May 22, 2010 9:44 AM by Stephanie Collins
Pueblo's Parkview Medical Center has been smoke free since the start of this year. Parkview was hoping to push employees to quit, but for those who haven't there's now a special place for them.
The Padillas own a home right across from Parkview, they don't mind the employees smoking and built a smoking hut to help them out, "My wife decided to go ahead and build a little hut for them, that way they can come by and enjoy their break and then go back to work," says homeowner Anthony Padilla.
The Padillas understand that smoking is a hard habit to kick and say this is their way to say thanks to parkview employees, "We have a grandaughter that's been sick since birth, Parkview's always been there for her," adds Padilla.
Before the hut, it was hard to find a place for smokers to go. Smoking isn't allowed on hospital property, and that includes the parking lots, sidewalks and alleyways around the hospital. The Padillas didn't like to see the smokers getting fined for smoking in these areas, "We've seen the smokers go across the street by the alley, by the church over there and they were getting $150 fines."
The Padillas say they see people come and go all day and not just employees but patients and hospital visitors too. While hospital officials say they don't necessarily agree with the smoking hut, it's on private property and not hospital property, so as long as the Padillas remain ok with it the smokers can't be ticketed.