BENDIGO Health has called on people to act responsibly when smoking near hospital entrances, following appeals for a ban to be reviewed.
The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation believes a ban on smoking outside Victoria’s public hospitals has resulted in violence and aggression towards its members.
The union is leading a call for the ban to be audited.
“We support the no smoking areas at the entrances of public hospitals and call on the community to act responsibly and smoke in the designated areas,” a Bendigo Health spokesperson said.
“Smoking near entrances to our buildings does continue to happen despite very clear signage marking the areas as no smoking zones.
“Staff are not expected to ask smokers to stop. It is a difficult issue due to both the smoke and the butts thrown on the ground.”
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The responsibility to approach smokers lies with hospital security staff.
“Staff are aware of this,” the spokesperson said.
The ban, introduced in April 2015, prevents people from smoking within four metres of an entrance to a public hospital.
People caught smoking near a public hospital entrance can be fined $159.
The state government provided councils with about $1.8 million this financial year to undertake tobacco education and enforcement activities, Fairfax Media reports.
Bendigo Health encouraged people, including staff, to quit smoking.
The spokesperson said the health organisation provided support to patients who wanted to stop smoking.
They encouraged anyone interested in quitting to call the Quitline on 137 848.
- with The Age