Time to Butt Out

By Rhonda Cooper

For staff and visitors to all Prairie North Health Region facilities, Weedless Wednesday – Jan. 18, 2012 is the first day of an all out ban on smoking and tobacco products on PNHR properties.

“As soon as they step off the sidewalk onto our private property they are no longer allowed to smoke,” said Linda Lewis PNHR Communications Officer. “In Meadow Lake that includes the hospital, the clinic downtown, the Northwest long-term Care facility and Pioneer Lodge.”

According to Lewis, several other health regions in the province have already gone this route and Prairie North is now following suit.

The process began last year when the board approved the region’s new tobacco and smoke-free policy that came into effect April 1, 2011. The phase in time was to allow time to inform and educate everyone in the region about the requirements and responsibilities under the policy.

Effective Weedless Wednesday, tobacco use or smoking will not be permitted in buildings, on grounds and in/on parking areas owned by PNHR. Tobacco use or smoking will not be permitted in any facilities or spaces leased by PNHR or in vehicles owned, leased or operated by PNHR.

Debbie Carey, Manager of Acute Care at the Meadow Lake hospital, said no smoking will be allowed anywhere on hospital grounds as of Jan. 18.

“Basically it’s everyone’s responsibilty to adhere to the policy,” said Lewis.

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