I am no fan of the tobacco industry, but I wonder about today's news story
that all employees of a children's hospital in Columbus, Ohio, will be barred from smoking anywhere on the "sprawling hospital grounds" effective May 2004. Is this about the health of employees? The health of patients and families? A public health statement? A form of public education? Aesthetics? (The CEO is quoted as saying patients should not have to contend with the lingering scent of cigarette smoke on staff members returning from breaks.) Ironically, no one quoted in the article, including the spokesperson for a second-hand smoke organization, claimed that this ban was to improve the healthiness or cleanliness of the hospital environment. As long as this is happening in a private hospital, there would appear to be no constitutional issue involved, so the hospital is well within its rights. But does that make the policy right?