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Dearborn City Hearing on Oakwood Smoking Ban Set for Thursday

Residents, city officials and Oakwood representatives will meet to discuss a resolution to complaints about the company's campus smoking ban.

A public hearing will be held Thursday, Feb. 7, to address concerns surrounding a no-smoking policy on the Oakwood Hospital and Medical Center campus.

Residents of the neighborhood surrounding Oakwood came before Dearborn City Council in December 2012 with concerns that a city ordinance banning smoking on hospital grounds was driving patients, visitors and employees who choose to smoke into their neighborhoods.

The ordinance, approved in January 2012 under the offenses chapter of the city code, added hospitals to the list of places in which smokers had to be at least 100 feet away before they could partake. It was enacted after Oakwood—which has its own no-smoking policy on the campus—came to the city asking for help in getting hospital staff and visitors off of Oakwood Boulevard when they chose to smoke.

The ordinance appeared to be a great solution for Oakwood, but created an ancillary problem, according to residents.

“We’d look out the door and there’s someone standing on the porch,” commented Donna Chaffin, a resident of Venice Street who worries that what's now just a nuisance could also become a security issue.

City Council in December decided to table a resolution to repeal the ordinance in favor of bringing all parties to the table in a hearing.

Thursday's hearing will be held immediately following the council's Committee of the Whole meeting, which begins at 7:30 p.m.

The hearing is open to the public, and will be held in the City Council Chambers at Dearborn City Hall.

Donna Hay February 05, 2013 at 02:27 PM
Who comes first - the residents of the area or Oakwood Hospital?
Darren February 05, 2013 at 02:41 PM
OK, so no one approves of smoking anymore. However, it is a fact, people still smoke I don't smoke, but don't get the lack of common sense on things like this. Let the people smoke outside, away from any of the entraqnces. This is getting stupid. What is next? Force people to eat a candy bar "off campus"? Drink a soft drink 2 blocks away?
A.Z. February 05, 2013 at 02:58 PM
I don't smoke, I don't like the smell and I don't like when people blow smoke my way when I'm walking through the entrances or even getting into my car. However, I dont think that just because I don't like it that I think others who choose to use tobacco products should be forced to vacate the premises while they use. I believe people have the right to choose whether they want to partake in nasty habits just like I enjoy eating saturated fats and sugary pastries. Mmm. Anyway, instead of excluding smokers in the idea of 'helping' them see that it's no longer socially acceptable to smoke at the expense of the surrounding areas, why dont you set up an area on the property, away from the patients, entrances, and so on, where people can smoke while ensuring they're not encroaching on the surrounding neighborhoods? I feel like Oakwood has turned themselves into a high school! (Quick! Take a hit before the teacher sees!)
Diane Cliff February 05, 2013 at 03:58 PM
My thoughts, exactly. Create a "smoking porch" somewhere to the back of the property for those who choose to smoke. That will also help with litter and nuisance reports.
Lee Jacobsen February 05, 2013 at 04:50 PM
AZ and Diane, bouncing off of your ideas of keeping it on site but out of the way, I suggest the chimney route, elevate the smoke much as chimneys do and build a neat little room on the roof of one or several of the elevated parking lots. Doctors, nurses, patients could have the convenience of the elevators to gain access to the roof smoking rooms, in order satisfy the nicotine habit, which some folk say is harder to quit than heroin. Patients would be able to take their IVs etc along much easier and any butts would stay in the smoking room, with the smoke floating away in the elevated air, not contaminating those below. The room would also provide companionship, and a degree of safety in case there are any coughing fits etc. A glorified chimney, but contained on Oakwood grounds, as it should be.
Millie February 05, 2013 at 07:33 PM
I quit five years ago but still get pissed when smokers rights are trampled. Put a section of the parking lot with ashtrays etc. Give the locals a break.
Donna Hay February 05, 2013 at 07:34 PM
Is 'no smoking' in schools and hospitals a State Law? Seems to me I recall hearing that. I agree with everyone else, provide a place for people to smoke on Oakwood property. This is Oakwoods problem not the City of Dearborn.
cheryl February 05, 2013 at 07:36 PM
Lee, that is a fabulous idea. I, for one, am getting really tired of Dearborn businesses and entities shirking their duties and palming it off on the tax-funded city departments, such as the police. (I feel the same way about police officers issuing actual tickets for truant kids, which unnecessarily clogs up the court system with silly offenses. Thanks, Mayor O'Reilly, for that brain child). Oakwood employees, visitors and patients smoke. Oakwood needs to provide a place for them to do so.
Paula Rivera-Kerr February 05, 2013 at 10:02 PM
Thank you for your comments on this matter. We do not take this lightly and want you to know that we are working diligently on these concerns with the City of Dearborn. Our intention is to discourage tobacco use and promote healthy lifestyles – not to create a nuisance for our neighbors.
bjr February 06, 2013 at 12:15 AM
First, if you smoke thats your business. But it becomes the homeowners business on Venice. When we have to pick up there cigarette buts, that they throw on our private property. Where are our rights! Find a place , on Oakwood property, for Oakwood employee to smoke and hold them responsible of maintaining the area. Don't shove off a oakwood problem on private homeowner, and make it our problem. Their employees that are on break or lunch, their clothing identifies them. Find a solution oakwood.
Jonik February 06, 2013 at 06:32 AM
Funny that there are bans on smoking, but no bans on pesticide residues in so-called "tobacco products", no bans on radiation contaminated tobacco fertizers, no bans on added burn accelerants, no bans on untested often toxic additives, no bans on kid-attracing sweets flavorings aromas etc, and no bans on fake tobacco made from many kinds of untested, and unlabeled, industrial waste cellulose, See "Fauxbacco" ... http://fauxbacco.blogspot.com for some useful references.
Jean Joseph February 06, 2013 at 07:21 AM
I love reading patch better than some of the soap on tv a good laugh is hard to find I love how Dearborn residents speak up I heard on news the other day some company will not hirer smokers and test the employee ,now I am suggesting God forbid that Oakwood do the same I have my owe bone to pick with them They made do not care about the handicap parking a few out front still to far to walk the parking deck what a joke walk even worse. Call if you need help call who no one answer refuring to sign on wall next to elavator money oh honey the name of the game and the only one of the Oakwood that charges
Alex Herman February 06, 2013 at 12:06 PM
What is wrong with the concept of implementing a rational common sense policy and built a designated smoking room or convert an existing room and make it suitable to be a smoking room? A rooftop smoking room as suggested by an other poster sounds to be a very good solution.
Alex Herman February 06, 2013 at 12:11 PM
What is wrong with the concept of implementing a rational common sense policy and built a designated smoking room or convert an existing room and make it suitable to be a smoking room? A rooftop smoking room as suggested by an other poster sounds to be a very good solution.
Lex Sherman February 06, 2013 at 12:15 PM
What is wrong with the concept of implementing a rational common sense policy and built a designated smoking room or convert an existing room and make it suitable to be a smoking room? A rooftop smoking room as suggested by an other poster sounds to be a very good solution.
Lex Sherman February 06, 2013 at 12:22 PM
Sorry, my friend comment already posted twice. This is a duplicate which should be deleted.
Pam February 06, 2013 at 01:51 PM
Then why did you have the Dearborn City Council act as your stooges and remove your problem to the surrounding neighborhood by special ordinance?
Pam February 06, 2013 at 03:22 PM
I have heard that Oakwood Hospital has been made exempt from the City's requirement that they pay a license fee per paid parking space. If true, just another private benefit at taxpayer expense.

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