Saturday, 11 February 2012

Getting cold for a good cause at 83?

Exposure to
 cold weather
 can seriously damage
 your health

This used to be fairly common knowledge, but a home for the elderly in Dunfermline plans to close its smoking room and turn it over to general use. Smoking will take place in a shelter in the grounds, subject to the usual legal restrictions.  The story is here

In line with government hopes and expectations, the home (Canmore Lodge) has waived the exemption that applied to residential accommodation when the ban came in. Andy Kerr, then Health Minister, said
Residential homes are where people live and have their home. We felt that, as long as there was a smoking policy in such places, people would have the right to smoke where it was deemed to be their home, just as others in the community have that right. There were obvious humanitarian and other reasons for that exemption.
Local MSP Helen Eadie has protested against the home's plans. It seems that some Labour MSPs did not realise what a Pandora's box they were opening by supporting the smoking legislation.

Note that this policy is introduced to a home that currently accommodates only two smokers. Among the reasons given is that they want the room to be available to more people. This goes beyond the requirements of the law, which allows designated smoking areas in exempted premises. Devoting resources to the construction of a legal smoking shelter is an appalling use of resources, including fees, whether privately or publicly paid to the parent company.

There are methods for dealing with secondary smoke exposure.

This is a frankly an abuse of power over vulnerable people who depend on others for their daily needs.   The relatives of the residents involved protest in the article, but they are clearly open to the suggestion that their elderly relatives would be much better off not smoking: a hypothesis that is clearly irrelevant to the absolute certainty that smoking in a warm room endangers health far less than smoking in a bus shelter that is 50 per cent enclosed.

The web site for the organisation is here. There are contact details if you wish to formally protest this decision. Incidentally I note that the section of their page entitled News Articles does not include any stories at all ...  what a shame they will really have to kick off with a story about allowing the elderly to freeze.

Press release, Freedom2Choose.


Unknown said...

This torture of the innocents by a so called 'home' for the elderly is gut wrenching to me and, I suspect, others.

My wife turned 73 today and stopped smoking eight months ago. If she were still smoking and in one of these 'caring' homes for the elderly and they proposed to send her out into the cold this winter, a winter that recorded minus 18 point five this very day, then I would raise the rooftops of said home and complain bitterly to the press, a press that is often complicit with the anti-smoking rabble.

How I am beginning to hate my fellow man in this country.

Anonymous said...


They can't afford to care for the elderly so force the elderly smokers outside so they can die of cold.


Anonymous said...

and what about anthony mcdermoot who was persecuted bullied and abused by his workmates at mettler-toledo safeline salford because he was a smoker and commited suicide by hanging who is accountable

Grainne said...
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Grainne said...
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