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​​​Smoke Free Gloucestershire

The Health Act 2006 came into force on the 1 July 2007 and made it an offence for people to smoke within enclosed public places. The Act protects the public from the harmful effects of second hand smoke.

All enclosed public places, work places, public and work vehicles are required to be smoke free. People that manage these premises and vehicles have a legal duty to prevent smoking and to ensure that no-smoking signs are displayed.

Smoking shelters

There is no requirement for managers 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. Otherwise, it will still need to be smoke free. You may also need planning permission and building control approval.

Definitions of enclosed and 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.

Working from home

In general, the law does not apply to private dwellings. However, if part of a dwelling is used solely for work purposes, by at least one person that does not live at the dwelling, or members of the public enter that part then it is required to be smoke free. Communal stairwells, lifts in blocks of flats and public areas in residential accommodation must also be smoke free.

Smoke free vehicles

All forms of public transport are required to be smoke free. Work vehicles are required to be smoke free if they are used for paid or voluntary work by more than one person, regardless of whether they are in the vehicle at the same time. Vehicles used primarily for private purposes are not required to be smoke free.

Smoke free signs

All smoke free premises are required to display no-smoking signs in a prominent position. The signs must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • Be at least A5 in size (210mm x 148mm)
  • Display the international no-smoking symbol at least 70mm in diameter
  • Carry the following words in characters that can be easily read: NO SMOKING. It is against the law to smoke in these premises.

Substitute wording can be used for these premises provided that they refer to the name and type of the particular premises e.g. this hotel.

A smaller sign consisting of just the international no-smoking symbol may be displayed at entrances used by staff only, providing the main entrance has the larger sign.

For further information, look at the Smokefree England website

Enforcement

The council is responsible for enforcing the Health Act 2006. Premises are routinely inspected as part of workplace health and safety and food hygiene inspections. In response to complaints, council officers will inspect the premises

Penalties

The table below lists the three offences, liability, fixed penalty amounts and the maximum penalty upon summary conviction. Fixed penalties must be paid within 28 days but, if paid within 15 days, a reduced amount applies.

OffenceWho is liableFixed penaltyReduced fixed penaltyMaximum penalty
Smoking in a smoke free placeAnyone who smokes in a smoke free place£50£30£200
Failure to display no-smoking signsAnyone who manages or occupies the smoke free premises or vehicle£200£150£1,000
Failing to prevent smoking in a smoke free placeAnyone who manages or controls the smoke free premises or vehicleNoneNone£2,500

Managing smoke free premises and vehicles

As a manager, you need to be prepared to take action if someone smokes in a place that you are responsible for. Our advice is to:

  • Draw the person's attention to the no-smoking signs and ask them to stop smoking or to go outside
  • Point out that they are committing a criminal offence by smoking there
  • Advise the person that the law places you under a duty to prevent them from smoking and that you could both receive a fine
  • You should consider not serving a customer who commits an offence and can ask them to leave your premises. If an employee commits an offence, you may wish to take disciplinary action.

If a person smoking threatens physical violence, we suggest you seek assistance from the police. You should not put yourself, or your staff, in danger.

Exemptions

Very few premises are exempt from the requirement to be smoke free and those that do have to adhere to strict conditions. Exemptions include:

  • Designated smoking bedrooms in hotels, inns, hostels, guesthouses, and members' clubs
  • Designated smoking rooms in care homes, hospices and prisons for use by those aged over 18
  • Specialist tobacconist shops

Shish​a

Shisha or Sheesha is a fruit scented tobacco often smoked through an ornate waterpipe. Further information​.

Help for smokers who want to quit

The NHS offers a wide range of excellent, free and easily accessible support for smokers. For further information, visit the Stop Smoking Support website​.​

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