A Southern Kentucky hospital is taking a major step to snuff out smoking. Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital in Somerset will soon ban all tobacco, everywhere on its property. Even ducking into your car to grab a quick smoke could get you into trouble.
It’s a sight outside Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital that will soon be going the way of the dinosaur.
“Have to understand that most people entering a health care facility are there because their health is compromised and the last thing they want to do is walk through a cloud of smoke,” said Jeff Seraphine, with Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital.
So starting January 1, 2008, smoking anywhere on the hospital’s property will be banned.
“We’re going to hire some additional security,” Seraphine said.
The ban even includes the inside of cars parked at the hospital.
“We don’t want to go out and smoke in our vehicles and then come in and take care of a patient knowing that you just got out of your vehicle,” Seraphine added. “The county attorney tells me he’s going to have to research whether you can be told not to smoke in your car, but he says since this is on the hospital’s property, they probably can enforce that.”
One hospital employee who asked not to be identified, fears the ban will violate his rights. People visiting patients say they’re not surprised by the move.
“Again we’re not telling people they can’t smoke. Just not on this campus,” Seraphine said.
Hospital officials say employees will be offered reduced price cessation classes to help them quit. The hospital director said employees could even be disciplined if they’re caught smoking during their breaks on adjacent property.