Salina hospital enforcing strict no smoking policy

Smoking (AP Photo, File)

SALINA, Kansas – A Salina hospital is cracking down on patients who violate its strict no-smoking policy. It’s drawing reaction from those who say the push to get smokers off the property goes too far.

“It’s a good thing because its healthier but at the same time if they want to smoke I think they have the right to smoke,” said Dane Bogart of Salina.

The Salina Regional Health Center implemented a no tobacco use policy on hospital grounds in 2007. Staff recently began enforcing it, going as far as asking patients who decide to sneak out for a smoke break to call for a ride and leave.

A hospital spokesperson says the policy promotes good health.  Vice President of Human Resources David Moody would not give specific numbers but says several patients have been discharged since staff began enforcing the rule last month. “We make it very clear up front at registration. If patients left their room to smoke, they would be discharged against medical advice or AMA,” Moody said.

The no tobacco use policy will extend to all employees this coming January. Smoking cessation products are being offered to staff members to help them kick the habit before the four month deadline is up.

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