Smoke-free enforcement

Part of: Smoke-free businesses

Our approach to ensuring businesses' compliance to smoke-free regulations is initially:

  • advisory
  • non-confrontational
  • educational

However, we must take enforcement action where there is a:

  • clear disregard for our advice
  • serious risk to the health of employees and the general public

Offences and penalties

Those who have management responsibilities risk:

  • a £200 fixed penalty notice (or penalty notice up to £1,000) for failure to display minimum 'no smoking' signs
  • having to pay up to £2,500 for failure to prevent smoking in a smoke-free place

Individuals risk: 

  • having to pay up to £200
  • a penalty notice of £50 for smoking in a smoke-free place

Smoking breaks and outside smoking areas for staff

Employers do not have to give staff regular smoking breaks.

By law, they must give staff an uninterrupted rest break of 20 minutes when their daily working time is more than 6 hours.

Staff can, of course, smoke during their rest period if they choose, but they must not smoke in an enclosed or partially enclosed area.

As an employer you might decide to allow smoking elsewhere on your premises (for example, in open car parks, grounds, or shelters).

Smoking shelters

The smoke-free legislation does not require you to provide smoking shelters in your premises. Contact us for advice before installing any smoking shelter.

Moving smokers outside can in some cases result in an increase in street noise, particularly at night.

You should consider how your customers’ noise could affect local residents and put measures in place to avoid it. You can risk having your licence reviewed if noise becomes a problem.

Contact commercial environmental health