GEELONG’S Josephine Pedler, originally from Mildura, has started a petition for all Victorian hospitals and their immediate surroundings to become smoke-free zones.
The current Victorian laws state that there is to be no smoking inside hospital buildings but it does not prevent smoking in close proximity to the buildings.
Josephine’s two-year-old son is currently going through daily cancer treatment for a brain tumour at various hospitals in Geelong and Melbourne but, she says, her family have to walk through congregations of smokers outside of the buildings, a reasonably unsanitary surrounding for patients.
“We are unable to attend a hospital without walking through groups of smokers who don’t have designated areas to smoke and are taking up their habit in public walkways on a daily basis,” she said.
“It’s becoming a problem for hospital staff, patients and visitors and I believe there needs to be a duty of care to protect the health of everyone in or around a hospital.”
Josephine has hundreds of signatures on the petition already, with much of the community in agreement.
Her goal is to receive enough signatures for it to become more effective and make a change.
“I’m really just trying to get enough signatures together to take the issue to the health authorities,” Josephine said.
“They’re medical facilities and it’s just not the best and safest thing having so many smokers right near the front door.
“I just wanted to see what I could do about this and if nothing comes of it, well at least I tried.”
You can sign Josephine’s petition at