This snapshot, taken on
07/04/2010
, shows web content acquired for preservation by The National Archives. External links, forms and search may not work in archived websites and contact details are likely to be out of date.
 
 
The UK Government Web Archive does not use cookies but some may be left in your browser from archived websites.
email this page

Enforcement

General

What happens if someone smokes in a smokefree place?
Who's responsible for enforcing the smokefree law?
So does that mean you'll be sending enforcement officers to every public place and workplace in the country?
What if a smoker challenges me and claims that they have the right to smoke in the workplace?
Will the police be involved in enforcement?

Penalties and fines

What are the penalty amounts?
Will fixed penalty notices be applied at the time of the offence, or at a later date?
Fines are very well, but if the publican of my local persistently fails to provide a smokefree environment, shouldn't they lose their licence?

Compliance

Who do I call if I see someone smoking?
Will all calls be reported to local authorities?
What happens if people make false complaints to the compliance line?
Do I remain anonymous?

 

General

What happens if someone smokes in a smokefree place?

Smoking in smokefree premises or vehicles is against the law. The person with management responsibility for the premises or vehicle is legally responsible for preventing smoking as well. The guidance that businesses have received from the Department of Health includes advice on the steps that can be taken if someone smokes in a smokefree place. This flowchart suggests reasonable steps that could be taken to deal with smoking in any smokefree premises or vehicle.

How to deal with smoking in a smokefree place (PDF, 48KB)

Back to top

Who's responsible for enforcing the smokefree law?

Smokefree law will be enforced by local councils and port health authorities, within the areas for which they have responsibilities. The Smokefree (Premises and Enforcement) Regulations specify the bodies that will be enforcement authorities for the smokefree law.

The approach local councils will take to enforcement is based on supporting businesses and the public to comply with the smokefree law by providing advice, support and information at first. Formal enforcement action should only be needed when the seriousness of the cases warrants such action.

If you need advice on the smokefree law, please make contact with your local council. You can find your local council on the DirectGov website here

Back to top

So does that mean you'll be sending enforcement officers to every public place and workplace in the country?

The Government expects that there will be high levels of compliance with the new smokefree law. Environmental health officers are likely to visit premises considered to be at higher risk of non-compliance, usually because they are places that people could smoke before the law comes into place.

In addition to this, members of the public may call the smokefree compliance line on 0800 587 166 7 to report possible breaches of the law and this information will be passed to local councils to look into as appropriate.

Back to top

What if a smoker challenges me and claims that they have the right to smoke in the workplace?

The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) has produced a Q&A which deals with these kinds of issues.

Click here for more information (new window)

Back to top

Will the police be involved in enforcement?

Enforcement is the responsibility of local authorities, but as with other enforcement issues, police may need to be involved in cases of public disorder, threatening behaviour or breaches of the peace.

Back to top

Penalties and fines

What are the penalty amounts?

The penalties and fines for the smokefree offences set out in the Health Act 2006 are:

  • Smoking in a smokefree premises or vehicle: a fixed penalty notice of £50 (discounted to £30 if paid within 15 days from the issue of a notice) or a fine by a court not exceeding level 1 on the standard scale (up to £200)
  • Failure to display no smoking signs in smokefree premises and vehicles as required by the new law: a fixed penalty notice of £200 (discounted to £150 if paid within 15 days from the issue of a notice) or a fine by a court not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale (up to £1000)
  • Failing to prevent smoking in a smokefree premises or vehicle: a fine by a court not exceeding level 4 on the standard scale (up to £2500)

Back to top

Will fixed penalty notices be applied at the time of the offence, or at a later date?

That will be up to the enforcement officer.

Back to top

Fines are all very well, but if the publican of my local persistently fails to provide a smokefree environment, shouldn't they lose their licence?

There is no provision in smokefree legislation for smokefree offences to result in a review of a pub's licence. We believe the penalties are a sufficient deterrent, and we expect that pubs and other hospitality venues will comply with the legislation to make their premises a healthier place to visit and work.

Back to top

Smokefree Compliance Line

Who do I call if I see someone smoking?

If you believe someone is breaking the law by smoking in a smokefree premises or vehicle, we suggest you let a member of staff know as soon as possible so the incident can be dealt with quickly.

Members of the public may alternatively call the smokefree compliance line on 0800 587 166 7 to report possible breaches of the law. Your call will be answered by a call centre operator, who will then forward the information to the relevant local councils to follow-up as appropriate.

A call to the smokefree compliance line should be approximately 3 minutes long. Information will be emailed to local authorities on a daily basis.

Back to top

Will all calls be reported to local authorities?

All calls, where enough information has been provided will be forwarded to local councils.

Back to top

What happens if people make false complaints to the compliance line?

Local councils have considerable experience of handling complaints on a wide range of issues. All valid complaints will be looked into by local councils, who will decide on the appropriate enforcement action to be taken. If employers can demonstrate that they have taken reasonable steps to comply with the smokefree law, they have nothing to fear in the unlikely event that false calls are made.

Back to top

Do I remain anonymous?

If you make a call to the smokefree compliance line, you can ask to remain anonymous. However if you wish to leave your details you may be contacted by the local authority for further information to assist them when they are looking into the matter.

  Back to top

 

England, you've done us proud - Caroline Flint, Former Min. of Public Health
Smokefree world  - view
Quickguide