stepped into a wind that nearly cut me in two. I sprinted across the car park towards the hospital entrance.
To the left of the front door, invisible to the stream of visitors clutching plastic bags of fruit drinks and tissues, staff with their heads down, locked in conversation... in a shaft of watery light, between the wall and a drip stand, stood a man. A bag of something dangled from the stand's T-bar, draining into a tube that looped to and array of plastic taps and connectors taped to the back of his hand.
It turned out to be Alfie. Pyjama legs, a concertina piling up over once-white trainers, his top half wrapped in a towelling dressing gown. He was so thin it was difficult to decide what was stronger; the skin and bone or the drip stand. My money was on the stand. Black and grey tousled hair. Eyes sunk so far back it was impossible to see any light in them. In his free hand a roll-up cigarette. As he dragged on it his cheeks hollowed and his sunken face became a parchment skull.
'Blimey mate, you all right?'
'Yeh, I just nipped out for a fag...' he wheezed, coughed and wracked his body.
I walked back with him. We shuffled along. Alfie dragged the drip-stand. He was late-sixties and looked eighty. He had cancer. It was unspoken but it was obvious he didn't have long to go. I wondered if he would see Christmas. Cheerio's were made and as we turned into the ward a nurse said; 'Alfie, where have you been?' Like she didn't know.
It's a pretty unedifying sight; patients smoking by hospital entrance-ways. It happens, I've seen it often enough. NICE tells us it must stop. Smoking is bad for you. I think we get that. 'All hospitals should have on-site 'stop-smoking' services and staff should be instructed not to assist patients who want to smoke.' Compassion? Where's the CNO and her Six 'C's when you need her?
Professor Mike Kelly, director of the Centre for Public Health Excellence at NICE, described the guidance as a "culture shift" as opposed to creating a "penal culture"...I have no idea what that gobbledegook means.
I do know I hate smoking. It killed my Dad. He started before the health risks of tobacco were properly understood. Now we do and any sane adult who chooses to smoke is a burk. But, don't underestimate the power of nicotine. It is a lifelong lodger and you pay the fearful rent.
But, it is legal. Heaven knows why. It struck me that Alfie was a patient in a hospital. Not an inmate in a prison. He came to us for help. He is a fully paid up member of the NHS and is a guest in our hospital. We should behave like a host.
NICE say; Trusts should ensure "there are no designated smoking areas, no exceptions..." I wonder why they are called NICE? NASTY might be better; Not Allowed So Treat Yerself'. Shouldn't the NHS be like a Corinthian; patient, kind, modest, honourable, rejoicing in the truth and not easily angered? Draconian, heartless, unthoughtful and cold-blooded doesn't quite match-up.
I spent yesterday morning at the NHS Alliance' excellent 'Breaking Boundaries' conference. Earlier in the week I was at the RCN evening at the Chief Nursing Officer's conference in Birmingham, the ABMU Health Board conference in Swansea and the Hospital Directions Conference at London Excel. I don't think I have had a richer, back-to-back week of conferences, with top-drawer speakers and thoughtful presentations.
Everywhere; identical talk of patient involvement, patient directed care, patient pathways, patient budgets. Putting patients in charge, patient choice, patient focus, listening to patients, patient centred-ness.
I wonder... where does Alfie fit into all that?
Have a good weekend.
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Can we not just let people kill themselves in the manner of their own choosing? Smoking, drinking or obesity may be bad for the NHS but they are great for Pensions and taxes.
The only thing I would ban is cigarettes, just like the voluntary ban on selling high-strength beers and ciders. Make people smoke pipes, cigars or take snuff and you would soon see a benefit to health as smokers get all the nicotine they need but with only a fraction of the tar and no harmful additives. All you would have to do is ban any combustible non-tobacco wrapping and any additives. This would get rid of that horrible Cherry-Menthol pipe tobacco as well as making more naturally aromatic tobaccos such as Perique and Latakia more popular. Mouth cancer may rise moderately but all other smoking related cancers should drop significantly.