SMOKERS who break hospital rules by sparking up outside the entrance to Pinderfields are facing a public backlash.
The hospital has a smoke-free policy, but people can been seen lighting up daily outside the main entrance - some in surgical gowns and even in wheelchairs or connected to a drip.
But a survey by health bosses has found that 99 per cent of staff, visitors and patients want the entrance to be free from smoking.
And when the Express asked its Facebook users if they agreed, there were more than 100 comments on the social networking site within minutes.
Many posted angry comments condemning people who smoke in the hospital grounds, but others called for a designated smoking area at Pinderfields. Others said people should be allowed to smoke outside.
The smoking survey has sparked the launch of Mid Hospitals Trust’s 99 Per Cent campaign, which aims to halt smoking outside the hospital.
Pinderfields volunteer Sylvia Thompson said: “For patients and visitors entering the hospital it is vital that they are not faced with having to walk through cigarette smoke.
“It is fantastic to see that there is overwhelming public support for the smoke-free policy.”
Mid Yorkshire has made repeated pleas against smoking at Pinderfields, and has previously disclosed incidents of abuse against people who ask smokers to put out their cigarettes.
Carole Langrick, the trust’s chief operating officer, said: “This survey is extremely important in illustrating that the very large majority of people do not smoke in the entrance of our hospital and that there is huge public support for the hospital to be 100 per cent smoke-free.”
HERE are some of the comments posted on the Express Facebook page about smoking at Pinderfields:
Carole Fisher said: “They should have a smoking area near to the entrance for patients but far enough away for non smokers.”
Chris Winterburn said: “They should use water cannons on the lot of them.”
Jeanette Hargill said: “It’s the patients that have operations and all sorts of other things going on that smoke there, being in hospital is bad enough for the ones who don’t enjoy going in, never mind having to stop smoking too.”
Lizzie Garbett said: “I stood waiting in the doorway of rehabilitation unit and a bloke had a cigar.”
Richard Ingram said: “I don’t smoke but can understand that those who do should have a smoking area after all they pay enough taxes on their cigs which goes towards the NHS.”
Kelly Thorpe said: “I think it would be a better idea to offer the smokers a designated sheltered area away from the front door.”
Nev Ashby said: “The best cure for the problem is to simply stop selling tobacco. It does nobody any good, it does lots of damage and it creates plenty of mess.”
Helen Fairclough Massey said: “When I left the hospital with my newborn baby the first taste of air he got was smoke filled from those standing near the entrance.”
Clare Shepherd said: “I don’t smoke but understand that people who do need an area to smoke in but what infuriates me is when I see people stood outside with medical equipment such as drip trolleys that they then take back onto a ward.”
Phil Shaw said: “Next time I have a cold I will stand outside where people smoke and go around sneezing on everyone and see how they like it.”
Picky Pickles Von-Picklehoffer said: “I agree that people should be free to decide if they smoke or not, but not free to decide if others are forced to breathe in their foul smoke.”
Heather Golding said: “I think it’s very naive of the NHS to think that people would actually leave the site to have a smoke.”
Adamantium X Meakin said: “The hospital has clear reasons as to why people should not smoke outside the entrance of the hospital. It’s a building used to promote health, treat health, and to protect vulnerable people from exposure to harmful chemicals, and treat people with cancers.”
John Smarty Smart said: “If the government are so keen on banning smoking in public places, why don’t they just make tobacco illegal in the UK? Oh yeah I forgot £90 odd billion a year in revenue.”
Sam Blackburn said: “If they don’t provide an area to smoke in then people are going to smoke there.”
Karen Janes said: “The whole hospital grounds should be smoke free.”
James Walters said: “There should be somewhere provided for smokers to go. I don’t think it’s fair non smokers should walk through the entrance and passively smoke.”
Lindsay Bentley said: “I was taken into hospital two weeks before my baby was due and put in a room directly above the entrance. It stunk.”
Dazzler Atack said: “There should be no smoking in private hospital grounds, simple as that.”
Dale Latham said: “They should start issuing fines.”
Bev Marshall said: “Absolutely no smoking in hospital grounds as far as I am concerned Disgusting habit which costs the NHS millions every year.”