SPOKANE, Wash. — The state’s tough new anti-smoking law has an unlikely opponent: a retired doctor who argues the ban is forcing elderly smokers in nursing homes to take unnecessary risks.
Dr. Robert Guild, 71, says the law is forcing him and other smokers at the Maplewood Gardens Retirement Apartments — some in wheelchairs and walkers — to brave an ice- and snow-covered lawn to get to a structure that is far enough away from the retirement facility to meet the ban’s requirements.
The smokers have dubbed the structure “Butt Hutt,” and argue that it is a poor replacement to the well-ventilated smoking lounge management provided before the ban on indoor smoking went into effect in December.
“There’s overhead heating, but it’s very inconvenient, and there are no facilities,” Guild said, noting that restrooms are important for folks his age.
The state’s new smoking ban, which went into effect Dec. 8, is the strictest in the country. In addition to banning smoking indoors, it requires a 25-foot smoke-free buffer around doorways, windows that open and ventilation intakes.
Good job, nanny staters. Good job.