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Why do hospital workers continue to smoke and litter in areas near New Hanover Regional?

Jim Ware

The question:

When New Hanover Hospital enacted its smoking ban several years ago, residents in the Glen Meade Road area were reassured that hospital employees would not be allowed to smoke in our neighborhood. Despite repeated complaints to the hospital, including to President Jack Barto, hospital workers, construction workers, and guests continue to smoke while they pace the sidewalks in the area. These smokers leave thousands of “butts” strewn around, along with trash, food, and other reminders of their presence. Along with this trash comes the unnerving aspect of having strangers standing within close proximity of your home at all hours of the day. Why does the hospital continue to allow this behavior with seeming disregard to the complaints of residents and business? Certainly the policy of prohibiting smoking at the hospital is a good thing, but not at the cost of trashing the neighborhood.

And the answer, from Erin Balzotti, the hospital’s media relations coordinator:

Monitoring and enforcing the New Hanover Regional Medical Center’s tobacco-free policy is a priority at NHRMC. Hospital Special Police patrol the campus and they also patrol the nearby Glen Meade Road residential area. On the rare occasion that smokers or trash are seen in the area, they are asked to respect the residents and leave the area. If needed, NHRMC ground crews also maintain and clean these areas.

People with specific complaints can call the Hospital Police at 343-2444. 


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4 Responses to “ Why do hospital workers continue to smoke and litter in areas near New Hanover Regional?”

  1. On March 30, 2012 at 8:53 pm Richard wrote:

    Wow that was probably the most generic answer that could be given. It’s obvious that the issue is of little concern to them.

  2. On March 31, 2012 at 1:45 pm Glen Meade Road Resident wrote:

    I didn’t ask the question but if Erin believes her response she should live on Glen Meade Road. The hospital does not monitor 24/7. It is a very frustrating situation . Any property owning citizen of Wilmington/New Hanover County would be outraged to have people loitering in front of their home at all hours of the day and night. The hospital has constructed a nice lighted walkway that invites smokers from the hospital to Glen Meade Road. The hospital paid millions of dollars for two residental lots on Glen Meade Road that are frequently used as a parking lot. And, the fenced (formerly gated) lots are the preferred hiding place for hospital employees when smoking.

  3. On April 27, 2012 at 3:11 am MTillotson wrote:

    Why not just stop the self-righteous charade, admit that a tobacco habit does not fall under the purview of an employer, and provide appropriate receptacles for spent cigarettes? These receptacles should be appropriately cleaned and maintained by NHRMC in the interest of neighborly relations.

  4. On May 9, 2012 at 12:44 pm Unknown wrote:

    Thank you New Hanover Regional Medical Center!! After almost 4 years of dealing with the hospital’s “Smoke Free” campus there is a fence going up to prevent access to the Glen Meade Road neighborhood. It is much appreciated!

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