Just imagine the scenario –
You are sitting quietly enjoying a mug of tea and a cigarette. You spouse / other half / whatever is pottering around upstairs when there is a yell and a scream. You investigate and discover they have fallen downstairs, there is a broken leg and blood gushing everywhere from where the broken bone has pierced the skin.
This is serious.
You phone for an ambulance.
"Sorry but we cannot attend as you have been smoking. Open all windows and doors, stay off the cigarettes and call us back in an hour."
Under the new HSE policy rules, the client is also instructed not to smoke for at least an hour before the visit. The same restriction applies to others in the house, who also cannot smoke while the health worker is present.
I had to read that a couple of times as I didn't believe it the first time around.
There are a few points I would like to make here.
First of all, they keep talking about "risk" to their workers. Lets' do a quick calculation. I have been "exposed" to smoke in various forms for my entire life. When I wasn't smoking, others were. I have been around for about 569,790 hours, so for the sake of argument, I have been "exposed" to smoke for one hundredth of that time [let’s be conservative], which makes about 5,700 hours where I have been breathing either pipe or cigarette smoke. Fair enough? And the last time I visited my doctor he gave me my usual clean bill of health. Yet these HSE workers are going so suffer ghastly repercussions from breathing a bit of smoke for a matter of half an hour or so? Where precisely is the risk? It is just a piece of smouldering leaf, for God's sake!
I have been paying taxes all my working life. I am therefore entitle to full and unconditional attention from the health service. When I paid those taxes, they never mentioned any conditions whereby I might not be covered. But now they are changing the rules to exclude me because of a perfectly legitimate pastime? That is not on.
My home is my castle. I set the rules here, and no one on the face of this planet is going to change that. If I decide that smoking is perfectly acceptable here then that is the law in this household. The Nannies would have it otherwise but they know a smoking ban in the home is unenforceable and unacceptable, but they are trying to sneak their foot in the door by threatening to withhold healthcare that I am fully entitled to.
The smoking ban was originally introduced on the pretext that it would "protect" bar workers who would be exposed to cigarette smoke for several hours, seven days a week. Now suddenly they are worried about a few minutes exposure? When exactly did smoke become so incredibly lethal?
The Nannies invented this myth of secondhand smoke and the gullible public let them away with it. Now they are penalising the sick and elderly with their bullying tactics on the back of this myth.
This is a step way too far.