Here you will find information regarding smoke-free legislation and the council's policies in relation to smoking laws.
The Health Act 2006 saw the introduction of smoke-free legislation in England, meaning virtually all public places and workplaces are now smoke free. The aim is for all workers, regardless of their place of work, to be protected from the health risks of exposure to tobacco smoke.
Smoking is prohibited in all enclosed or 'substantially enclosed' public places and workplaces by making it an offence to:
If you are trying to give up smoking, the NHS provides a wide range of excellent and easily-accessible smoking cessation services.
There are exemptions for premises which are used as a full-time place of residence for extended periods e.g. private dwellings, residential premises and adult care homes.
Designated rooms in hotels, hostels and bed and breakfast accommodation are exempt, since they are places where people live even though they are not private homes.
Where smoking cannot take place outside for safety or health reasons, then designated smoking rooms or areas may be allowed.
Penalties for smoking in smoke-free places
- Smoking in a smoke-free place could lead to a fine of £200, with a fixed penalty option of £50.
- Failure to prevent smoking in a smoke-free place could lead to a fine of £2,500.
- Failure to display minimum no smoking signs can be up to £1,000 or a fixed penalty notice of £200.
We will investigate complaints we receive and may take formal action when appropriate. Employers, owners and managers of businesses must ensure their premises are smoke-free and have at least one no smoking sign.
Frequently asked questions about smoke-free
Which workplaces are covered by the legislation?
The legislation covers premises used as a place of work by more than one person, which are wholly or substantially enclosed.
‘Substantially enclosed’ is where there is a ceiling or roof, and the openings in the walls are less than half the total area of the walls.
Roofs and walls include any fixed or moveable structure or device, e.g. retractable canvas awning capable of covering all or part of the premises. Smoking will be allowed in shelters which are not substantially enclosed.
What about vehicles?
Vehicles used at a workplace by more than one person, regardless if they are not in the vehicle at the same time, will also have to be smoke-free at all times.
Tobacco smoke is absorbed into soft furnishings and stays around long after a cigarette has been stubbed out. All work vehicles will need to display at least one legible no-smoking sign within.
Are employers required to provide smoking breaks and external smoking areas?
By law, employers must give staff an uninterrupted rest break of 20 minutes if their daily working time is more than six hours. Staff must not smoke in an enclosed or partially enclosed area.
Employers must decide whether or not to permit smoking elsewhere on the premises, e.g. in grounds or shelters, and should indicate where smoking is allowed in their smoking policy.
There is no legal requirement for employers to provide designated external smoking areas.
What about entrances to buildings?
Outside areas are not covered by the legislation. However, employers may consider including in their policy that smoking is not permitted within a certain distance of entrances, so staff and visitors do not have to walk through smoke to get into the building.
Stop smoking services
The NHS offers a wide range of free and easily accessible support for smokers including: