Standards FAQ Details | Joint Commission
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Thursday 9:00 CST, February 11, 2016

Standards FAQ Details


Environment of Care (EC) (Critical Access Hospitals / Critical Access Hospitals)

Smoking Distance Requirements
Current | January 13, 2009
Q. Does The Joint Commission have a acceptable distance for smokers on facility grounds?  

A. The Joint Commission standards have never stated an acceptable distance from the building for smoking areas.  These areas should be at an adequate distance from entrances to ensure that smoke does not re-enter the building. Consider the following points:

  1. Is it possible for smoke to be drawn into the building as doors operate?
  2. Take into consideration window air-conditioning units that may be located above a designated outdoor patio and other fresh air intakes that could draw second-hand smoke into the building.
  3. Does the smoking location cause others to pass through the smoke?
  4. Does the smoking location cause smokers to extinguish smoking materials directly onto the ground, and then be tracked into the building?
  5. Does the location identified as a smoking area meet life safety requirements (not near combustibles; appropriate waste receptacles; etc)?
  6. Is the smoking location arranged to allow staff to view or monitor at-risk patients, clients or residents?

If there are no issues with the aforementioned concerns, there may not be an issue. However, it is important to comply with any local or state requirements that may specify a smoking area's minimum distance requirements from entrances/exits.