June 11, 2009

No smoking zones coming to Bristol

The passage of a new law that allows the city to designate public streets and sidewalks as no-smoking zones clears the way for Bristol Hospital to push for a smoking ban along the municipal roads bordering its property.

Though the new ordinance approved unanimously by the City Council recently opens the door for smoke-free zones, officials say it’s likely they won’t see too many requests to impose the bans.

Bristol Hospital has led the charge on the issue because it wants to keep smoking away from its doors.

With no power to prevent people from lighting up on the city sidewalks just outside, the hospital’s executives said they were stymied unless the city made it possible to ban smoking there.

Marc Edelman, the hospital’s vice president of operations, said that establishing a smoke-free zone around the hospital would safeguard the health and well-being of its staff, patients and visitors.

City Councilor Craig Minor said that before an area can be designated as a smoke-free zone, the council would need to agree to send the request to the hearings and assessment committee that would review the pros and cons.

 If the hearings panel recommended the creation of a smoke-free zone, Minor said, the council would again consider the issue, this time to back the decision or turn it down.

City Councilor Frank Nicastro said the hospital would be able to follow the necessary procedure to get what it wants.

But officials admit that it would take unusual dedication for smaller operations or individuals to seek similar designations for public byways bordering their property.

It’s possible that parks or schools might follow the hospital’s lead in a bid to keep smoking away, officials said.

The smoking ban that’s on the table includes language to ensure that Bristol doesn’t impose prohibitions in areas that state law specifically allows smoking, such as outside some restaurants.

Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com


Anonymous said...

Now we will surely need all these extra cops.

A walking beat in front of the hospital sounds about right!


Anonymous said...

How can the Hospital claim they want smoking band from the city streets surrounding the building so the smoke doesn't enter the building when the nearest city street is about 50' away. It's a bunch of garbage. If this business wants to play big brother let them do it on thier OWN property. Today it's no smoking on PUBLIC PROPERTY. What will it be tomorrow, we can't eat a fattening burger or a donut on PUBLIC PROPERTY ? Did you notice I keep highlighting the words PUBLIC PROPERTY. The Hospital doesn't own the city streets around or adjoining to it. So why don't you take care of what goes on on YOUR property. You can and should be able to control what goes on there. But please, don't try control what legal actions people do on OUR property. And I am a non smoker who believes in freedom. We don't live in Russia or China Kurt.

Anonymous said...

Victory for Idiots

Defeat for Freedom