Nurse, bring me a scalpel and an ashtray
Some radical news from Beijing. China is going to ban smoking in all hospitals. What a concept, preventing smoking in a building filled with sick people, many of them already seriously ill from smoking.
Or maybe the long delay is to allow heavy smokers who are planning elective surgery to go ahead and get it out of the way while they can still enjoy their stay.
To answer some of the questions that will arise from this news, yes, it is my understanding that the ban will include doctors performing operations and nurses in oxygen tents.
I believe it will even apply to patients undergoing lengthy surgery, even though they aren’t able to go outside for a cigarette break. I’m still checking to find out if it applies to children under six.
Above: A boy smokes a cigarette in Xiahe, western China’s Gansu province, in a 2006 photo. REUTERS/ Jason Lee
Right: Parents visit their sick child in a hospital in the rural village of Chao Jiang in southwest China’s Yunnan province, in a 2007 photo. REUTERS/Nir Elias