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Smoke-free premises: requirements for businesses

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

  • Display “no smoking” signs to the minimum required by legislation
  • To ensure that no one smokes in smoke free premises.

No smoking signs

The prescribed no-smoking signs are to be displayed at each entrance used by people. Signage must be in a prominent position and meet the following requirements:

  • A5 in area (210mm x 148mm) and display the international non-smoking symbol at least 70mm in diameter.
  • The signage must carry the following words that can be easily read "No Smoking. It is against the law to smoke in these premises." in easy to read characters
  • Substitute words can be used for “these premises” as long as they refer to your particular premises, e.g. “this hotel”
  • A sign with only a no-smoking symbol (70mm) may be displayed as long as one A5 sign is displayed as above and they may be displayed in the following areas:
    • a) at staff entrances
    • b) at the entrance to smoke free premises within a smoke free premises, for example a bar within a train station or shop within a shopping centre.
  • Smokefree vehicles will need to display a no-smoking sign in each compartment of the vehicle in which people can be carried. This must show the international no-smoking symbol at least 70mm in diameter.

Adopting a smoke free policy

To provide staff with simple and clear information on the new law it is advised that businesses adopt a smoke free policy. This policy should:

  • Be concise and simple to understand
  • Explain the reasons for the policy
  • Acknowledge the right of employees to work in a smokefree environment
  • Make reference to the relevant smokefree legislation
  • States that the policy applies to workers at all levels as well as to visitors and customers
  • Identify where smoking is / is not permitted
  • Are concise and simple to understand
  • Identify the members of management and staff who have responsibility for the implementation of the policy
  • State how the organisation will deal with non-compliance
  • Provide information on how to obtain help to quit smoking
  • Include a consultation with members of staff
  • Are communicated to all members of staff (including new employees before they start work).

You will need to decide how to deal with non-compliance with your smokefree policy and how the policy fits within your existing health and safety as well as discipline policies.

Contact us

Environmental Health Commercial
London Borough of Merton
Merton Civic Centre
London Road

Telephone: 020 8545 3025