Smoker ban at hospital facilities

Smoker ban at hospital facilities

Since smoking was banned on all Murrumbidgee Local Health District (MLHD) grounds in 2014, 18 infringement notices carrying $300 fines have been issued to staff, patients and visitors.

Adelong Batlow Local Health Advisory Committee Chair Linda Swales said MLHD Tobacco Compliance Officers have conducted ongoing monitoring of local health facilities since the Smoke Free by-law was introduced.

“An education phase began at all facilities shortly after the introduction of the by-law, where anyone found smoking within the MLHD facility grounds was issued with a warning and provided with information about to how to quit the habit,” Ms Swales said.

After all facilities were visited, the enforcement phase commenced along with local media promotion.

Tobacco Compliance Officer Ian Hardinge said: most people want to do the right thing.

“When they are made aware of the legislation they generally put out their cigarette and move on,” Mr Hardinge said.

There is no safe level of exposure, he said, to second-hand tobacco smoke.

“Creating smoke-free outdoor areas can support those who have quit and trying to quit,” Mr Hardinge said.

If people think a smoking ban has been broken, they can help direct enforcement and education efforts by letting NSW Health know by heading online to www.health.nsw.gov.au/smokefree