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Legislation bans smoking on hospital grounds

A bill that passed both houses of the Legislature would ban smoking on the grounds of hospitals, nursing homes and most health care centers.
June 25, 2013
A bill passed through the Legislature last week that would prohibit smoking on and around hospital grounds and nursing homes throughout New York state.

The legislation (A.1115-a/S.1987-a) sponsored in their respective houses by Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffe, D-Rockland, and Sen. Jack Martins, R-Mineola, would prohibit smoking while on hospital campus grounds and within fifteen feet of the property lines of hospitals and nursing homes.

"Health care facilities are the places we go to get treatment, heal and recover from serious illnesses," Martins said. "They should not be the place where our health concerns start or are worsened.

"The facts are clear secondhand smoke kills," Martins said.

The legislation passed unanimously in the Assembly and every senator but one — Betty Little, R-Queensbury — voted in favor of the bill.

"I'm pleased that we were able to expand this important protection to hospitals and nursing homes," Jaffe said. "We know that secondhand smoke is a killer, and there is nothing more effective or emblematic for the health of New Yorkers than making our healing facilities smoke-free."

The American Lung Association of the Northeast, a strong supporter of the bill, applauded the actions of the Legislature.

"No one should be forced to walk through a toxic cloud of tobacco smoke in order to receive health care at their hospital or while trying to recuperate or stay well at a residential health care facility," said Jeff Seyler, president and CEO of the American Lung Association of the Northeast.

"The surgeon general states there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke and we applaud the Legislature for passing this important public health measure and urge Governor Cuomo to sign it into law," Seyler said.

The legislation will now be sent to Gov. Cuomo's desk where it will await his signature. If the governor signs the bill into law it will take effect ninety days later.

  1. print email
    June 26, 2013 | 07:42 AM

    America has been a “leader” in this antismoking insanity which other countries are following suit. The problem with Americans is that they are clueless to even their own recent history. They have a terrible history with this sort of “health” fanaticism/zealotry/extremism.

    Antismoking is not new. It has a long, sordid, 400 year history, much of it predating even the semblance of a scientific basis or the more recent concoction of secondhand smoke “danger”. Antismoking crusades typically run on inflammatory propaganda, i.e., lies, in order to get law-makers to institute bans. Statistics and causal attribution galore are conjured. The current antismoking rhetoric has all been heard before. All it produces is irrational fear and hatred, discord, enmity, animosity, social division, and bigotry. It’s unfortunate that Americans are clueless as to even their recent history. One of the two major antismoking (and anti-alcohol, dietary prescriptions/proscriptions, physical exercise) crusades early last century was in America. [The other crusade was in Nazi Germany and the two crusades were intimately connected by physician-led eugenics]. The USA has been down this twisted, divisive path before. Consider the following. The bulk of claims made about smoking/tobacco were erroneous, baseless, but highly inflammatory. Unfortunately, the propaganda did its destructive job in the short term, producing mass hysteria or a bigotry bandwagon. When supported by the State, zealots seriously mess with people’s minds on a mass scale.

    J. Anderson
  2. print email
    new state smoking law
    October 26, 2013 | 02:24 PM

    Personally, I think the federal and state gov'ts lately are out of control with regulations. This new state law prohibits employees of hospitals and nursing homes in NYS from smoking in public and patient designated smoking areas at their own workplace. Does that make any sense, since these are smoking designated areas adjacent to the building/facility where patients and nonemployees can smoke but not employees. Employees who smoke, I guess, will now have to walk even further away from the "grounds" of their own work place related to second hand smoke. Jeez, I live by the state capitol and I see plenty of state workers smoking right by the entrances of their work places. This law won't affect them, but shouldn't they be just as sensitive to nonsmokers since they work for the taxpayers? LOL. I see this as a great example of over-regulation and hypocrisy by our state government.

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