Friday, January 29, 2010

Really? And You Plan To Enforce This...How?

What you see in the background is Hartford Hospital, located the next block over from where I work. What you see in the foreground is a sign that says "All Hartford Hospital Campuses are smoke and tobacco free."

All well and good if you're inside the building. But pllllllease, oh-ginormous-uncaring-unfeeling-money-sucking-politico-pandering-big-city-hospital, how the hell are you gonna enforce a smoking and chewing tobacco ban OUTSIDE????

Are you gonna have special security guards stop people who HAPPEN TO BE USING THE AREA AS A SHORT CUT TO DUNKIN' DONUTS from smoking their chemically enhanced cigarette/cigar and issue them A TICKET????

Better yet, are you gonna have those same special security guards issue the people they stop with NO TRESPASSING ORDERS???

Do you have any idea how utterly ridiculous and monumentally stupid this smoking ban is? Granted, you'll be able to force your highly qualified and woefully abused worker drones to honor this infantile ban, because quite frankly, most of them want to eat, sleep, pay their bills and live on the pittance you pay them. But what about John & Jane Q Public, who would no sooner than bitch slap you with a lead pipe until you begged for mercy, if you tried to pull that same kind of schtuff on them?

Folks, here is yet another example of a corporation taking a good idea (no smoking in a hospital building) and using it in a misguided attempt at playing Big Brother. I sort of understand the logic, but people, your hospital is located in the southern end of the city, where the extreme lower middle class work, live and play. No one is gonna pay attention to the ban, just like no one pays attention to the traffic when they're crossing a street.

Outdoor smoking ban.

About as effective as a fire extinguisher at a two alarm car fire.


  1. It's sort of like Washington state's cell phone law. You aren't supposed to talk on a hand-held phone, but if you do, they can't ticket you for it unless you have already been pulled over and ticketed for something else. Really effective.

  2. So are you one of those who ignore "Do Not Litter" signs too?? haha

  3. R.K.: Connecticut has a similar thing with cell phones as well. More or less, it just adds insult to injury.

    Bearman: In all seriousness, I don't ignore "do not litter" signs. I make it a habit of trying to find a trash can whenever I'm out and about for my trash.

    This though, I will ignore. I don't smoke, but if I did, I would ignore 100%

  4. Our City county building tried something like that. People complained that they had to climb the steps into the building through clouds of smoke from people who had to smoke outside the building. So, they tried to ban it all the way to the street.
    Didn't work. They could ban it on the actual property, steps, by doors but not the street. So not, people wanting to get into the building have to plow through smokers lined up on the sidewalk.
    Very cold smokers. Very unhappy smokers. :)Bea

  5. Bea: some of our state office buildings are like that. Some have smoking areas right outside the entrance. Some, like mine, have them in the rear.

    All of them ban smoking on the property, save in those designated smoking areas, and only on their property.

  6. That is certainly a head-scratching sign. :)

  7. Lynn, most of what I come across usually makes me scratch my head and this one was no exception.

    I mean, an outdoor smoking ban at place deep within the city limits is quite impossible to enforce.

  8. Kelly: There are very outdoor smoking bans that I know of that are enforced. Most of them are at baseball parks.

    This one really will be almost impossible to enforce with the general public.

    It would be different, I think, if their campuses were self contained units. But they're not.

  9. Speaking as a member of my workplace's Health and Safety Committee, some signs and policies have to go up for show, even it the organization has no real means of enforcing the official rules. You have to be seen to be following the rules of due diligence, to make it harder for people to sue you later.

  10. You're right, it's uninforceable. But the message that smoking is not OK is what's spread.

    And that message does have an impact on smoking rates. (Disclaimer - I'm a former smoker...and have worked in tobacco cessation. Don't kill the messenger.)

  11. S.R.: I can understand putting signs up for due diligence (working in state govt, we bend over backwards for stuff like that).

    It really is sad that people are so lawsuit happy nowadays.

    Pamela: No, I won't kill the messenger. Glad to hear that you're a former smoker.

    Me personally, I don't smoke, but I try to be as tolerant as possible around people who do, and I would think that those same people woud be tolerant of me as well.

  12. It's the shortcut to Dunkin Donuts, too?

    Doesn't stand a chance.

  13. Mama Z: Nope.

    Smoking and coffee are two thirds of the holy trinity of the working stiff (the other being alcohol).


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