Hospital bans smoking on grounds
WEXFORD General Hospital chose Valentine's Day to send a self-love message to patients, staff and visitors – give up smoking.
The hospital introduced a no-smoking policy in the grounds of the building last Friday.
Smoking will no longer be permitted in entrances, doorways, walkways, internal roads, cars, car parks or bicycle shelters around the hospital.
To make the point, an outdoor smoking shelter across from the main entrance, was dismantled.
'Do something for someone you love. Give up smoking,' said Dr. Colm Quigley, a member of the hospital's Tobacco Free Campus committee.
'It's a positive health message. You can do something for yourself and your family that is invaluable.'
The policy, which came into effect in HSE health centres around the county on January 1, was officially launched by the Mayor of Wexford, Cllr. George Lawlor, assisted by hurling legend Tom Dempsey. However, the weather seemed to be in sympathy with smokers, as it rained heavily and blew a gale as the invited guests posed for a photograph in front of the doomed smoking shelter.
The HSE says people are being politely asked to comply with the policy which is already in place in other hospitals around the country.
'The hospital is trying to establish a norm whereby no-one smokes on campus.
'I think we'll get the support for it to be a success here in Wexford too,' said the Mayor.
Tom Dempsey said he is impressed that help is in place for patients and staff who want to give up smoking completely.
Hospital General Manager Lily Byrnes said patients will be reminded of the hospital's tobacco-free status in appointment letters.