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Smoking at hospital entrance is wrong
12:12pm Monday 28th May 2012 in Readers' Letters
KING James I wasn’t too keen on smoking, describing it as “a filthy novelty. A custom loathsome to the eye, hateful to the nose, harmful to the brain, dangerous to the lungs – the stinking fumes thereof resembling the smoke of the bottomless pit”.
He would have been incredulous that the habit persists into the 21st century and that the entrance area to Southampton General Hospital appears designated a national venue for a daily smoking convention – patients, visitors and sometimes staff are all welcome.
Attempts to deter the practice have been in vain with exponents blatantly standing or sitting beside notices proclaiming “No smoking anywhere within the hospital grounds except in designated areas”.
To supplement these admonitions, a loudspeaker message used to be relayed at intervals, reminding people that smoking outside the entrance is not permitted. All to no avail! Something more dramatic is needed to be effective.
The bland notices might be replaced with something more forceful, eg “People smoking in this area are ignorant, illiterate (that means cannot read) inconsiderate and untidy fag end tossers”. Perhaps not!
Alternatively, high volume fire alarms could be placed above the entrance. This might possibly prick the consciences of offenders.
Additional suggestions to cure the epidemic would be welcomed.
Alright then, I confess to being an ex-smoker. I took it up when it was considered grown-up and trendy. I gave up decades ago when the link between cigarettes and ill-health became irrefutable.
GRUMPY OLD MAN, Southampton.