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Dateline Cowichan: Remember when you could smoke in CDH?
Hard to believe smoking was once allowed in the patient rooms at Cowichan District Hospital.
I know. I was there. And I was a smoker. During fall 1980, a month after smoking was banned in patient rooms, complaints were lobbed to hospital brass about the rule’s “harshness.”
One former patient said she felt sick people who smoke had enough to worry about when in hospital without feeling guilty about smoking, too. The rule was undemocratic, said another, when a handful of people could impose their values on others.
One patient who said she was hospitalized mainly to get rest and build up her strength discovered she had to go down the hall to the smoking room each time she needed a cigarette. Consequently, she got little badly needed rest, she said.
Another patient saw the new rule as a reflection of a general move in society towards discrimination against smokers. “Now smokers are being made to feel like second-class citizens and that’s not fair…” she said.
However, word from hospital administration was that although the rule seemed difficult, its benefits outweighed the drawbacks: after confrontation with the hospital rule, a male patient decided to quit smoking.