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Hospital halts using cigarettes to calm patients 

Tories attack Hotel-Dieu Grace
Jump to full article: Windsor (Ont) Star (ca), 2010-11-27
Author: Brian Cros, Windsor Star


"A Windsor hospital is handing out cigarettes to patients" is a Queen's Park accusation that shocked Hotel-Dieu Grace Hospital CEO Warren Chant on Friday.

"I was quite surprised," said Chant, who is quoted in the news release from the Ontario PC caucus, saying "'it is not an unusual practice' for hospitals to hand out cigarettes."

"That is totally taken out of context," Chant told The Star.

The PCs claimed in a news conference that Hotel-Dieu distributes cigarettes to lure patients into its emergency department.

But hospital spokeswoman Luann Kapasi said what really happened -- until the practice was halted Nov. 4 -- was that mental health outreach workers bringing in a distraught, agitated person occasionally would take the patient outdoors and give him a cigarette to calm him down during a long wait in the ER.

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