Realistically, people are going to smoke at hospital
While it is regrettable that there are people smoking in apparent defiance of the no smoking signs, it is not appropriate for hospital security to be reduced to the function of policing this activity.
Having worked closely with hospital security on many occasions, I can attest to their skillset and professionalism. When security are needed for an escalating incident, they are needed immediately and it is best if they are close by and not on the edge of hospital property discouraging smokers.
I would also need to point out that hospital security are called PSO for “protection” services officers, unlike security services who are contracted by outside agencies, and would not take the safety of your family as seriously, by virtue of their contracted status.
Furthermore, while smoking is annoying, it is an addiction, not a choice. While espousing a no-smoking policy is commendable, Island Health also espouses the value of harm reduction. So while it is recognized that smoking is not supposed to happen, it does, and it matters that safety is a consideration in where and how the smoking happens.
Practically speaking, there are a great many people with a great variety of needs at the hospital. They may be there knowing they do not have long to live, or that their loved ones are passing, or they may be battling an unremitting mental illness; personally I do not begrudge these people this one private pleasure.
I am sorry you had an unpleasant experience with people smoking in what should have been a non-smoking area, but realistically, it happens.
Liz Ringrose, RN