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Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Compassion and Consideration is the Wrong Message - Updated

In these modern times where it's completely acceptable and encouraged to torment smokers relentlessly, it's very nice to see that one UK hospital wants to build some smoking shelters for patients and visitors. Typically we see hospitals seeking all-out bans on the property, forcing smokers to walk hundreds of metres, cross busy roads, hide in bushes, and sometimes die of exposure from the cold.  So, this blog thanks The James Paget Hospital for its compassion and consideration.
Hospital spokesman Kirk Lower said: "We encourage people not to smoke, but the reality is that people want to and we're trying to manage that situation."
See that? Encourage. That's OK. Encourage away, people. Do not force. Do not legislate. Do not be nannying tyrants. Encouragement is acceptable.

The main issue for the hospital is that people are lighting up outside the main entrance despite the no smoking signs. To address that problem, the hospital feels it is best to build some shelters away from the entrance.  That's a good solution, as long as they aren't a million miles away. Still, I think it's pretty cool to handle it this way, rather than sending out staff or guards to harass people, which wasn't working for them.

This plan is definitely not cool for Dr Patrick Thompson, chairman and/or patient representative of the patients' group Norfolk LINk.  How does he feel about the hospital's compassion? Dr Thompson said (emphasis added):

[...] rebuilding smoking shelters on hospital grounds sent out the wrong message.

"We'd like the site to be a non-smoking site, but 'the site' is only covered by the building and not the outside areas.

"We don't want to see it happen, but I think to encourage smokers moving away from where they are at the moment and have to walk even further - they might consider given up even more."

Dr Thompson
Image via

So, this blog would also like to give Dr Thompson two fingers for his lack of compassion and consideration towards smokers.  It's people like you that make our lives miserable. I don't suppose you even realise that, or care what we think.

Are these yours, sir? 
Image via Apple Copywriting

UPDATE - With thanks to Christopher Snowdon for tweeting it, the BBC has also produced this video on the hospital building the shelters for smokers. Worth watching.