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Smokefree regulations

On 1 July 2007 it became illegal to smoke in virtually all enclosed public places and workplaces in England.

The Government introduced this law with the aim that there will be a healthier environment where everyone can socialise, relax, travel, shop and work free from any second-hand smoke.

Employers, managers and those in charge of smokefree premises and vehicles have to:

  • display no smoking signs in smokefree premises;
  • take reasonable steps to ensure that staff, customers and visitors are aware that premises and vehicles are legally required to be smokefree;
  • ensure that no one smokes in smokefree premises or vehicles.

Only a few specific types of premises are exempt from the ban but this does not include pubs, private members’ clubs, restaurants or offices. A system of fines has been introduced for people breaking the law and officers from our Food and Safety team are enforcing the ban.

What if I see someone breaking the law?

If you believe someone is breaking the law by smoking in smokefree premises or a smokefree vehicle, we suggest you let a member of staff know as soon as possible so the incident can be dealt with quickly.

Alternatively, you can call the national Smokefree Compliance Line free on 0800 587 1667 to report any premises. Your call will be answered by a call centre operator, who will then forward the information to the relevant local council to follow-up as appropriate.

Guidance on the smokefree regulations

The Smokefree England website is still a helpful guide to the legislation and provides a lot of useful resources although it has now been archived by the Government. As the site has been archived some of the information and contact details may not be up-to-date.

The requirements for the display of no-smoking signs changed on 1 October 2012.

Other sources of advice and information

Information and services to help people stop smoking are available from:

If you are in charge of smokefree premises and intend to provide a smoking shelter for your employees or customers you may need planning permission.