Hospital's no-smoking policy riles neighbours

Residents across the street from Windsor Regional Hospital say they're being plagued by cigarette butts from what they call inconsiderate staffers who are smoking in front of their homes.
Windsor Regional Hospital's no-smoking policy has staff and patients leaving butts in a residential neighbourhood. (CBC News)

The new no-smoking policy at Windsor Regional Hospital is irritating neighbours across from the back of the building, on Alsace Street.

Residents across the street said they're being plagued by cigarette smoke and litter, including cigarette butts, from what they call inconsiderate staffers who are smoking right in front of their homes.

Laurel Tir said she and her neighbours are fed up with staff smoking on the sidewalk and at the edge of hospital property across the street from their homes. The area is littered with cigarette butts left on the ground. There is an empty can beside a rock, but it's not always used.

"When the wind blows they all blow over there," Tir said of the butts.

Tir said the smoking happens at all hours of the night and sometimes she finds smokers on the residential lawns.

"I'm concerned about the kids at this age because they're impressionable," Tir said. "You want to teach them that smoking is not a good thing and yet you can't even look out the front window or walk out the door. It's right in your face."

Tir said she has taken photos of staffers smoking and sitting on the street. She also said her husband claims to have heard them swearing while out having a smoke.

Christine Prystacki lives next door to Tir.

"It's the litter. It's the cigarette butts; the coffee cups that get blown over to our lawns [and] in our driveways when there's a big wind; and sometimes it's not nice to have people always be looking at your house all the time," Prystacki said.

The women don't blame the smokers. They want the hospital to reinstate smoking in a park at the corner of Byng and Lens streets. The hospital went smoke free April 1.

A person is seen smoking between cars near Windsor Regional Hospital. (Laurel Tir special to CBC News)

Tir has complained to the hospital and staff there said they are trying to get the staff to smoke at designated smoking spots off campus, according to Tir.

 "We're politely trying to continue to enforce it and ask them to go offsite," hospital spokesperson Gisele Sullins said.

Sullins said if staff refuse they will be disciplined. She said the hospital is going to put up no smoking signs and continue to provide smoking cessation clinics for the staff and patients.