Environmental Health

Frequently Asked Questions for this Service

Question: What is meant by "wholly enclosed" and "substantially enclosed" in Smokefree legislation?

Answer: This relates to an area with a ceiling or roof that, except for doors, windows or passageways, is either wholly enclosed (whether permanently or temporarily); or is enclosed apart from an opening which is less than half the total area of its walls. A legal definition is set out in the regulations.

Note: A roof includes any fixed or movable structures, such as caravan awnings.

To view the Government’s guidance document – ‘Everything you need to Prepare for the New Smokefree Law’ please follow the link below.
- Related Link

Has this FAQ answered your query?

Question: Where can I get further information on the Smokefree legislation?

Answer: Smokefree England has been designed to be the information hub housing all of the information and resources relating to the legislation. To view the Smokefree England website, please follow the link below. - Related Link

Has this FAQ answered your query?

Question: What sort of smoking does the Smokefree Legislation cover?

Answer: The legislation covers tobacco or anything that contains tobacco, including herbal; or smoking any other substance, including manufactured cigarettes, hand-rolled cigarettes, pipes and cigars. These are all prohibited when lit, even if the person is not smoking at the time.

For more information please visit the Smokefree England website by following the link below.
- Related Link

Has this FAQ answered your query?

Question: As an employer what do I have to do to comply with the Smokefree legislation

Answer: Employers, managers and those in control of no-smoking premises will need to display no-smoking notices and to take reasonable steps to ensure that staff, customers, members of the public and visitors do not smoke in their premises. We recommend the following minimum action:

• display no-smoking notices and signage (as specified in the regulations and guidance) so that they are clearly visible to all employees, customers and visitors while they are in the premises;

• develop and implement a smoke free policy;

• remove all ashtrays from premises;

• inform anyone smoking that he/she is committing an offence;

• request that they extinguish their smoking material immediately or leave;

• and refuse service if a customer continues to smoke.

To view the Government’s guidance document – ‘Everything you need to Prepare for the New Smokefree Law’ please follow the link below.
- Related Link

Has this FAQ answered your query?

Question: I run a pub where customers want to smoke. How can I be expected to make them stop?

Answer: If you take all reasonable measures to prevent smoking and the customer will not extinguish his or her cigarette/ cigar/ pipe or leave the premises, you will not be liable under the legislation. If after you have taken these steps the person still refuses to stop smoking, you will need to implement your normal procedure for anti-social/ illegal behaviour in the premises. In any case where physical violence or intimidation is threatened, seek the assistance of the police.

Has this FAQ answered your query?

Question: Why do we need Smokefree legislation?

Answer: The law is to protect people in enclosed public places and workplaces from the harmful effects of second hand smoke.

Has this FAQ answered your query?

Question: Who will enforce the Smokefree law?

Answer: Authorised officers of the Council have powers to enter premises in order to establish that the smokefree legislation is being complied with in accordance with the law. It is an offence:

• to smoke in smoke free premises;

• for managers of smoke free premises to permit others to smoke within the premises;

• for managers of smoke free premises to not display necessary no-smoking signs at the premises.

Authorised officers are also able to give out fixed penalty notices to people whom they believe are committing, or have committed, an offence under the legislation.


Has this FAQ answered your query?

Question: Can we have a designated smoking room?

Answer: No. Only a complete ban on smoking in enclosed areas will reduce exposure to second-hand smoke. This means that the provision of smoking rooms inside workplaces is no longer allowed.

Has this FAQ answered your query?

Question: I have a very small business with only a couple of employees who smoke. Does the law still apply to me?

Answer: Yes, if your business is wholly or substantially enclosed.

To view the Government’s guidance document – ‘Everything you need to Prepare for the New Smokefree Law’, which includes information what is meant by ‘wholly or substantially enclosed’, please follow the link below. - Related Link

Has this FAQ answered your query?

Question: I lease out self-catering accommodation, is this affected by the legislation?

Answer: No. Self-contained short term rental accommodation is not required to be smoke-free but providers retain the right to choose to offer non-smoking accommodation.

Has this FAQ answered your query?

Question: How does the Smokefree legislation affect private clubs, e.g. rugby clubs, snooker clubs, golf clubs, working men's clubs etc.?

Answer: Premises in respect of which a club premises certificate has effect are explicitly covered by the Smokefree legislation and cannot be exempted.

Has this FAQ answered your query?

Question: Am I obliged to provide external smoking shelters for any of my staff or customers who smoke?

Answer: No. However, you may wish to review your smoking policy and discuss with your staff how best to meet their needs within the Smokefree legislation. If your staff want help to stop smoking, they can phone the Smokers Helpline 0300 123 1044.

Has this FAQ answered your query?

Question: Are there any exemptions to the Smokefree legislation?

Answer: Only a few exemptions exist, mainly on humanitarian grounds or to cover workplaces which are also a person's place of residence. These include:

• designated rooms in adult residential care homes but not common parts such as stairs and lifts;

• designated rooms in residential mental health treatment settings;

• designated hotel bedrooms.
- Related Link

Has this FAQ answered your query?

Question: I am a taxi driver, can I smoke in my own vehicle if I don't have any passengers?

Answer: No. Under the Smokefree regulations, all vehicles used for public transport will be required to be smoke free at all times.

This will mean that a member of the public can be sure that the public transport they use will be free from hazardous second-hand smoke at all times.
- Related Link

Has this FAQ answered your query?

Question: Do the regulations include all company vehicles?

Answer: 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 all workers who use the vehicle from harmful secondhand smoke, regardless of when they use the vehicle. Smoking will be permitted in vehicles that are for the sole use of the driver and are not used as a workplace by anyone else, either as a driver or passenger. - Related Link

Has this FAQ answered your query?

Question: Can I smoke in my privately owned vehicle?

Answer: Yes, the regulations do not extend to vehicles used for private purposes. However, as of the 1st October 2015, it became illegal to smoke in a car (or other vehicle) with anyone under the age of 18.

Has this FAQ answered your query?

Question: I work from home, is it required to be smokefree?

Answer: It depends. Any part of a private dwelling that is used solely as a place of work may be required to be smoke free if it is used by more than one person. More details can be found on the Smokefree England website by following the link below. - Related Link

Has this FAQ answered your query?

Question: Sometimes smoke blows back through my office window. Can they be made to smoke away from the building?

Answer: The provisions made under the Smokefree legislation only pertain to enclosed and substantially enclosed workplaces and public places. Employers and business owners will need to consider issues as they arise and seek the most appropriate action. - Related Link

Has this FAQ answered your query?

Question: I am a health visitor, can I insist the client stop smoking when I visit them at home?

Answer: The regulations do not require that people stop smoking in their homes. You might find the advice in The Royal College of Nursing’s guide "Protecting community staff from exposure to second-hand smoke: RCN best practice guide for staff and managers” helpful for how community-based staff can be protected from second-hand smoke during their work. The guide can be found by following the link below. - Related Link

Has this FAQ answered your query?

Question: Who do I call if I see someone smoking?

Answer: It is possible to report non-compliance to the Smoke Free Compliance phone line on 0800 587 1667. - Related Link

Has this FAQ answered your query?

Question: How can I get the right signage?

Answer: Signs are available as a free download from the Smokefree England website by following the link below. Signage is also sold through commercial providers. - Related Link

Has this FAQ answered your query?

Question: What can the Council do about filthy and/or verminous premises?

Answer: We are required by the Public Health Act 1936 to investigate any premises brought to our attention that are suspected to be filthy and/or verminous. Once notified of such, an officer will carry out an inspection of the premises to determine what action may be required.

Filthy and/or verminous premises are often indicative of other underlying issues. We deal with such instances sensitively, working in partnership with Social Services and other organisations. We will offer advice and assistance and try to obtain the agreement of the homeowner to remove rubbish, treat for vermin and to thoroughly clean the property. In the event that we cannot gain agreement we can, where appropriate, serve a statutory notice requiring the owner to clean the premises and to eradicate any vermin.

Failing to comply with such a notice may result in prosecution or the Council carrying out any necessary works in default (i.e. by appointing a contractor to clean out the property) and recovering all reasonable costs from the homeowner.


Has this FAQ answered your query?

Question: I want to provide external smoking shelters where my staff and customers can smoke. How should I go about this?

Answer: You will need to ensure that what you are proposing complies with the law, i.e. is not wholly or substantially enclosed. The definition is set out in the regulations. If you wish to erect a smoking shelter you should seek local planning advice on the issue, in case what you have in mind requires planning or building consent.

To view the Government’s guidance document – ‘Everything you need to Prepare for the New Smokefree Law’, which includes information on what constitutes ‘wholly or substantially enclosed’ please follow the link below.
- Related Link

Has this FAQ answered your query?

Question: Where is smoking banned?

Answer: All public places and workplaces including company vehicles that are wholly or substantially enclosed. For example restaurants, pubs, bars, shops, cinemas, shopping centres, leisure centres, other enclosed workplaces and public transport.

To view the Government’s guidance document – ‘Everything you need to Prepare for the New Smokefree Law’, which includes information on what is meant by ‘wholly or substantially enclosed’, please follow the link below. - Related Link

Has this FAQ answered your query?