Smokers ignoring St. John's hospital rules
Newfoundland and Labrador's largest health authority, Eastern Health, is fuming about how often its anti-smoking policy is being broken.
At the Health Science Centre in St. John's, smoking is prohibited everywhere on the property, but people are still lighting up a few feet from the front door.
"It's not fair. The way I figure it, if you … [want] to smoke, you should be able to," Ann-Marie Squires told CBC News, as she smoked less than 20 metres from the hospital's emergency entrance Tuesday.
Behind her, standing right next to the entrance and a big no-smoking sign, another man was also smoking.
With so many people breaking the rules, Eastern Health released a statement Tuesday reminding people of the no-smoking policy.
As far as the health authority is concerned, smoking is clearly a health risk, which is why last year, it banned smoking anywhere on its property — inside and out.
But Eastern Health's hard-line policy doesn't matter a puff to Squires.
She and other smokers who spoke with CBC News said the health authority should have designated smoking areas.
"I would go there and smoke if they had somewhere for me to go," she said. "I wouldn't stay out and smoke where I wasn't supposed to."
But if it comes to a choice between breaking the rules and not smoking at all, Squires said she knows what she'll do.
"I'm smoking," she said.