Even many nonsmokers agree this ban is too extreme. Ohio's smokers are now living under a dictatorship and treated like low-lives.
In this letter, I am focusing on the smoking ban at Southern Ohio Medical Center. The new law says you can't smoke inside public places and have to stay several feet away from a building's entrance. SOMC has gone far beyond the new law and has used it as an excuse to stop smoking anywhere on the premises - period. You can not smoke anywhere. Even if you're at the far end of that massive parking lot, sitting in your own car. The SOMC anti-smoking gang finally got their way.
Before this new rule, patients, employees and visitors were allowed to smoke outside. There was no smoking inside, which does make sense. Nonsmokers have rights, too, and should not be forced to breathe second-hand smoke. However, smoking outside in the open air could not be a bother to non-smokers.
SOMC is not only discriminating against their patients and staff, they have made a rule that is downright cruel.
I can't go more than two hours without smoking, except while asleep. It's hard to imagine being locked up in the hospital for several hours, day or even weeks with constant nicotine withdrawal. That could be worse than whatever ailment sent a person to the hospital in the first place. People who don't smoke could not understand.
I have told my family that if I become ill, do not take me to that hospital. Other people have told me they are saying the same thing. This could result in someone's death because of a lack of medical care. If this sounds stupid, remember that we “stupid smokers” are human beings, too.
No doubt a hospital public relations person will respond to this letter with a list of excuses for their ridiculous ban. The fact is there was nothing wrong with the way it was before. You are showing a complete lack of compassion for your patients who smoke, and that bears no excuse. Do you think you have the right to force your views on people who become ill and need your help? This is communism! Do you have any habits that are bad for your health? Let's ban you from the hospital, too.