Pensioners forced into freezing shelter for smoke

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George Inglis will be forced out into the cold to enjoy his habit

RESIDENTS at a Scots care home will be forced to light up outside after a health and safety decision to shut their smoking room.

Bosses at Canmore Lodge, Dunfermline, Fife, are to install an outdoor smoking shelter for the “wellbeing” of staff and residents.

But OAPs and their families have hit out at the move, saying it is wrong for prisoners to be allowed to smoke indoors but not care home residents.

Jean Clark said her father, 83-year-old George Inglis, is one of two residents who still enjoy their cigarettes.

Ms Clark, 57, said: “Right now only my dad and another resident, Gerald Grandison, smoke.

“He’s not happy about it. There’s nobody more than me who’d like my dad not to smoke but he does.

“He’s 83 and he’s been smoking all his life. Gerald is not as capable as my dad and needs supervision. Somebody sits in the room with him when he smokes.

“My dad’s able to walk from his room to the smoking room but how will it work if he has to go outside?

“Who’s going to make sure he has his jacket on and if he gets back in?

“My dad sometimes gets up in the middle of the night for a cigarette too and Gerald is 73 and in a wheelchair.”

She added: “My dad worked in the pits for 31 years.

 “He’s been smoking all his life, ever since he was 14. We’re trying to get him to stop.

 “He’s not happy at the news the room is going to be closed.”

Care homes are exempt from laws banning smoking indoors.

Wrong

Local MSP Helen Eadie, has written to care home bosses at Barchester Healthcare pleading with them to reconsider.

The Labour politician said: “I cannot see how sending an 83-year-old man outside from his own home to smoke is either fair or just.

“Much as I applaud moves to cut smoking I think the management have got this one wrong.

“Prisoners in Scotland get to smoke indoors and I think the current arrangements at Canmore are the right ones.

“The management should think again before forcing older folk out into the cold for a cigarette.”

Ms Clark continued: “They’re asking two old men to go and stand outside what is basically a bus shelter.

“It’s so unfair on two old men who basically don’t have a lot going on in their lives. The only things they have is having a smoke and now they’ll have to go outside as well.

“I’ve been told they were hoping to hold it off until April when the bad weather is over but what happens next winter?

“They say it was for health and safety reasons but how could it be, it’s staff who already smoke who go into the room to supervise.

“I’ve been told this room is only used by two people when it could be used by all. But they could be given a smaller room.”

A spokesman for the care home said: “Canmore Lodge can confirm that they will be closing the smoking room at the home as the health and wellbeing of our residents is always our utmost priority.

“A sheltered area outside has been constructed specifically to accommodate the smokers at the home and to protect other residents and our staff.

“We respect the privacy of our residents and staff in all matters and are therefore unable to give any further comment.”

4 COMMENTS

  1. “A spokesman for the care home said: ‘Canmore Lodge can confirm that they will be closing the smoking room at the home as the health and wellbeing of our residents is always our utmost priority.’ ”

    Absolute nonsense. I defy Canmore Lodge to provide even a single scientific study showing real harm to people from the levels of smoke that would be expected to migrate from that “smoking room” to other residents in the home. There are none. There may be “statements” from authoritative advocates and their organizations, there may be generalized “reports” offering opinions about studies, there may be studies showing that it is possible to measure microscopic traces of elements in the air, but if you actually look at the literature you will find NOTHING that offers the evidence of real harm that would justify such an action.

    In reality such a ban could actually INCREASE the one arguable threat, the threat of accidental fire. With a proper smoking room containing fire safety devices (ashtrays), a minimum of flammable materials, and subject to a monitoring situation, the risk of such a fire is near zero. Remove that room and the risk of hidden smoking, without ashtrays, in rooms filled with flammable materials, and in situations where butts are likely to be quickly and improperly disposed of upon approach of authority… and you have created a situation that is BEGGING for accidental fires.

    If such fires ever happen in this or in any other such housing situation where smoking has been banned I hope the people affected do everything in their power to go after the legal liability of those who imposed the bans in full knowledge of the increased risks they were creating. The bans are NOT being imposed because of concerns about the health and well-being of nonsmokers: they are being imposed to socially engineer the affected smokers into the “proper” nonsmoking behavior and as a part of a wider social engineering effort designed and pushed on many levels of society by antismoking advocates to do the same.

    Michael J. McFadden
    Author of “Dissecting Antismokers’ Brains”

  2. How right you are Michael-this along with many other bad judgements on health & safety (excuse the pun) make me sick…Interfering with personal choice regarding the right to smoke…or not is exactly that-personal choice.Taking away the small comforts and dignity particularly amongst the elderly in this way is frankly bullish & unacceptable- I could understand a non smoking policy if ‘care homes’ were actually ‘CARE’ homes, serving organic food, proffering holistic health, spiritual, emotional & physical support remedies- not so there’s little care about for the elderly. Many care homes are simply the penultimate staging post between man made hell & death- death in this instance being preferable to hell of that I am quite, quite sure…..Shame on all fools for their lack of conscience and compassion

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