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Smoke free workplace

Nearly all public places and vehicles, and work places and vehicles, in England, must be smoke free. The smoke free law was introduced to protect employees and the public from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke.

There are a few exemptions such as designated bedrooms in hotels and specified areas of other residential accommodation, such as prisons and care homes.

The law for businesses and employers

Employers, managers and those in charge of smoke free premises and vehicles are required to:

  • display the prescribed no smoking signs
  • take reasonable steps to ensure that no one smokes in smoke free premises.

Visit the Smokefree England website to find out how to keep your business smokefree

Read the government’s overview of the smoking at work law

Smoking shelters

As a business you do not have to provide outdoor smoking areas or shelters. However, if you wish to do so, please consider the following:

  • Ensure the shelter or outdoor area is not enclosed or substantially enclosed.
  • Check whether planning consent is required.
  • If your premises are licensed, are there conditions affecting use of outdoor areas?
  • Consider the potential noise impact caused by people congregating outside to smoke, particularly if the premises are open late at night or early morning.
  • Take steps to minimise litter problems caused by cigarette ends.

How the law is enforced

Our environmental health team is responsible for enforcing the law. There are four offences which may incur a fixed penalty notice (FPN) or a court fine:

Smoking in a smoke free place

  • A £50 fixed penalty notice fine. This will be reduced to £30 if paid in 15 days, or a maximum fine of £200 if prosecuted and convicted by a court.

Failure to display the correct 'No Smoking' signs.

  • A £200 fixed penalty notice fine. This will be reduced to £150 if paid in 15 days. or a maximum fine of £1000 if prosecuted and convicted by a court.

Failure to prevent smoking in a smoke free premises or area smoking

  • A maximum fine of £2,500 imposed on whoever manages or controls the smoke free premises or vehicle if prosecuted and convicted by a court. There is no fixed penalty fine for this offence.

Obstructing of an authorised officer

  • A maximum fine of £1,000 awarded by the courts.

Report smoking at work

To report anyone breaking the law, please contact our environmental health team.
Email: environmental.health@woking.gov.uk
Phone: 01483 755 855