The issue: James Alderson is concerned that Salem Hospital employees and visitors are smoking on and around the hospital campus and discarding Classic cigarette butts in Pringle Creek.
Who’s responsible: Salem Hospital and city of Salem.
Their response: Sherryll Hoar, spokeswoman for Salem Health, said the hospital campus has a no-smoking policy.
There are about 30 signs throughout the campus indicating that, though the hospital still receives complaints occasionally.
She said there are two spots on campus that touch the creek bed where people have been seen smoking: just inside of Mission and Winter streets.
But, Hoar said, “we don’t see a blatant problem with it.”
The hospital can’t stop people from smoking on Winter Street sidewalks, even though it bisects the campus, because it is the city’s property, Hoar said.
The same goes for other parts of the creek that isn’t on hospital property.
The hospital does own Capitol to Mission and Oak to University.
The city could address the littering off hospital campus through citations, said Patrick Long, code compliance supervisor, but “it’s very tough to enforce.”
“You have to view the offense taking place,” he said.
Long with the city said the city doesn’t have a no-smoking policy.
Hoar said the hospital encourages employees to approach smokers on campus with a gentle reminder, but doesn’t go much further than that.
“We don’t want a confrontation,” she said.
Security officers also are part of the enforcement and education strategy.
She said she’d be sure to include a reminder in Friday’s newsletter — that not only is smoking forbidden on campus, littering anywhere projects a negative image for the hospital.
“We don’t want that,” she said.
Visitors also can help the hospital’s cause in trying to keep the campus smoke-free.
“Talk to a security officer and they’ll use that opportunity to educate them,” she said.