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May I add our voice to the growing opposition to the HSE ban on smoking in hospital grounds (Irish Examiner, May 23).
This vindictive new rule by the HSE is nothing short of institutional bullying by use of force. If smokers were a recognised minority it would be illegal also.
In the past the Irish Examiner has carried many stories about the HSE hospitals, and few have been complimentary. Last year you reported that “8,000 people are dying in our hospitals due to medical negligence and mistakes”, making them the biggest cause of preventable death in the State. This year, you have highlighted the dangers of consuming hospital food, the winter vomiting bug, the trolley scandals and the unbearable waiting lists for essential surgery.
In response to this mayhem, the best the HSE can think to do is to bully smokers. To simplify the situation for your readers and the HSE, those who enjoy a smoke will continue to do so until they decide to quit of their own volition.
There is neither medical nor scientific justification for restricting this legal habit in the great outdoors.
Rather, it demonstrates a nasty streak of puritanical zeal at the upper levels of this vital institution.
We call on the HSE to rescind this hideous rule and provide outdoor shelters at their sites for all the decent, respectable smokers consigned to their care.
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