Search

Readers' Letters

Editor’s comment: Smoke ban at Homerton has my backing

PUBLISHED: 09:30 26 August 2017

Homerton University Hospital is planning to ban smoking from patients' homes. Picture: DOMINIC LIPINSKI/PA

Homerton University Hospital is planning to ban smoking from patients' homes. Picture: DOMINIC LIPINSKI/PA

PA Archive/PA Images

I applaud Homerton Hospital for its efforts to protect staff and patients from smoke both on and off the premises.

Smoking has no place in a hospital. It puts an enormous burden on the healthcare system even as its barons rake in millions through others’ misery.

But while I find it unpleasant, I recognise there are reasons people do it. It is a social activity and some may not have the emotional energy to invest in beating a lifelong addiction. Yes, it’s bad for you, but so are a lot of things we all do, generally without attracting the degree of contempt smokers receive. We live in a capitalist society whose very survival requires us to develop addictions to commodities, whether they be cigarettes or more “acceptable” things. So I don’t think smokers should be blamed or stigmatised.

Some will say the Homerton’s intention of stopping people smoking in their own homes – albeit only for an hour prior to visits by health workers – is an unacceptable infringement of liberty. That the health service is there to treat, not judge or punish.

But I don’t agree. I believe the NHS should lead the charge against the cigarette industry that cares so little for our health, and making it less convenient for people to smoke is an important part of that. I don’t believe anyone should be banned from doing anything in their own space if it harms only themselves – but when a health worker has entered a person’s home to treat them, I believe that home ceases to be entirely the person’s own space. It is also the worker’s space, and he or she has a right to do their job in a safe environment.

The trust must back up this ban by empowering the people it affects, whether by supplying patches, offering counselling or educating them.

But it is perfectly within its rights to protect those in its care.

Latest Hackney Stories

16 minutes ago

The Argentinean said: “Daniel Levy and I have spoken at length about our aspirations for Tottenham Hotspur. We both share the same philosophies

The O’s director of football has had two bouts of depression in the past, but is enjoying life at Brisbane Road and will be there on Sunday

The 17-year-old caught the eye for Heybridge Swifts and Leatherhead last season and has agreed a two-year contract with O’s

13:00

London Lions saw their hopes of landing the BBL play-off Championship title shattered by Leicester Riders at the O2 Arena on Sunday.

19 minutes ago

Three remarkable women in Hackney have been honoured at the third annual I Love Hackney Mayor’s Civic Awards.

50 minutes ago

For the past year, passing through the London Overground station at Hackney Wick has felt like walking through a construction site.

A charity match in aid of Prostate Cancer UK and East Hertfordshire Mind Network is taking place at Brisbane Road on Sunday

A Hackney drug dealer’s remarkable journey out of crime and conversion to Islam has been documented in a pair of films.

PROMOTED CONTENT

To celebrate LGBT history month, Hackney resident Amanda talks about her journey to becoming a foster carer, with the council’s support and training.



Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read

Show Job Lists