Since 2007, smoking has been prohibited in the UK in all indoor public places and work places, including work vehicles. The laws, implemented from the Health Act 2006, are designed to protect workers and members of the public from exposure to the harmful effects of second hand smoke. As a result, people working in bars, restaurants, pubs and other workplaces are breathing fresher and cleaner air.
Smoking is prohibited in:
- public transport
- work vehicles
There are a few exemptions:
- private dwellings
- some bedrooms in hotels
- specified areas in residential accommodation, such as prisons and care homes
The laws are enforced locally by the council who also offer advice to businesses on complying with the legislation as well as helping employees to quit smoking.
Smokefree advice to business
We aim to provide support and assistance to ensure continued compliance with the smoke free requirements. If you run a business, the exact details on what is required is contained in the regulations but you may need to consider:
Ensure your employees are aware of the smokefree requirements by developing a written smokefree policy for your workplace. You’ll need to decide how to deal with those who do not comply with the policy as well as how smokefree fits within your existing health and safety policy.
There is no legal requirement to provide smoking shelters. It is common for health-focused employers not to spend money creating places for smokers to congregate.
If you do have an outside smoking shelter or area, you will need to be sure that it is not enclosed or substantially enclosed.
Any proposals for a new shelter may be subject to other regulatory requirements such as planning consent and building control approval.
Smoking outside premises
It is common for people to stand outside to smoke, particularly around entrances and exits and in places where they can obtain shelter from the weather. This may give rise to a number of associated issues which you will need to consider including noise, litter and fire safety.
We want to create a supportive environment where people are encouraged to comply with the smokefree laws. Our approach to enforcement is non-confrontational, focused on raising awareness and understanding.
There are clear penalties including fines for offences when smoking is prohibited, but our approach will be to only consider these when efforts to encourage compliance have failed.
Smoking ban for Newark and Sherwood play areas
A voluntary smoking ban has been introduced in play areas throughout Newark and Sherwood in a bid to improve healthy living. Twenty sites are covered under the initiative which is primarily directed at parents, but also aims to cut the number of young people taking up the habit. Find out more about Smokefree Nottinghamshire and smoking and health.
We believe smokefree outdoor public places should be the standard, showing young people that smoking is the exception rather than the rule. We also hope the scheme will educate parents about the impact of second hand smoke on their children’s health.
The sites covered by the ban are:
- Balderton: Grove Street, Clipsham Close, Mead Way and Southfields
- Coddington: Thorpe Oaks Play Area
- Clipstone: Dodsley Way, Vicar Water Country Park play area, Hilcote Drive
- Edwinstowe: Fourth Avenue
- Lowdham: Old Tannery Drive play area and open space
- Newark: Tolney Lane, Newbury Road (Beacon Hill), Edgehill Drive (Beacon Hill), College Close (off Grange Road), Syerston Way, Castlefields (Wheatsheaf Avenue), Bridge Community Centre, Sconce & Devon Park enclosed play area and natural play area, Riverside Park and Sherwood Avenue.
In Newark and Sherwood, 18.3 per cent of the population smoke compared to the national average of 19.5 per cent and is below the county average of 19.4 per cent but well above the rates found in the neighbouring districts of Gedling and Rushcliffe (14.9 per cent and 14.6 per cent).
Although there is very little evidence to show that outdoor exposure to such smoke carries significant health risks, smoking is a social norm in many less affluent communities and children are more likely to grow up with family and friends who smoke and go on to become smokers themselves.
As the ban is on a voluntary basis it will rely on the goodwill of the people using the park and be supported by effective signage. Local schools have been involved in this scheme by being asked to design posters with a ‘stop smoking’ message. The best posters have been made into signs and have been erected at play parks across the district to highlight the voluntary ban.