Wednesday, 27 November 2013
Smoking in public places
It's not something I talk about a lot but I have a strong memory of being brought up with smoking cigarettes as many including my Grandad did, collecting as was the want back then such things as the cards issued with them with illustrations and brief factual information on various subjects.
A number of school friends also smoked from their mid teens although I didn't probably because my best friend had told me straight if she caught me smoking, by the time she'd finished with me I wouldn't be able to sit down for a week and I had no cause from the past to doubt her.
But nonetheless smoking continued in my family, in the workplace although rules were being brought in to control it and in very many public places before a major prohibitive act was introduced that among many things lead to the banning of smoking in places you eat, drink or waited for public transportation.
This was meant to apply to places such as Hospitals too although in practice it was banned only within the buildings as attempts to extend it to grounds failed because patients, staff and visitors who do smoke, still did.
Today though NICE (the health and drug regulator) are issuing new guidance that will require them to prohibit it from the grounds too, removing smokers shelters and ashtrays on the basis that they feel something that causes many illness and even can lead to death should not be condoned by the Health Service.
I don't apologize for not smoking and certainly don't advocate smoking, however I do feel the need to object because for one thing the product is legal with tax revenue being used to part fund the Health Service (its Socialized) and unlike many places one doesn't necessarily actively choose to be there.
Smoking is an addiction - there I used the 'A' word - and people in times of high stress are likely to require that craving such as coming to see a seriously ill or dying relative or a staff member that has tried and failed to resuscitate a patient. They are highly likely to be really stressed that the slightest thing could result in them lashing out of their character if denied the chance to unwind with a smoke.
I feel strongly that to deny them this right away from patients at such times is inhumane, lacking compassion and has the potential to put staff at risk from abuse (not that abuse is justified).