Smoking booths for Ipswich Hospital a "no-brainer"
DR PATRICIA Petersen, independent candidate for Ipswich, said that she has a "tried and tested" way of allowing smokers to "light up" while keeping non-smokers safe from passive smoking at Ipswich Hospital.
QT editor Peter Chapman recently highlighted the need for hospital smokers to have a place to smoke. He pointed out that in light of recent legislative changes, hospital staff and patients were now engaging in illegal activity by smoking under the bridge.
Dr Petersen has provided a solution by vowing to install "smoking booths", similar to those found in Hong Kong airport and tourist hotspots around the world.
"It's a no-brainer. Second-hand or passive smoke is extremely dangerous to everyone, but children, pregnant women and those who are already unwell are particularly vulnerable. Smoking booths allow those who want to smoke to do so and those who don't want to inhale dangerous cigarette fumes and chemicals to stay safe," she said.
Dr Petersen said she had already run the idea past doctors, nurses and patients at Ipswich Hospital.
"They think it's a great idea," she said.
"Especially when I've explained to patients that passive smoking increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS or cot death), middle ear disease, asthma, respiratory illnesses, lung cancer and coronary heart disease, they very quickly warm to the idea of smoking booths."
She said, if elected, she would install the smoking booths.
"Even if the government will not fund the booths, I will pay for them out of my own salary. This is quite literally a life and death issue," she said.
Dr Petersen supports a state-wide ban on smoking in public.