Premises included under the no smoking law
- Permanent structures such as offices, factories, shops, pubs, clubs, restaurants, hotels, theatres, sports centres and public toilets are examples of the places that are covered by the ban
- Smoking is also banned in temporary structures such as tents and marquees
- Work vehicles are included only if they are to be used primarily for work and by more than one person, even if the people who use the vehicle do so at different times or on different days or only intermittently. A vehicle must also be smoke-free if it is used to transport members of the public, whether or not for reward or hire.
Is smoking banned at a home based business?
The ban applies to you if you run a business from home in a part of your home that you use solely for business and either clients visit the premises or you have an employee working there.
Premises not included in the no smoking law
There are a few exceptions where hotels, clubs, guesthouses, some medical and care homes, some research establishments, off-shore sites and tobacco shops(!) may choose to designate specific rooms as smoking rooms.
Providing areas where people can smoke
Indoor smoking rooms in public places and workplaces are no longer allowed.
It is possible to have outdoor smoking shelters, provided they cannot be considered as ‘enclosed’ or ‘substantially enclosed’. There is no obligation to provide these but if businesses choose to do so, planning permission or building consent may be needed.
Check list for businesses on how to comply with the no smoking law
- Remove any existing indoor smoking rooms
- Put up NO SMOKING signs
- You have a statutory duty to put up a NO SMOKING sign:
- At each public entrance to your premises
- In smoke-free vehicles
- NO SMOKING signs at business premises must be displayed prominently so they are visible to people entering. The sign can be any shape as long as it is at least equal to the size A5 and it must include the international NO SMOKING symbol which is a burning cigarette graphic in a red circle with a red bar across it. The symbol must be at least 70mm in diameter. The sign must contain the following words in English plus any other languages that are appropriate:
- ‘No Smoking. It is against the law to smoke in these premises.’
- The words ‘these premises’ can be changed to something more specific and appropriate such as ‘this shop’ or ‘this office’.
- If the premises are located within other smoke-free areas that carry the full sign, or are not for public access and carry at least one full sign, it will be adequate to display a sign carrying the NO SMOKING symbol only (ie without the wording) as long as it a minimum diameter of 70mm.
- Vehicle signs must be displayed prominently so they are visible to a person getting into it. If the vehicle has two or more compartments, it must display a NO SMOKING sign in each compartment. The sign should be the international NO SMOKING symbol and be a minimum of 70mm in diameter
You can order no smoking signs and download a no smoking policy template
from the smoke free England web site or download free no smoking signs
Making sure no one smokes
As a business owner you have a statutory duty to ensure everyone knows that smoking is banned on your premises and that no one smokes in any of your designated NO SMOKING areas. This includes staff, customers, visitors and suppliers.
Making sure your staff understand the new law:
- implement a clear NO SMOKING policy
- let staff know they will be disciplined if they break the rule or will get a no smoking fine
- remove all ashtrays
The penalties if someone smoke on your premises
If you fail to display a NO SMOKING sign in the appropriate place(s) you face a fixed penalty notice of £200 (discounted to £150 if you pay within 15 days), or prosecution and a smoking fine of up to £1,000.
If you cannot prove you took reasonable steps to prevent smoking in what should be a smoke-free place you face prosecution and a smoking fine of up to £2,500.
Since 1 July 2007 it is an offence to smoke in no-smoking premises and individuals will face a fixed penalty notice of £50 (discounted to £30 if you pay within 15 days) or prosecution and a smoking fine of up to £200.