Wednesday, 4 April 2007

Smoking and the N H S: An Ex-Smokers View

I see that NHS Highland are to ban smoking anywhere on their grounds. As a smoker for 40 years, who gave up only 2 years ago I would not oppose any measure which encourages people to quit, but some of the measures being put in place (not just in health boards but all over) only bring the non smoking lobby into ridicule. Perhaps 2 examples of the thing I am talking about which only make smokers dig in their heels and stubbornly refuse to stop.

First, I can personally vouch for the truth of the story that doctors and nurses at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley, which sits in its own grounds at the top of a hill, arrange to park a car near to the main doors, and at break time they all drive to the bus stop at the bottom of the hill outside the grounds for a smoke. This is stupid and pointless and only makes the smoking community harden their attitudes by forging a bond of perceived mutual hardship which acts as a support group encouraging smoking.

Second, there is a story I am told, but cannot vouch for personally, about the retail park at Govan, which even if it isn't true is an example of the sort of thing that happens when the nicotine fascists flex their muscles.
If it's true, smokers working in ASDA are not allowed to smoke in the ASDA car park and smokers working in Toys R Us next door are not allowed to smoke in theToys r Us car park. There is no fence between the car parks so Asda's car park is used as a smoking area by the staff from Toys r us and vice versa.

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