There was this front page story, below the fold, a couple months ago After tobacco ban, where there’s smoke there’s ire; As hospitals prohibit smoking, employees begin puffing away off-campus, irritating neighbors. I was thrilled to see this piece, because I experienced the same thing. I even wrote a letter to the editor in response, which didn’t get published. But I DO have a blog:
I walk past the cigarette-smoke gauntlet that is St. Peter’s Hospital regularly. Ironically, the best place to walk to avoid the poisoned stench is through the St. Peter’s New Scotland Avenue parking lot, right past the area where the smokers used to be able to congregate. Of course, I have to negotiate past the moving cars, but that beats walking out onto the busy street.
At least one St. Peter’s employee regularly uses the bus kiosk at the corner of New Scotland and South Allen Street as his personal smoking emporium. I’ve also seen Albany Med employees smoking in the bus kiosk across from the hospital, at New Scotland and Holland.
I appreciate the hospitals wanting to make their campuses smoke-free, but personally, I’d rather let them go back to the designated locations.
I discovered subsequently that St. Peter’s has torn down a building that was behind the hospital where people used to smoke. Alas.
I have my bona fides as almost virulently anti-smoking. Yet why is it, when someone comes up to me and asks if he or she can “borrow” a cigarette, almost inevitably I say something along the lines of “Sorry, I don’t smoke” or “I’m afraid I don’t smoke”? I’m NOT sorry that I don’t smoke; moreover, I’m HAPPY that I don’t have the means to shorten someone else’s life. So, why do I often sound so damn apologetic? Maybe it’s some Piscean need to please.
Anyway, today is the Great American Smokeout, where people are supposed to quit smoking. I hope they do, but failing that, please keep that cigarette away from my family and me.