New York Expands Smoking Ban to Outside Hospitals


The New York city extended the smoking policy and now it includes a new law which prohibits smoking on the grounds of nursing homes and hospitals.  Many hospitals already do have smoke-free zones outside buildings, but new law bans smoking on the properties, within 15 feet of a building’s entrance or exit and 15 feet from the start or exit of the property

The state Department of Health  is going to inform hursing homes and hospitals about the new law. Numerous Health groups welcomed the new changes in smoking policy, saying it gathers many of the hospitals’ own regulations into state law.

Michael Burgess, state advocacy director for the American Cancer Society, says that hospitals must not only treat diseases but promote health in all senses, therefore it is great that they will be smoke-free for their workers and especially for the patients who are vulnerable to any kind of respiratory diseases.

The state Clean Indoor Act in 2003 banned smoking indoors in a number of workplaces such as residential health-care facilities,, hospitals, bars, restaurants. Since then, the state has moved to establish more severe non-smoking measures which would include outside zones.

Ellen Jaffe, assemblywoman from D-Suffern, Rockland County, said that when she was with a visit in several hospitals she saw many people smoking right outside the doors of the building. She was quite unhappy to see that. She says the situation must be changed. When you walk outside the hospital building, you should inhale fresh air and not tobacco smoke. Hospitals must have smoke-free environment and people’s health should be protected.

Nursing home patients are  permitted to smoke in a specially designated zone or building on the grounds, but it cannot be within 30 feet of a building.  However, the new anti-smoking law does not ban smoking in cars, but some hospitals have their own policy against it. As to smokers, they must follow hospitals’ or nursing homes’ policies along with the new law.The main aim of the law is to eliminate use of tobacco products at hospitals ground to create healthy environment for patients and workers.

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