Smoke free England regulations
Advice about no smoking in public places and workplaces
On 1 July 2007, regulations banned smoking in virtually all workplaces and substantially enclosed public areas in England. Those who do not comply with the law face fines of up to £2500 and people caught smoking will face an on-the-spot fine of £50. Failure to display no smoking signs will lead to on-the-spot fines of £200.
Facts about smoking at work
- An estimated 617 workers die every year in the UK from second-hand smoke in the workplace. This is more than die from industrial accidents (about 230 a year), and drink driving (about 500 a year).
- Most at risk are workers in the hospitality trade. Workers in pubs, clubs, restaurants and hotels are often continuously exposed to very smoky conditions. They have a 50% increased risk of developing lung cancer.
- Employers have a general duty to do what is reasonable to protect the health of their employees and themselves.
What the law requires
The law prohibits smoking in any public place that is "enclosed or substantially enclosed". This means an area with a ceiling or roof - except for doors, windows and passageways - that is either enclosed (permanently or temporarily); or has an opening less than half of the area of its walls (see opposite). This is commonly referred to as the 50% rule. This means that previously designated 'smoking rooms' are no longer allowed. A roof includes any fixed or movable structure, such as canvas awnings. Tents and marquees etc are also classified as enclosed premises if they fall within the above definition.
Vehicles used for business purposes are also affected by the new law. These include light and heavy goods vehicles and public transport such as taxis, buses and trains. Vehicles used by more than one person for work - including voluntary work and even if used by different people at different times - must be smoke free. However, if you use your own private car for work it is not be required to be smoke free.
The law requires employers to display appropriate no smoking signage at each entrance. These 'No Smoking' signs should make staff, customers and visitors aware that they must not smoke in the premises or vehicle.
Frequently asked questions
What should I do if someone smokes on my premises?
If a customer or member of staff smokes on your premises it is your responsibility to ask them to stop. Breaking the law could result in you being fined.
Can I install a shelter for my staff or customers?
Before installing any type of shelter you should speak to our planning department.
What can I do about noise created by people outside?
You are responsible for managing the noise and behaviour outside your premises. You must also manage the litter outside your premises or you could face a fine and if you are a licensed premises it could result in a review.
What can I do to prevent smokers' litter?
We recommend that you educate your staff about the consequences for themselves (and the business) of discarding cigarette litter, encourage the use of litter bins available on-street and/or personal ashtrays, and especially that you install dedicated bins wherever feasible.
Is shisha exempt?
No. Smoking shisha or water pipes indoors is illegal.
|[682kb]||The new smoke-free legislation How it will affect you and your business||The new smoke-free legislation How it will affect you and your business|
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