Cigar Commentary: Denver Hospital Does the Right Thing

No you can’t smoke in hospitals. But occasionally, I think some people get it right when making decisions. In this case, a Denver area Cigar store owner, David Engleberg, happens to be on the board of directors of a top respiratory hospital, National Jewish Health.

Congrats to David for winning a liquor license for his cigar store recently. But bigger news is that even though there may have been a conflict of interest, because the hospital’s work includes encouraging people to quit smoking, both David and the hospital did the right thing.

According to the associated press:

“Hospital spokesman William Allstetter says Engleberg declared his store to the hospital as a potential conflict of interest, but the hospital decided his private business wouldn’t significantly affect his decisions.”

That’s the right decision! And it makes sense too. The respiratory health risks from cigar smoke are much lower (as compared to cigarette smoke) because cigar smoke is generally not inhaled and ownership of a cigar store wouldn’t conceivably affect one’s decision making process for a hospital.

We applaud you Mr. Engleberg, for being a badass Cigar store owner and for being a bigger badass for clearing the issue with the board of National Jewish Health hospital. The hospital deserves credit too – for making the right decision about the lack of a conflict of interest.

So in the end, there are sane people in healthcare – thank goodness these people are not in charge.