England went Smokefree on 1 July 2007. This means that smoking is no longer permitted in workplaces and public places that are ‘enclosed’ or ‘substantially enclosed’. This includes public transport or vehicles used for work by more than one person. The reason why this law has been introduced is to protect the public and employees from the harmful effects of second hand smoke.
What is covered under the Smokefree legislation?
Virtually all enclosed workplaces and public places are smoke free. This means:
It is an offence to smoke in smoke free premises or vehicles;
It is an offence for those who control or manage smoke free premises or vehicles to permit others to smoke in the premises or vehicle;
It is an offence for people who occupy or manage smoke free premises or vehicles to not display the required no-smoking signs at the premises or within the vehicle.
What sort of smoking is covered?
The smoking of tobacco or anything that contains tobacco, or smoking of any other substance, including manufactured and hand-rolled cigarettes, pipes, cigars, herbal cigarettes and water pipes (including shisha, hookah and hubble-bubble pipes).
What are the signage requirements?
Signage must comply with the Smokefree (Signs) Regulations 2012. These Regulations came into force on 1 October, 2012 and revoke the more detailed requirements for signage in The Smokefree (Signs) Regulations 2007.
At least one legible no-smoking sign must be displayed in smokefree premises and vehicles.
Signage can be provided by this authority at no charge.
How do I know if a premise is enclosed or substantially enclosed?
All enclosed and substantially enclosed public places and workplaces must be smoke free. This includes permanent and temporary structures such as tents or marquees.
Premises are enclosed if they have a ceiling or roof and, except for doors, windows and passageways, are wholly enclosed either on a temporary or permanent basis. Premises are substantially enclosed if they have a ceiling or roof, but have an opening in the walls which is less than half the total area of the walls. The area of the opening does not include doors or windows.
Do I have to provide a smoking shelter?
There is no requirement to provide a smoking shelter. If you are considering having a smoking shelter, you should ensure that it is constructed so that it is not enclosed or substantially enclosed. You may also need planning permission and building control approval.
West Somerset Council are the authority responsible for enforcing the law with environmental health staff having the power to enter all ‘no-smoking premises’ to check that the law is being complied with. They will also be able to give out fixed penalty notices to people whom they believe are breaking the law. It is an offence to not give your name and address to an enforcement officer if asked.
Offences under Smokefree legislation are:
Smoking in a smokefree place or vehicle
Failure to display ‘no-smoking’ signs
Failure to prevent smoking in a smokefree place or vehicle
Individuals who smoke in a no-smoking premise will be liable to a fixed penalty fine of £50.
A fine of up to £2,500 could be imposed on anyone who is convicted of failing to prevent smoking in a smokefree place.
Help for smokers who want to quit
SmokefreelifeSomerset – open to anyone in Somerset who would like help to stop smoking
Helpline: 0800 246 1063 or 01823 765006