From 1 July 2007, the Health Act 2006 made virtually all indoor public places and workplaces, including work vehicles, smokefree.
Smoking is prohibited in all enclosed or ‘substantially enclosed’ public places and workplaces by making it an offence to:
Premises will be considered to be ‘substantially enclosed’ if they have a ceiling or roof, but there are openings in the walls which are less than half of the total area of the walls.
Smokefree legislation applies to premises:
‘Work’ also covers voluntary work, so if a village hall holds an event staffed by volunteers, it would have to be smokefree. If the public attended, it would be both a workplace and a public place.
All vehicles used for public transport, for example; buses, trains and taxis, are affected by the law. 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 will be required to be smokefree at all times. This protects shift and other workers using the same vehicle from the hazards of second-hand smoke.
Private dwellings (which includes holiday cottages and caravans and associated buildings such as garages that are for the exclusive use of the persons living in the dwelling) do not have to be smokefree. In addition, the regulations do not restrict people from smoking in their private accommodation even if it is used for work providing the work is personal care or maintenance work. Providers of such services will have to consider how to protect their staff and negotiate private agreements with staff and clients about smoking while the care or maintenance is being carried out.
Common parts in residential premises such as stairwells or workplaces such as lift motor rooms will have to be smokefree.
The regulations allow for designated bedrooms in hotels, guest houses, hostels, members clubs etc to be not smokefree if they meet certain conditions, including being designated in writing by the person in charge of the premises. Shared rooms such as dormitories must always be smokefree.
In other residential situations such as prisons, care homes, hospices etc the regulations allow either for designated bedrooms or other designated rooms to be used only for smoking.
The Council’s enforcement staff will work closely with businesses to raise awareness of the legislation. This approach will be complemented by visits which will either be proactive to confirm compliance, or reactive in response to complaints.
Prosecution or the use of fixed penalty notices will be a last resort and used only when the seriousness of the situation warrants.
For help in putting together a smoking policy for your business or helping staff to give up call the Kingston and Richmond Stop Smoking Service on 020 8973 3073.
Information and guidance on planning and Building Regulations requirements is available from our Planning and Building Control Teams.
We have produced a Planning Guidance Note: "Going Smokefree - A Planning Advice Note on Smoking Shelters and Other Features(pdf, 23KB)".
For more information on other issues related to the new smokefree legislation please visit the associated smokefree issues page
For more information on smoking shelters or other aspects of the ban, please contact the team at:
Regulatory Services Partnership
Merton Civic Centre
Telephone: 020 8545 3025
For information on how the Smokefree legislation may affect planning applications, please contact the Planning Support Centre:
Telephone: 020 8891 1411
Information on how the Smokefree legislation may affect Building Regulations, please contact the Building Control Team
Telephone: 020 8891 1411
Up to date developments on the regulations and other resources are also available on the smokefreeengland website
Updated: 18 March 2019