Thunder Bay

Kenora hospital hopes to snuff out smoking on property

The Northwest's second biggest hospital has a plan to become smoke-free.

Lake of the Woods Hospital will start with introducing designated smoking areas

The Northwest's second biggest acute-care hospital has a plan to become smoke-free.

The Lake of the Woods Hospital in Kenora will start by designating one smoking spot outside each of its four buildings later this month.

The locations will be beyond the 9-metre buffer mandated by the Smoke-Free Ontario Act for building entrances.

Brock Chisholm, Manager of Rehabilitation and spokesperson for the hospital, said the designated smoking spots will be about 15 metres from any entrance.

Lake of the Woods Hospital in Kenora is moving toward becoming a smoke-free facility. (www.lwdh.on.ca)

"We were getting a lot of complaints from both our staff and from our visitors and patients that they had to run the smoking gauntlet with patients smoking at the 9-metre mark," Chisholm said.

He noted that at some point in the future, the hospital will ban smoking everywhere on its property.

In the interim, a smoking cessation program is being developed for in-patients and staff.

In Thunder Bay, the Health Sciences Centre has a property-wide smoking ban, but patients and visitors routinely ignore it. A hospital spokesperson said the organization is still working on a plan to implement the ban, but the problem is difficult to solve because the hospital complex is located a considerable distance from the entryways from public roads.

Chisholm said the Kenora hospital is aware of the situation in Thunder Bay.

"Certainly it's a very complex solution to that problem, and we certainly are looking at what's happening at Thunder Bay Regional," he said. "So we are approaching that next phase a little cautiously."