Smoke free policies in health care settings have not been well regulated even though hospitals are an obvious place where smoking should not be tolerated. Tobacco remains the largest avoidable illness and death in United States and responsible for 1 out of 5 deaths. It is still considered as an epidemic to women with the lung cancer dipping in men. The smoke has killed over 60 million people since World War II. Banning smoking outdoors in health care facilities provides a better healing environment for patients. Health care facilities need to adopt smoking-free polices in an effort to promoting and protecting public health. It is essential that important that the health care and social services agencies promote behaviors that lead to good health (Kaufman & Lewin, 1997). Tobacco use has remained the most preventable cause of illness hence the need for health care facilities environment to remain healthier and safer for both workers and patients. Tobacco smoking also impacts healthcare costs through medical illness and indirectly through lost productivity. The ban will ensure that there is reduced maintenance and cleaning costs including decreased accidents, fires, and health insurance costs. All this efforts are towards ensuring an increased life functioning and quality of life. It is unethical to support the use of a substance which is responsible for millions of death. It is even ironical to allow it in healthcare setups when it has contributed to increase in patients in the hospitals with diseases like lung cancer, heart disease, and emphysema (Bernhard, 2011).
Healthcare facilities are places where individuals go for treatment from various diseases hence it feels abnormal permitting individuals to get more diseases from there. Healthcare facilities that permit the use of tobacco are in sense condoning and at the same time reinforcing addictive behaviors and ineffective dangerous way coping strategies. It should be understood that secondhand smoke is the number three leading preventable cause of disability and early death. These individuals risk getting heart diseases by 25-30% and at the same time are affected by lung cancer with same rate (Wang & Scot, 2005).
The ethical principles demand that common good should be preserved. Activities that promote good health of the whole society should be adopted while those behaviors that are against a safe and health co-existence eliminated. It is also required that non-smokers should not be exposed to any environment that can result to contacting diseases hence the need of the health facilities to be maintained free from the effects of smoke. Tobacco smoke contamination is another issue since it remains on facilities furniture, walls and surfaces even after putting out the cigarettes. Carcinogens contained in third-hand smoke can be transmitted through the skin and is considered as a health hazard. This therefore means that danger is posed not only through the smoke emitted in the environment but also through contact with the smoke ashes left everywhere after smoking.
Banning smoking has greater benefits (Chapman, 2007). There is a significant reduction in respiratory symptoms. These include coughing, wheezing and even short of breath. A complete reduction of these symptoms indicates a good chance of reducing heart and lung diseases. Lung diseases have been known to be airborne hence reduction of the respiratory diseases can help lower airborne diseases. There is also a significant reduction in sensory symptoms like eye and throat irritation including a runny nose. Air ways when exposed to tobacco smoke and its content can result to inflammation and swelling. Reducing and limiting use of tobacco therefore will help improve lung functioning and improved quality of life among employees with asthma or patients recovering from its impact. Health care providers should be in the forefront of creating awareness of dangers posed by consumption of such dangerous substances and long-term impacts which result from continued use both to the smokers and non-smokers (Ambrosino, Heffernan, & Shuttlesworth, 2008).
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- Clinton Kelly (Author), 2013, Outdoor smoking in hospitals and health facilities. Should it be banned?, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/271702