Proposal would ban smoking on public sidewalks near Huntsville Hospital


A stricter smoking ban is being looked at for Huntsville Hospital.

The ordinance proposed  to the Huntsville City Council is a step further from the smoking ban on hospital grounds. It would ban smoking on streets sidewalks around Huntsville Hospital.

These streets and sidewalks are heavily trafficked and the proposal says being able to smoke on them is “counterproductive” to their “goal of promoting a healthy lifestyle.” The proposal says they would create a designated smoking area at each inpatient facility and the ban wouldn’t apply to a moving vehicle.

According to the American Lung Association, second-hand smoke kills more than 40,000 people every year.

“When a hospital sets a standard I think that says a lot to other places in the community,” said Ann Martin with the Partnership for a Drug-Free Community.

Though some may believe the ban goes too far, Martin says second-hand smoke is more dangerous than many people still think.

“Here’s another thing. Have you ever heard of third-hand smoke?” Martin asked.

Third-hand smoke is the nicotine and chemicals left on surfaces.

“That is something that is really an issue with the e-cigarettes and vape pens because of the aerosol sticks to stuff,” Martin continued. “If somebody in a house is using a vape pen because they think it’s safer for the people around them, the residue is going all over the furniture. If they have pets, if they have small children, I mean think about a small kid picks something up, it goes right in their mouth.”

The city council will hold more meetings about the proposal and must hear from the public.

Watch this story Tuesday night on WZDX News.

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