Smoke free legislation

Since 1 July 2007 virtually all enclosed public places and workplaces in England have been required to be smoke free. A smoke free England will ensure a healthier environment, so everyone can socialise, relax, travel, shop and work free from second-hand smoke.

The key points:

• Virtually all enclosed public places and workplaces must be smoke free.

• Public transport and work vehicles used by more than one person must be smoke free

• No-smoking signs must be displayed in all smoke free premises and vehicles

• Staff smoking rooms and indoor smoking areas are no longer allowed, so anyone who wants to smoke must go outside

• Managers of smoke free premises and vehicles have legal responsibilities to prevent people from smoking

• If you are uncertain where you can or can't smoke, just look for the no-smoking signs or ask someone in charge.

What are the penalties for breaking the smoke free law?

If you don't comply with the new smoke free law, you will be committing a criminal offence. The fixed penalty notices and maximum fine for each offence are:

Smoking in smoke free premises or work vehicles: a fixed penalty notice of £50 (reduced to £30 if paid in 15 days) imposed on the person smoking. Or a maximum fine of £200 if prosecuted and convicted by a court.

Failure to display no-smoking signs: a fixed penalty notice of £200 (reduced to £150 if paid in 15 days) imposed on whoever manages or occupies the smoke free premises or vehicle. Or a maximum fine of £1000 if prosecuted and convicted by a court.

Failing to prevent smoking in a smoke free place: a maximum fine of £2500 imposed on whoever manages or controls the smoke free premises or vehicle if prosecuted and convicted by a court. There is no fixed penalty notice for this offence.

Who do I contact about non-compliance of the legislation?

Regulatory Services will investigate a complaint about failure to comply with the smoke free legislation. In order to make a complaint you must contact the Smoke Free England Compliance Line on 0800 587 1667. They will take the details of the complaint from you and pass the information to Regulatory Services within Bolton Council.

What sort of smoking is covered by the legislation?

The legislation relates to smoking of any of the following:

• tobacco

• anything that contains tobacco

• any other substance

• cigarettes including hand rolled cigarettes

• cigars

• herbal cigarettes

• pipes

• water pipes (including shisha, hookah and hubble bubble pipes)

What about a smoking shelter?

There is no requirement to provide smoking shelters. It is common fro health-focused employers not to spend money creating places for smokers to congregate. If you do have an outside smoking shelter or area, it must not be “enclosed” or “substantially enclosed”

It is likely that planning permissions will be required. For further information contact 01204 336000 or

What is the definition of “enclosed” and “substantially enclosed”?

Enclosed: Premises will be considered to be enclosed if they have ceiling or roof and, except for doors windows or passageways, are wholly enclosed, whether on a permanent or temporary basis. Tents marques or similar will also be classified as enclosed if they fall within this definition.

Substantially enclosed: Premises are substantially enclosed if they have a ceiling or roof, but there are permanent openings in the walls which are less than half of the total areas of walls, including other structures which serve the purpose of walls and constitute the perimeter of premises. This is known as the 50% rule. When determining the area of an opening, no account can be taken of openings in which doors, windows of other fittings that can be open or shut. A roof includes any fixed or moveable structures such as canvas awnings.

Smoking Related Litter

It is the premises responsibility to ensure that the exterior of the building is litter free. Bins for cigarette ends must be provided, so that staff and customers can extinguish their cigarette before entering the building. The placing of bins, ashtrays and cigarette bins may also need the approval of Highways and Planning.

What support is available for people deciding to quit smoking?

The NHS provides a wide range of excellent and easily accessible smoking cessation services. For further information contact 0800 022 4332 or


Private Dwellings

Private dwellings are not subject to the smoke free requirements, unless:

• part of the building is used solely as a place of work by people who do not live there

• during the course of the business other people are invited into that part of the building

Self-Contained Residential Accommodation

There are no legal restrictions on people smoking in self-contained residential accommodation for temporary or holiday use (e.g. holiday cottages, flats, caravans, lodges, etc.).

Hotels and Guest Houses

Managers of hotels and guest houses can designate certain bedrooms as 'smoking rooms'. The designations must be in writing and the rooms must be clearly marked as bedrooms in which smoking is permitted.

Residential Care Homes, Hospices and Prisons

Managers can designate smoking rooms and smoking bedrooms (for those aged 18 and over), however there are further regulations around ventilation. Please contact us if you need further information. The designations must be in writing and the rooms must be clearly marked as rooms in which smoking is permitted. Rooms designated for smoking (not bedrooms) should not be used for any other purpose.


Privately owned vehicles used by the owner in connection with their work, and only occasionally for conveying other people in connection with work, will not be required to be smoke free.

Other Exemptions

There are some other exemptions which apply to specialist tobacco shops, off-shore installations, artistic performances and research and testing facilities.


Regulatory Services

Ellesmere House

Mayor Street Depot

Ellesmere Street


BL3 5DT (Please note there is no visitor access at this address)

Telephone 01204 336500

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