Personal and Community Health
All public spaces and workplaces which fall under the enclosed or substantially enclosed rules are now legally considered smoke free zones. This is not only a positive with regards personal health, it also have a positive impact on the health of the community as a whole.
With this is mind we offer the help and support you need to ensure that smoke free is as successful as it possibly can be.
Guidance Concerning the Smoke Free Legislation
In the April prior to the Smoke Free law going live in July 2007 the Government sent out full guidance packs out to all actively trading businesses which had been registered with Companies House.
This pack contains full details of the legislation, an employer’s responsibilities, examples of appropriate signage, a sample smoke free policy and more.
Two easy to understand PDF guides which may be used when speaking to businesses or members or the public about the ins and outs of the Smoke Free law are below.
Your Guide to the Smoke Free Law (geared towards businesses) may be downloaded here.
How Will the New Smoke Free Law Affect You (geared towards individuals) may be downloaded here.
As all businesses are different it might be advisable to contact your local council for specific issues and queries.
How is the Smoke Free Law Enforced
The regulations in place for the Smoke Free law are legally binding therefore those not adhering to these are breaking the law which is of course a criminal offence. There are a number of fixed penalty notices which may be given out dependant on the level of non-compliance and cases may be referred to court for prosecution and larger fines if necessary.
With this in mind it is still worth noting that is not the police as it your local council authority who are responsible for enforcing the Smoke Free law in your locality.
Fortunately, much in the same way that other countries and nations who have adopted Smoke Free law have found, the UK citizens have proven to be able to largely adhere to the new rules without much concern. This self-management is what has kept the number of fixed penalties being issued at a low level.
While the official enforcement of the legislation comes from the council, business owners and employers have a responsibility to ensure their premises remain smoke free and individuals must also take responsibility for their own compliance.
To support employers wishing to adhere to the legislation a booklet is available which looks at how to deal with an employee who does not follow the rules in place by smoking in their workplace vehicle or restricted areas.
The flow chart below provides a template of sorts via which employers may put together their own specific disciplinary policy for non-compliance.
Download the “How to Deal with Smoking in a Smoke Free Place” (PDF) here.
If an individual is concerned with a premises not adhering to Smoke Free legislation they may report this to the manager, owner or staff at the place in question or contact the Smoke Free Compliance Line. The Compliance Line (0800 587 1667) is designed to accurately record any concerns individuals have regarding non-compliance and report these to the local council governing the area so that they may be followed up as necessary
Smoke Free Law and Associated Fines and Penalties
When choosing not to adhere to the regulations as set out in the Smoke Free law both business owners and individuals are choosing to break the law.
Local councils are responsible for enforcing the legislation and as such have the power to offer a range of fixed penalty fines or refer a case if required to court for formal prosecution.
The fines are as below:
A £50 fine (£30 if paid within 15 days) for individuals smoking in the workplace, including work vehicles. If referred to court the maximum fine is £200.
A £200 fine (£150 if paid in full within 15 days) for those failing to display the appropriate no smoking signage as set out in the Smoke Free law regulations. If referred to court the maximum allowable fine is £1000 if prosecuted.
A maximum court-applied fine of £2500 may be given to those in charge failing to ensure a smoke free zone by not taking all reasonable and practical actions as set out in the Smoke Free regulations. There is no fixed penalty fine for this level of offence.
Help and Support for Stopping Smoking
The Smoke Free law, dramatically cutting the number of opportunities a smoker may smoke a tobacco product during the day as well as working to promote wiser health choices could actually help motivate those thinking about quitting smoking. With as many as 70% of smokers surveyed stating that they would like to give up it is important that a individuals, communities and employers are aware of what support is out there.
Anyone wanting to give up smoking would be wise to call the NHS Stop Smoking Helpline (on 0800 169 0 169), text GIVE UP and their full postcode to 88088, visit gosmokefree.co.uk or ask for advice regarding local Stop Smoking sessions and services at the GP Centre.
Additionally the NHS Smoking Helpline have trained advisors ready to speak to individuals, offering guidance and support between 7am and 11pm.
Those looking to give up smoking have a wide number of support avenues open to them and having no smoking designated areas in and around work as well as in the public areas such as pubs and restaurants makes giving up and avoiding temptation that much easier.