12 | 13 | 2010

Smoke-free Hospital Grounds Bill Passes in NYC

On Wednesday, July 29, 2009, the New York City Council unanimously voted in favor of a bill that will ban smoking on hospital grounds as well as within 15 feet of hospital entrances and exists. This piece of legislation was introduced by City Council Majority Whip Inez E. Dickens and not only applies to general hospitals, but also to health treatment centers and residential health facilities.

Councilwoman Inez E. Dickens, the bill’s prime sponsor, stated the ban is a common-sense measure that will prevent bad habits from having a negative effect of those that are entering a hospital.” A New York Times article quoted Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn saying this before the vote, “When visiting a hospital, the last thing patients should have to worry about avoiding second hand smoke. Patients should not have to walk through plumes of smoke on their way to seeing their doctor.”*

Health advocates view the ban on smoking on hospital grounds and within 15 feet of entrances and exists as a “Health Win” and a rational way to continue to protect New Yorkers from exposure to second hand smoke. While New York’s smoke-free workplace laws protect New Yorkers’ from secondhand smoke at work, this piece of legislation will protect the health of: (1) visitors on hospital grounds (2) all patients, especially those with asthma, COPD, and heart disease (3) hospital workers who would otherwise be exposed to second hand smoke.

* Source: The 7/29/09 NYT article can be found at: http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/07/29/smoking-is-banned-around-ci...