The Exemptions to the Smoke Free Law

Which Premises Are Exempt from the Smoke Free Restrictions

There are very few places which are exempt from the Smoke Free legislation however those which are may be found in the Smoke Free (Exemptions and Vehicles) Regulations.

Common exemptions include bedrooms in some hotels, care homes, prisons and hospices. Usually these restrictions are lifted only in specified areas and not the building as a whole. Policies within the organisation / premises themselves may also impose restrictions for health and safety reasons.

Additionally there is some scope for artistic performers (actors, musicians, comedians etc) to smoke on stage only as part of their act and only when this is deemed necessary from an artist point of view i.e. that it forms part of the script or similar.

How Might Visitors Be Sure Their Hotel Room is Truly Smoke Free

While the Smoke Free legislation does not force hotels to make available smoke free rooms for customers hoteliers do have to inform potential guests whether their room has been smoked in or whether it is a smoke free room. Rooms which allow smoking must be clearly marked as such.

May Health Visitors Ask Clients to Stop Smoking During Home Visits

The Smoke Free legislation does not give health visitors or indeed anyone the power to stop an individual from smoking while in their own home. If concerned about the issue advice and support might be found via the Royal College of Nursing’s “Protecting Community Staff From Exposure to Second Hand Smoke:RCN Best Practice Guide for Staff and Managers”. This provides excellent guidance on how community workers may avoid the risks posed to health from second hand smoke.

Working in Other People’s Homes

Community workers and support staff, indeed anyone who works in someone else’s private dwelling are not prohibited by the Smoke Free legislation which governs workplaces. TUC guidance however (Trade Union Congress) may prove invaluable on how to approach this issue.