Residents must stub out their ciggies

RESIDENTS of a sheltered homes complex who complained to the Prime Minister about the smoking ban have been told they must stub out their ciggies.Occupants of Yetton Ward House in Felixstowe have been told by government officials they must conform - and there will be no exceptions or changes to the new law.

By Richard Cornwell

RESIDENTS of a sheltered homes complex who complained to the Prime Minister about the smoking ban have been told they must stub out their ciggies.

Occupants of Yetton Ward House in Felixstowe have been told by government officials they must conform - and there will be no exceptions or changes to the new law.

It is a huge disappointment to the residents of the 31 flats in Cricket Hill Road.


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They fear the new smoking ban will ruin their community spirit and put an end to their social events because not being allowed to smoke in communal areas will mean people staying in their rooms and not taking part.

Yetton Ward House resident Mima McKenna said: “It is very sad - we had just hoped they might take notice of what we are saying.

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“People here have smoked for many years and been allowed to smoke in the communal areas. It will be a big change for them and I don't know what is going to happen.

“They say they will stay in their rooms and smoke and won't keep going backwards and forwards as many are very old and cannot walk easily anyway. It is going to ruin everything we have built up.”

The Department of Health said the residents had to conform to the new laws - which come into effect on July 1 - to protect those who don't smoke, from second-hand smoke.

Woraphan Lagkam of the customer service centre said in a letter: “Smokefree regulations state that a private dwelling or residence is not required to be smokefree except in areas that are used by the occupant or occupants of more than one residence.

“The communal areas would be required to be smokefree as more than one resident of occupant uses them.

“The government believes that people should have the choice to smoke, but believes it is also right that people are both made aware of the major health risks of smoking and also provided with support to quit.”

Over the past two years residents of the flats have had their communal lounge and kitchen refurbished and have been making great use of it with bingo, parties, sing-a-longs, lunches, and raised money for a mini-bus for outings.

Will you be affected by the no smoking laws? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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