Meeting scheduled to discuss Oakwood smoking ban

By SHERRI KOLADE

Times-Herald Newspapers

DEARBORN — City Council members soon may clear the air about a hospital smoking ban that has left some residents wanting answers.

A City Council Committee of the Whole meeting is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Thursday in the Council Chambers to discuss a smoking ban at Oakwood Hospital and Medical Center, 18101 Oakwood Blvd.

Councilors approved a smoking ban ordinance in January 2012 under the offenses chapter of the city code. The code added hospitals to the list of places where smokers had to be at least 100 feet away before lighting up. Subsequently, the 100-foot ban pushed hospital smokers into nearby neighborhoods.

In December, hospital officials went before the city asking for help in moving smokers away from Oakwood Boulevard.

Councilors have voiced concerns at meetings that getting rid of the January 2012 ordinance would bring smokers back to Oakwood Boulevard.

After the smoking ban was tabled at the last City Council meeting Feb. 12 and a public hearing on Feb. 7, the councilors may decide on a solution.

According to published reports, residents in the area suggested that the hospital have a smoke-free work day.

In July 2007, Oakwood became a tobacco-free environment. Tobacco use is prohibited both indoors and outdoors on any hospital property, including parking areas and personal vehicles.

In May 2010, the Michigan Smoking Ban was put into effect. Under the law, smoking is prohibited in work areas and all food service establishments.

The city allows Oakwood security officers to go off campus and ticket smokers who violate the hospital’s 100-foot ban.

      (Sherri Kolade can be reached at skolade@bewickpublications.com.)

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