Recently, I referred an article that reported a high amount of penalty against a tobacco company. It is not an exception that this kind of issues often gets burned.
My past entry: Tobacco company punished with $23.6 billion
In Japan, a hospital was forced to be reclaimed payment for medical services recently. The hospital equips special outpatient units to offer therapy to quit smoking. In the regulation of national health insurance, any smoking area is prohibited in the hospital which equips such units. However, some employees were found to enjoy smoking in the hospital. Therefore, the hospital was deemed to violate the regulation, that resulted in the return of payment of the special care.
Nowadays, most hospitals do not equip smoking area in it. It leads that smoking patients have to go out of the hospital whenever they want to smoke, even if it is extremely cold. It is doubtful that the current situation is preferable.
Since smoking is a well spread habit, most people cannot avoid to be biased during discussion about this issue. Smokers often insist the right to smoke, meanwhile nonsmokers say that their thought is polluted by nicotine.
In terms of patients with mental disorders, this topic becomes more complicated. First, nicotine has a potential effect on cognitive function of patients with schizophrenia. Schizophrenic patients are more likely to smoke than healthy people. Actually, they smoke as a self medication. In contrast, some psychotropic medicines are attenuated by smoking. Patients sometimes say that they smoke to dilute the medicines in their body. Of course it is rather harmful for their treatment. Furthermore, some patients are secluded in a special room or unit due to his or her mental state. Whether it is necessary to offer them an opportunity to smoke is quite controversial. Indeed, some patients in the forensic unit appeals to the ethics committee to gain the opportunity to smoke.
I myself hate smoking. My respiratory organs are so vulnerable that I feel sick whenever a smoker is approaching. However, we should be neutral to consider how to administrate the smoking habit in our society.