Smoke Free England
What this means for pubs
- What pubs are covered by the legislation?
- What do 'enclosed' and 'substantially enclosed' mean?
- What will the legislation mean in practice?
- What about outdoor smoking areas?
- Do employers have to provide smoking breaks or outside smoking areas?
- My home is above the pub, does it have to be smokefree too?
- What about pubs with accommodation?
- What are the penalties for non compliance?
- Is there help for staff to stop smoking?
- Can I get help to make my pub smokefree?
A law requiring smokefree environments in workplaces in England, including pubs, came into effect on 1 July 2007. The legislation ensures that workers, including those in pubs, are protected from the risks to health from tobacco smoke and are guaranteed their right to work in a smokefree environment.
The legislation covers all pubs. Pubs will not be allowed to have designated smoking areas in enclosed areas and in structures which are ‘substantially enclosed’.
Enclosed: the premises has a ceiling or roof and is wholly enclosed, whether on a permanent or temporary basis, e.g. tents and marquees
Substantially enclosed: (also called the 50% rule) the structure has ceiling or roof and there are openings in the walls which are less than half the perimeter of the walls. Doors and windows (e.g. patio doors) are not classed as ‘’openings’’ but as part of a wall. For more detailed information see the Smokefree England website (external link).
It requires a pub manager/owner to:
Ensure all enclosed and substantially enclosed premises are smokefree.
Display ‘No-smoking’ signage at the public entrances of the pub. Signage will be available free by registering on the Smokefree England website (external link).
Take reasonable steps to ensure that staff and customers are aware that the premises is legally required to be smokefree to abide by the law.
Here are some of the issues to consider in order to designate an outdoor drinking area for smoking:
See if your alcohol license extends to outside areas. If not, you will need to apply to the local council.
If the outdoor area is licensed, check the permitted hours. If the outdoor area has an earlier closing time than the bar, customers cannot take their drink with them after the permitted time when going out for a cigarette.
Drinking outside will generate noise and litter and may also cause light pollution, which might result in neighbours raising objections to the council.
If you want to erect a structure where people can smoke and drink, such as a portico, awning or covered terrace with floodlighting, you will need planning permission from the local council.
No on both counts. By law, employers must give staff an uninterrupted rest break of 20 minutes when their daily working time is more than six hours, Staff can, of course, smoke during their rest period, if they choose- but they must not smoke in an enclosed or partially enclosed area. As an employer you must decide whether or not to permit smoking elsewhere on your premises e.g. in open car parks, grounds, or shelters and you should indicate where smoking is allowed in your smoking policy.
No, the legislation does not cover residential space.
While the smokefree legislation does not guarantee that people will get a smokefree hotel room, the regulations require hotel rooms that are not smokefree to be clearly signposted as ‘smoking rooms’ and that their ventilation systems do not link into smokefree areas.
Failure to display minimum no smoking signs: up to £1000 or £200 fixed penalty notice.
Smoking in a no smoking place: up to £200 or a penalty notice of £50.
Failing to prevent smoking in a smokefree place: up to £2500.
The NHS offers a wide range of excellent free and easily accessible support for smokers including local Stop Smoking Services, the NHS Smoking Helpline on 0800 169 0169 and nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) on prescription.
Yes – log onto the Smokefree England website (external link) or call the Smokefree England Information Line 0800 169 1697 and register for the latest updates and free resources.
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