Smoking, toking absolutely forbidden on hospital property — even in vehicles

Butting out becomes mandatory everywhere on WDMH property, effective Jan. 1, 2018.

Possible $1,000 fine for violators as of Jan. 1; WDMH itself could be slapped with $100K penalty

WINCHESTER — Winchester District Memorial Hospital (WDMH) goes completely smoke-free, starting Jan. 1. Under provincial law, individuals can no longer smoke anywhere on hospital property, including in vehicles in the institution’s parking lots.

All Ontario hospitals must comply with the Smoke-Free Ontario Act and the Electronic Cigarettes Act, which bans smoking on all hospital properties. The new rules apply to the smoking of tobacco and marijuana (medical or otherwise) as well as the vaping of e-cigarettes. Everyone is required to leave hospital property to smoke, toke and vape, the institution emphasizes in a press release.

As well, lighting up is not permitted within 60 feet of a public school, playground or sports field: That effectively puts two solid blocks of Winchester streets and sidewalks in WDMH’s vicinity off limits to outdoor puffers thanks to the proximity of neighbouring Winchester Public School and its separated playground. The whopping smoke-free area would appear to cover Clarence, Louise, York, May and St. Lawrence streets where they bound on those Upper Canada District School Board sites.

“WDMH is committed to building healthier communities and to fostering a safe, healthy workplace,” says WDMH CEO Cholly Boland.

Non-medical (recreational) use of marijuana also remains a Criminal Code offence until the Trudeau government’s planned legalization plan goes into effect in July 2018.


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