Woman battling cancer wants smoking ban enforced - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Woman battling cancer wants smoking ban enforced

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CHARLESTON, West Virginia -

Hospitals are usually thought of as a place of help and healing.

But one couple says their trips to the doctor are becoming a health hazard because of people smoking outside of the entrance and exit.

Mitzi White was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer in April 2012.

Since then she has been spending several days a week Charleston Area Medical Center's Memorial Division in Kanawha City for treatment.

But her husband Terry says despite a smoking ban on the hospital campus they have to walk through a cloud of cigarette smoke every time she goes in or out of the hospital.

"This is something that is really unacceptable and something really needs to be done," Terry White said. "If the chemotherapy is working I don't want this to cause her any more problems, any lung problems."

There are several red and white signs across the hospital grounds to notify patients and visitors of the hospital's smoke free policy. But Terry and Mitzi White say people do not comply and the ban is not consistently enforced.

"Being short of breath like she is, cigarette smoke does not help at all," Terry White said about his wife. "It makes her cough, then she gets to coughing and she gets sick to her stomach."

We contacted CAMC for comment. Hospital spokesman Dale Witte sent us a written statement saying "Employees educate the patients and visitors who are new to CAMC and may be unaware of the policy. Multiple times per day smokers are asked to move away from the entrance, only to return shortly thereafter."

But the White family wants action to protect Mitzi and others who are fighting for their health.

"I think everybody that puts a cigarette in their mouth ought to have to watch someone with cancer and see what they go through," Terry White said.