Smoking banned on all Windsor Regional Hospital grounds

As of April 1, there will be no smoking on any hospital property at Windsor Regional Hospital.

Windsor Regional Hospital is kicking what many consider a bad habit. As of April 1, there will be no smoking on any hospital property, including parking lots and bus shelters.

Ron Foster, who speaks for Windsor Regional Hospital, said the hospital needs to lead by example.

"It's the right thing for hospitals to do," he said. "Cancer research indicates that two of the main causes of cancer within this region are lifestyle and smoking. Windsor Regional Hospital is moving forward with the right decision."

The hospital surveyed 21 peer hospitals and found a majority of them had already implemented a similar ban.

"I think we’re following the lead of many," Foster said.

Foster said patients within specific designated areas at the Toldo Neurobehavioral Institute, Malden Park facility and withdrawal management and addictions building are exempted from the non-smoking policy for compassionate reasons.

The hospital estimates 24 per cent of patients smoke.

The new policy has upset some, such as Mike Eansor.

"It's ridiculous, because I'm in a wheelchair, I'm crippled, and it's difficult to get around. It's just not right," Eansor said.

Student Andrew Bradt thinks it's a good plan.

"I think it might be a good. If people are really motivated to go and smoke, then they'll go and do it," he said. "[But] if you're in the hospital it might not be a good idea for you to be smoking anyway, depending on your condition."

The policy has support from hospital staff. A survey showed 72 per cent of employees support it.

"The hospital has a responsibility as a healthcare organization to be role models by developing and supporting policies that are in the best interest of health and wellness," reads a posting on the hospital's website.

Foster tells CBC News security staff will monitor and remind people of the policy.

"We know it takes time for people to realize there’s been a change," Foster said.