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.
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.”