Local Man’s Call to Action. Butts don’t belong on Hub Trail.

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Earlier this week, local citizen Carl White expressed his concerns about the amount of cigarette butts on the Sault Area Hospital’s section of the Hub Trail in a letter to the editor of the Sault Star.

SaultOnline reached out to him to discuss his concerns.

“Well a few years ago the minister of health banned smoking on hospital property and really provided nowhere for smokers to go. They’ve all moved to the Hub Trail, so the Hub Trail has become the defacto smoking section. And the Hub Trail is a recreational trail – I don’t think there should be smoking there,” White explained. “It’s a recreational trail. People are using it for walking, cycling, kids are on it. I mean it’s accepted that second-hand smoke is not good for people. In fact, some studies say it’s worse than first-hand smoke. So I don’t think that people using the Hub Trail – which is a major recreational facility – should be exposed to second-hand smoke, and the mess. There’s coffee cups and cigarette butts and all kinds of garbage all over.”

The Sault Area Hospital released a statement in response to White’s concerns, explaining that, since opening in 2011, the hospital decided to work collaboratively with the City and Algoma Public Health to maintain a non-smoking campus, “with our smoke-free property policy becoming part of the municipal smoking bylaw.

Consistent with many hospital campuses across the province, we recognized early on the need to address smoking on our campus, the role we play in reducing the risks associated with smoking and the importance of promoting a healthy environment.  Ten years later, we see alignment with government legislation that went into effect January 1, 2018, that prohibits the installation of a smoking area on our property and mandating that hospitals across the provinces are smoke-free properties.”

Currently, smoking is not permitted in or on all SAH facilities and grounds, including inside a vehicle parked on hospital property, as per the City’s smoking bylaw.  Our patients, the public, hospital staff, physicians, and volunteers are reminded to refrain from smoking on the hospital’s property and to respect our neighbouring properties.  Ongoing efforts are made by our security team to enforce our smoke-free property policy; however, the property to the east of the hub trail (bush area off the hub trail) is not hospital property, and therefore we are faced with ongoing challenges in policing and keeping that area clean.

White said he’d like those involved – such as Algoma Public Health and the Minister of Health – in setting up a space for hospital staff and patients to smoke.

“I’d like to see the people involved to just sit down and look at a solution for this,” he explained. “And really somebody’s got to explain to the Minister of Health that her mandate or direction not to have smoking on hospital property has had some dire consequences for the rest of the community.”

17 COMMENTS

  1. He does make a good point though. To sluff off this dirty habit smokers are to blame for only encourages the bad habit. Trash is trash…tax smokers more and use that money to clean up after the dirty idiots who smoke.

  2. Hard to believe with all the information out there about the harmful effects of smoking that there are still those who don’t get the message. I agree with Carl White and he should be angry. Smoking is a filthy, disgusting habit. Try to tell an avid smoker any of this and they are affronted by your comments. It is a low class attitude that needs to be eliminated. Smoking fags is not cool.

  3. Good luck, Carl. Smokers are the laziest people on the planet…just look around. Firstly, they fill their lungs with smoke and carcinogens. How stupid. Then they tie up the health care system with their ‘needs’. Secondly, watch them walk out of a store after buying a pack of smokes. Cellophane wrapper gets thrown on the ground. Tin foil wrapper gets thrown on the ground. A used match/matchbook or empty lighter gets thrown on the ground. When the cig pack is empty, it gets thrown on the ground. And when they are done filling their lungs with smoke, the cig butt gets thrown on the ground. You really think these stupid people care?

  4. I do agree that its a shame that people throw their cigarette butts on the ground. Sadly this happens everywhere and not just on the Hub Trail near the Hospital. As someone else pointed out, various other forms of trash can also be found. This also happens all over town. An example would be Tim Hortons cups. Coffee cups are thrown all over the place and Im sure anyone who has ever shopped at Walmart have seen the coffee cups sitting all over the shelves. Perhaps we should ban drinking coffee in public places ? Sounds pretty absurd doesnt it ? I feel its also equally absurd to ban smoking in all public places. Smokers have rights too. Yes, it is an unhealthy habit and i will not disagree with that, but if people smoke away from non-smokers in an open area then how is that unhealthy for them ? Cigarette smoke may contribute to pollution, but so does BBQ’s, industry, heating your home, Transportation etc… so maybe we should ban all those activities too. Get realistic people ! You are all just being judgemental and hypocritical of smokers because its not something that you do. Lets also add walking dogs in a public to the ban list because people dont pick up the poop. Lol. Not every smoker liters with their cigarette butts just as not every dog owner doesnt leave poop on the ground. Some people are reaponsible.
    Its whiny people like you who chase people onto the hub trail instead of allowing a smoking area away from non-smokers to be provided. This butt problem wasnt as bad when ashtrays were provided just like parking lots are provided for your polluting cars. Do you think a smoker who is smoking one cigarette after another can make as much pollution as you can in your car driving across town in the same anount of time ? Cars can pull up to doors of the hospital and pollute while sick patients addicted to smoking have to brave the elements and travel off hospital property to have a cigarette. Do any of you non-smomers ever have a alcoholic drink with your meal at a restaurant ? How is that ok but smoking 50 feet away in open air isnt ? People who just had a cigarette do not stumble and stagger like people on drugs or alcohol.
    I guess the question here is this, is it a pollution issue ? Are you offended by the site of someone smoking ? Hey, not everyone liters by throwing buts on the ground and even the ones who do throw them on the ground might not if an ashtray was provided like theybised to be. Judging all smokers by the few who throw butts on the ground is like judging a whole race by a few criminals of the same ethnic background.
    If smoking was conpletely banned the government would go broke from loss of taxes, hospitals would close because of less cancers etc…. less jobs for doctors and nurses and money for health care. This is why the govwrnment does not ban smoking completely and why we still have the RIGHT to be smokers as Canadian citizens, so respect our rights and go pollute the world with your coffee cups and plastic straws and gas emmisions from cars and furnaces and planes, pollute with your recreation bon fires and leave us alone to enjoy our right to smoke

  5. So when the buck a beer comes out it will be tops off beer rather then the cigarette butts, oh please, put out somewhere for them to go. They put out garbage cans for trash! They have rights too you know. So you can deprive them of their rights because?

  6. The amount of garbage and cigarettes butts are a concern all over the city, hub trail or no hub trail . I pick up at least a garbage bag a day of garbage on my walks. People need to take pride in their city.

  7. wouldnt it be nice if reasonable people prevailed and set aside a smoking area with garbage cans, shelter and benches. Sounds outrageous doesnt it?

  8. I completely agree with Mr. White’s views on the cigarette butt problem on the hub trail. Sadly, the problem is all over town. The amount of times I’ve seen people throwing butts out car windows and onto roads or sidewalks is disgusting. The situation should be treated no different than littering and yet people seem to act as though it’s not a big deal. Maybe the guilty parties would see it differently if they started getting ticketed for their disrespectful behaviour.

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