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Smokefree Legislation – The Health Act 2006

Smokefree legislation came into force in England on 1 July 2007. Virtually all enclosed public places and workplaces will be required to be smokefree by law, and this includes vans and vehicles used for business.

A Smokefree England will ensure a healthier environment, so everyone can socialise, relax, travel, shop and work free from secondhand smoke.

Environmental Health Officers from Dudley Council are responsible for enforcing the legislation. We are working alongside Dudley Primary Care Trust to offer advice and practical support for employers and businesses.

Report breaches of the law

To report breaches of the law please:

  • Ring Smokefree England National Compliance line on 0800 587 1667

  • or contact Dudley Council using the details below.

The aim of this information is to advise business operators of the requirements of the legislation and provide guidance as well as offering contacts for support.

If someone is smoking in a smokefree place or vehicle, you should alert the manager or the person in charge of the premises or vehicle in the first instance.

What the law means

Smoking is prohibited in all enclosed or ‘substantially enclosed’ public places and workplaces by making it an offence to:

  • smoke in smokefree premises
  • permit others to smoke in smokefree premises
  • fail to display warning signs in smokefree premises

Premises are considered to be ‘substantially enclosed’ if they have a ceiling or roof, but there are openings in the walls which are less than half of the total area of the walls. This is known as the 50% rule.

Which premises are affected?

Smokefree legislation affects all premises which:

  • the public has access to; e.g. pubs, clubs, restaurants, cafes, etc
  • are being used as a place of work
  • are being used wholly or mainly for providing education, health or care services

‘Work’ also covers voluntary work, so if a village hall holds an event staffed by volunteers, it must be smokefree. If the public attended, it would be both a workplace and a public place.

Are there any exemptions?

Yes:

  • Premises which are used as a full time place of residence for extended periods, e.g. private dwellings, residential premises and designated smoking rooms in adult care homes.
  • Designated smoking rooms in hotels, hostels and bed & breakfast accommodation are also exempt since they are places where people live, even though they are not private homes.
  • Landlords’ common parts to buildings containing flats and the like, need to be smokefree.

What about vehicles?

All vehicles used for public transport, e.g. buses, trains and taxis, are also affected by the new law.

Where a vehicle is used as a workplace by more than one person, regardless of whether they are in the vehicle at the same time, it is required to be smokefree at all times. This protects shift and other workers using the same vehicle from the hazards of second-hand smoke.

What are the penalties?

The council is responsible for enforcing the smokefree law. If you don't comply with the smokefree law, you will be committing a criminal offence. Fines can be issued for the following:

  • Failing to display minimum no smoking signs

  • Failing to prevent smoking in a smoke free place

  • Smoking in smokefree premises or work vehicles

For further information on the smokefree fines please see:

 

Contact Details

  • Name Food and Consumer Safety
  • Address People Directorate, 4 Ednam Road, Dudley, West Midlands DY1 1HL
  • Telephone 0300 555 2345