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The Smoking Ban - how will it affect you?


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From Sunday 1st July, 2007 smoking will be banned in all public indoor places and workplaces. This will include areas such as offices, factories and other workplaces, pubs, restaurants and nightclubs. This legislation will affect everyone, whether you are employed, operate a business or as a member of the public.

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If you are in charge of public premises and you fail to stop someone smoking, you can expect to face a £2,500 fine. If you fail to display no-smoking signs, you can be charged on-the-spot fines of £200 or Court Fines of up to £1000.

Employers, managers and those in charge of smoke-free premises and vehicles will need to:

  • Display 'no-smoking' signs in smoke-free premises and vehicles

  • Take reasonable steps to ensure that staff, customers/members and visitors are aware that premises and vehicles are smoke-free

  • Remove any existing indoor smoking rooms

  • Ensure that no one smokes in smoke-free premises or vehicles

Which places must be Smoke-free?
The new smoke-free law will apply to virtually all 'enclosed' and 'substantially enclosed' public places and workplaces. This includes both permanent structures and temporary ones such as tents and marquees. This also means that indoor smoking rooms in public places and workplaces will no longer be allowed. The new law will also require vehicles to be smoke-free at all times if they are used:

  • To transport members of the public

  • In the course of paid or voluntary work by more than one person - regardless of whether they are in the vehicle at the same time.

What Signage do I have to display?
The new law will require no-smoking signs to be displayed in all smoke-free premises and vehicles. Signs will make it clear which premises and vehicles are smoke-free and demonstrate that you are taking the necessary steps to meet the requirements of the new law.

To ensure employees are aware of smoke-free legislation and changes to your workplace you may wish to consider developing a written smoke-free policy for your workplace. You will need to decide how to deal with non-compliance with your smoke free policy and how the policy fits within your existing health and safety as well as disciplinary policies.

How will the Law be Enforced?
Local councils will be responsible for enforcing the new law in England. However, if you manage or are in charge of any premises or vehicles to which the new law applies, you will have a legal responsibility to ensure they become and remain smoke-free. Therefore, you will need to be prepared to take action if someone does smoke in a smoke-free place.

Smoking outside your Premises
Businesses will become responsible for cigarette butts discarded by their employees on pavements outside offices from summer 2007 under plans published by the Government recently. The new powers would give local authorities the power to require the occupiers or owners to clear up litter in the immediate area of their premises and to install disposal facilities or risk a fixed penalty notice of up to up to £110.

Individuals may already face £80 fixed penalty notices, but these plans would give companies responsibility for their employees’ litter as well. Discarded cigarette ends will be subject to the extended power after specifically being classified as litter under the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005.

Newflame’s Health and Safety Adviser, Rob Morrison, cautions, “Remember those in charge of the premises could face a £2,500 fine if they fail to stop employees or visitors smoking in non-smoking areas. They could also be charged on-the-spot fines of £150 if they fail to display no-smoking signs, with the penalty increasing to £1,000 if the case goes to court. Those caught smoking in a banned area can face fines of £30 rising to a court award of £200, if applicable.”

The Government has produced an official guide which explains what you need to know about the new law and what you will have to do to comply with it.

For more information visit - www.smokefreeengland.co.uk

Peterborough UK Community Website - June 2007

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