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Exemptions sought to HSE smoke free policy

Story by Laura Ryder

Thursday, 27th February, 2014 9:00am

Exemptions sought to HSE smoke free policy

Edenderry councillors are looking to the HSE to bend the rules for elderly smokers when all HSE sites in the midlands become smoke free next Wednesday, March 5.

Independent councillor Noel Cribbin told the Offaly Independent this week he has made representations on the issue to HSE area manager Joseph Ruane, while Fianna Fail’s Finian O’Neill wondered if some arrangement could be made for elderly patients in long-stay nursing homes such as Ofalia House in Edenderry.

Speaking to the Offaly Independent Cllr Cribbin said that while he agrees with smoking bans on HSE sites, he also feels a case has to be made for patients in Ofalia House who smoke.

“Ofalia House is their home and it would be totally unfair to expect them to give up smoking at this stage of their lives,” he said, adding that he’s hopeful exemptions will be made for such long term patients.

Cllr O’Neill referred to three patients in particular in Ofalia House, aged between 84 and 90.

“Although we know smoking is not good for our health, it’s very hard to tell a person of that age they can’t smoke anymore,” he said. “I just think it’s a little unfair.

“It’s just a little bit tough when you get to that age,” he added. “It’s not like switching out a light. Some arrangement should be made that they can have a smoke.”

You can read the full story in tomorrow's Offaly Independent. In the meantime, let us know your view with a comment.

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