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Brought up Aug 8, 2012

Hospitals... And Smoker Discrimination

Look, I realize that people mean well. Smoking is bad for one's health. Quiting is very hard. I wonder sometimes just what our law makers think they are doing, though, when they pass legislation. Ok, I understand that smoking IN a hospital can also be a safety issue, with pure oxygen being used in some rooms, etc... I also understand that there are reasons for added security on maternity floors. But come on. I have seen patients sitting in wheel chairs in the hospital parking lot smoking away.

My sister had surgery yesterday. Because of the nature of the surgery, she was on the maternity floor. My sis, God bless her, smokes about as much on a good day as I do on a bad one. For over 24 hours, she was not allowed to leave the floor, not allowed one cigarette. She was ready to chew the walls down.The clincher was that she could see from her window, her boyfriend, in his truck, with both doors open, smoking. She slipped into a bathroom for one puff, got caught as she was about to stick the rest under the running water. She was blinking back tears when we went back to her room. When the doctor came in, he said if she ever lit up in HIS hospital again, he would call the police himself. She was almost in tears again. The whole incident was really funny, until I saw tears in her eyes.

She swears she will never be in that hospital again. The best hospital in our area is about 60 miles away, but they are much kinder with their nicotine addicted patients.

I understand that feeling she had. I understand it all too well.

See, this is my much younger sister. She has smoked since she was 14, and to be honest, though I smoked briefly in college, I started smoking regularly by bumming from her, when my son was about 8 or 9 months old. I stopped when I was carrying my daughter, which lasted until she was about 4 months old. Since then, about 6 weeks is the best I have done, completely smoke free.

It is a nasty habit, I know, and dangerous for the health. Yet, so is drinking too much, eating too much, driving too fast, and many other habits that are hard to break. Illegal drug addicts get more understanding than nicotine addicts. I think that is a bit messed up.

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