Archive for Sunday, October 15, 2006

Food hazards

October 15, 2006


To the editor:

While standing in line at a local store recently, I overheard a conversation regarding Lawrence Memorial Hospital. It seems that smoking is now completely banned on the property. Hospital employees and visitors may not smoke anywhere on hospital property, including inside their cars parked on hospital property.

Although I am not a smoker myself, I still feel this is a complete injustice!

Stressed-out hospital employees and visitors who must deal with the stress and sorrow of a sick relative should be allowed to smoke on hospital property. Catching a whiff of smoke when entering or exiting the hospital poses the tiniest of health risks.

Meanwhile, inside Lawrence Memorial Hospital one finds endless snack and soda vending machines. These are filled to the brim with sugar and fat and calories in pretty packages that may be consumed almost anywhere, are socially acceptable and cost much less than a pack of cigarettes. Diet can cause cancers and heart disease, just as smoking can. This is a great example of hypocrisy.

Cammy Challender,



bearded_gnome 11 years, 3 months ago

LJReader, if you wanna worry, worry more about nosocomial infections...long word for infection you catch while in hospital. there's a serious worry.

bearded_gnome 11 years, 3 months ago

yes, thank God he didn't mention the S-word. ugh.
and, yes, sometimes people get stuck there for days. the hospital really should be complimented on its cafeteria; it is really fine in my book.

Richard Heckler 11 years, 3 months ago

It's their business regarding the smoking ban for which I support.

Your other point on the food in vending machines is also well taken and an excellent point I might add. Although it's a part of their business it is a bit contradictory. Perhaps offering containers of organic carrot juice, packets of organic Green Vibrance and small bars of organic dark chocolate would better support their smoking ban.

Good letter.

stbaker 11 years, 3 months ago

The smell of cigarette smoke alone is enough to cause asthmatics to have an attack, or respiratory patients to have trouble breathing.

I like how the house across the street from the hospital has placed numerous "No Smoking" signs in their front yard. They obviously were having a problem with smokers crossing the street into their yard for smoke breaks. That's unfortunate.

lori 11 years, 3 months ago

But one person's consumption of food does not endanger another.

Maybe they would have not initiated the smoking ban if people would have actually smoked in the designated areas. Instead, every day I came to work I noticed people smoking right outside the doors. Every entrance had signs telling people not to smoke near the doors, and every entrance always had smokers. Sometimes they would have to send out memos reminding people not to smoke near the air uptake--areas of the hospital would begin to smell like ciagrette smoke, and it would turn out that someone would be smoking near these air uptake areas, circulating their second hand smoke all over the hospital. Employees and visitors alike were to blame.

I have no problem banning smoking for employees and patients. I'm a little ambivalent in regards to visitors. But I guess they can smoke before they get htere and right after they leave.

And I don't think you'd find any complaints if they offered healthier vending machine options!! If the cafeteria is closed, your options for food are very limited and very gross.

mom_of_three 11 years, 3 months ago

but if a person is a smoker, it doesn't matter when or where they smoke, their clothes still reak of it. I don't see the difference between the hospital parking lot and two blocks away from it.

i can understand a hospital's reasoning for not wanting smokers nearby, but it is pretty unrealistic for visitors not familiar with lawrence to follow it.

Leprechaunking13 11 years, 3 months ago

lori if they are outside it shouldn't harm anyone unless they're blowing the smoke directly into the face of every person walking out the door

roger_o_thornhill 11 years, 3 months ago

If someone is in the parking lot, won't they be exposed to much more from the tailpipes cars? Why not move hospital parking two blocks away from the building? Seriously, I don't smoke, but I think car exhaust puts people in just as much "peril". Just depends on which stink you can stand I guess. Make smokers stay away from doors, etc... by all means, but in the parking lot? In their own car? Of course, it does take 'guts' to make such a sweeping ban. Ruffles feathers I'm sure.

fletch 11 years, 3 months ago

People having extreme medical problems shouldn't have to come in through a pool of smoke. 3 years ago I had to take my roommate into LMH because he was coughing up blood. He had to walk past 2 or 3 people smoking outside and was having a coughing fit within a few seconds.

If you're over there and you really really want to smoke, take a 2 minute walk over to the park and smoke over there. Keep it the hell away from sick people.

As per the vending machine, that's a personal health choice. You don't breathe out sugar clouds into passerbys' lungs. Most nurses and doctors I've met at LHM wouldn't let you eat those snacks if you're recovering.

blessed3x 11 years, 3 months ago

Be careful, Cammy. You're soon going to find that your delima is going to be rectified, but not by allowing people to smoke. We've already seen the attacks on unhealthy food and when the left has saved us all from smoking they'll turn their full attention on restricting our food choices. What's the next "evil" they'll save us from by removing the freedom of choice?

bearded_gnome 11 years, 3 months ago

while I agree with the general concept of the smoking ban at LMH, I'm concerned the smoking ban interacts negatively with effectiveness of the crisis mental health services at the ER. obviously, a suicidal patient is not in need of being told, "you can't smoke in here and have to leave the campus!" and, we don't really want him/her to leave at that point. smoking rates are higher among those in greatest need of the crisis mental health services. some exception needs to be crafted for this.

Merrill, your idea for vending options sounds absolutely NAUSEATING! yick. what many of the PC food police call bad food is actually part of my proper diet on which I am losing weight.

Kelly Powell 11 years, 3 months ago

One little smoking island is not going to kill anyone...and i would rather smell like smoke then have to smell some of the sickening perfumes people wear....and i think one of the posters meant was, if you are waiting around 12 hours to see if somebody is going to make it through surgery or not, it is stressful, and they are going to smoke....go ahead and villify me, it seems to calm you non smokers down(ever try a cig?)

bearded_gnome 11 years, 3 months ago

you're welcome, I just try ljr. and she's righter than wrong with that. mentioned the nosocomial infections because in about every hospital of this country the rate is much higher than it oughta be.
and just to set the record straight, I do think veggies have their place: mushrooms, with steak; onions and garlic in meatloaf; pork chop smothered in whole garlic. there's some veggies for ya'.

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