Almost all enclosed public places and workplaces in England must be smoke-free by law.
This means that the majority of enclosed and substantially enclosed public places and workplaces including vehicles used for public transport and for work by more than one person must be smoke-free.
What is meant by smoking?
The law prohibits smoking any substance, including tobacco, such as:
- manufactured cigarettes
- hand-rolled cigarettes
- pipes and cigars
- water or shisha pipes
This includes being in possession of lit tobacco or any other lit substance in a form in which it could be smoked.
Three offences are associated with this new legislation:
- smoking in a smoke free place or vehicle
- not displaying appropriate no smoking signage in a smoke free place or vehicle
- allowing smoking in a smoke free place or vehicle
Exemptions are limited and relate primarily to private dwellings (not common parts such as lifts and stairwells) designated bedrooms in hotels and specified areas of other residential accommodation, such as prisons and care homes.
Failure to comply with the law will be a criminal offence. Individuals can be fined a fixed penalty of £50 for smoking in a smoke free premises (or £30 if paid within 15 days). They could also be prosecuted and face a fine of up to £200.
The management or person in control of a no smoking premises could be fined a fixed penalty of £200 (or £150 if paid within 15 days) for failing to display the appropriate no smoking signage in no smoking premises.
They could also be prosecuted and face a fine of up to £1,000. If the management or person in control of any no smoking premises fails to prevent smoking, they could be prosecuted and face a fine up to £2,500.
Vehicles used for business purposes will also be affected by the new law. These include light and heavy goods vehicles and public transport such as taxis, buses and trains. Vehicles used by more than one person for work – including voluntary work and even if used by different people at different times – must be smoke free.
Environmental Health Commercial
London Borough of Merton
Merton Civic Centre
Telephone: 020 8545 3025