The Legislation ensures virtually all public places and workplaces are smokefree.  This reduces everyone's exposure to the harmful effects of secondhand smoke, as well as providing smokers who want to quit with a more supportive environment to do so.

Where can I get further advice?

Contact your local authority on Bath 477000 and ask to speak to the lead officer on 'Smokefree Public Places'

Contact B&NES PCT for advice on support to stop smoking, workplace information etc

The links on this page may also be helpful.

The smokefree link has information for workplaces including useful contacts and a template for a smoke free policy.

Details of the local support to stop smoking service are available on the link to the PCT


Materials to help you comply with smokefree law can be downloaded in PDF format on the right of this page 

All smokefree premises and vehicles need to display no-smoking signs to meet the requirements of the law. Signs will make it clear which premises and vehicles are smokefree and demonstrate that you are taking the necessary steps to meet the requirements of the law

  • Smokefree premises sign must be at least A5 in area (210mm x 148mm).
  • The international no-smoking symbol in both signs must be at least 70mm in diameter.
  • Both signs must be printed in colour (red and black on a white background).

You are free to design and print your own no-smoking signs as long as they meet the minimum requirements. These can be personalised by changing the words 'these premises' to refer to the name or type of premises, for example, 'this gym', 'this salon' or 'this restaurant'. Some examples can be downloaded from this page, but you are also free to design your own.

No Smoking Sign - Bus Shelter

No Smoking Sign - Cafe

No Smoking Sign - Doorway

No Smoking Sign - Hotel

No Smoking Sign - Pub

No Smoking Sign - A5

No Smoking Sign - Symbol Only


Hotels and Guesthouses

The Health Act (2006) now requires almost all enclosed public and work places to be smokefree.  

What does this mean for hotels, guesthouses and B&Bs?

The legislation ensures that workers, are protected from the risks to health from tobacco smoke and are guaranteed the right to work in a smokefree environment.

What accommodation is covered by the legislation?

The legislation covers all premises providing accommodation. Existing designated communal smoking areas for guests that are ‘enclosed’ or ‘substantially enclosed’, are no longer be allowed. This means that public areas such as reception, dining, drinking and waiting areas are legally required to be smokefree.

What do ‘enclosed’ and ‘substantially enclosed’ mean?

Enclosed: the premises has a ceiling or roof and is wholly enclosed, whether on a permanent or temporary basis, e.g. tents, marquees, conservatories, internal rooms.

Substantially Enclosed: the structure has a ceiling or roof and there are openings in the walls which are less than half the area of the perimeter  walls. This is known as the ‘50% rule’.

Must hotels have only smokefree bedrooms?

The smokefree legislation allows hotels to designate bedrooms where smoking is permitted for guests who are residing at the premises. 

However, all other areas of the hotel must be smokefree including common hallways, lounges, bars etc. When designating smoking bedrooms bear in mind that  over 75% of the population are non-smokers and are likely to require smokefree accommodation.

NB: You are under no obligation to provide designated ‘smoking bedrooms’. You may wish to run a completely smokefree business.

In practice what does the legislation mean?

It requires a hotel manger/ proprietor to:

  • Ensure all enclosed and substantially enclosed premises and work vehicles used by more than one person, are smokefree
  • Display ‘no smoking’ signage at the public entrances and in work vehicles. Signage is available free by registering with
  • Ensure that bedrooms that are not smokefree are clearly signed as ‘smoking rooms’. These bedrooms must not have a ventilation system that links to a smokefree area and they must have doors which close mechanically to prevent smoke drifting
  • Keep a list of bedrooms designated for smoking for inspection purposes if requested by an enforcement officer
  • Take reasonable steps to ensure that staff and customers are aware that the premises is legally required to be smokefree and that they comply with the law

What about outdoor smoking areas for pubs and restaurants within the hotel or guesthouse?

There are a number of issues you may need to consider before designating an outside smoking area:

  • Does your license extend to outside areas? If not, you will need to apply for a variation
  • If the outside area is licensed, check the permitted hours. If the outdoor area has an earlier closing time than the bar, customers cannot take drinks outside with them after the permitted time when going outside for a cigarette.
  • Drinking outside will generate noise, litter and light pollution. This may result in neighbours raising objection with the local council
  • If you decide to erect a structure where people can smoke, it is likely you will need planning permission, listed building consent  or building regulations

Do employers have to provide smoking breaks or outside smoking areas?

No. Staff can smoke during their rest period if they choose, but they must not smoke in enclosed or substantially enclosed areas. Employers must decide whether or not to permit smoking elsewhere on the premises.

NB: Employers are under no obligation to provide a smoking shelter.

My Home is in the hotel/ guesthouse. Does it have to be smokefree too?

No. The legislation does not cover private residential space. However any room in your home used as a workplace that may be accessible to workers or work related business, will need to be smokefree and display the appropriate signage.

Failure to comply with the smokefree legislation will be a criminal offence!

For more information or guidance on the smokefree legislation go to or telephone 0800 587 1667 


The Health Act (2006) requires all enclosed public and work places to be smokefree.  This also includes vehicles used for public transport.

The legislation ensures that:

  • All workers are protected from the risks to health from tobacco smoke and are guaranteed their right to work in a smokefree environment.
  • All members of the public will have access to public transport that is smoke-free, regardless of when or where they use it in England.

Are taxis & mini cabs covered by the legislation?

The legislation covers all taxi and mini cabs. Any commercial vehicle carrying members of the public will be required to be smokefree at all times. The legislation requires a manager to:

  • Ensure all commercial vehicles used to transport members of the public are smokefree
  • Display ‘no-smoking’ signs in a prominent position in all vehicles. The sign should include the international red ‘no smoking’ symbol. If vehicles are already displaying ‘no smoking’ signs, they will not need to replace them with new ones.
  • Take reasonable steps to ensure that employees and customers are aware that vehicles used for public transport are legally required to be smokefree.

Can a taxi / mini cab driver smoke in their vehicle if they don’t have any passengers?

No. The legislation requires all vehicles used for public transport to be smokefree at all times.

Can drivers smoke in their own private vehicle?

Yes, the regulations do not extend to vehicles, including rental or leased vehicles, used solely for private purposes and which are not used for public transport.

Does the office need to be smokefree?

Yes if it is used as a workplace by more than one person or if visited by members of the public and employees in the course of their work. The office is covered by the legislation. This means that employers need to:

  • Ensure that the office premises are smokefree at all times
  • Display the mandatory A5 ‘no smoking’ sign at every public entrance to the premises. All other entrances need only carry a sign similar to that for vehicles used for public transport, ie. carrying the international red ‘No smoking’ sign.
  • Take reasonable steps to ensure that staff and customers visiting the office are aware that the premises are legally required to be smokefree.

Do employers have to provide smoking breaks or outside smoking areas?

No. Staff can smoke during their rest period if they choose, but they must not smoke in an enclosed or substantially enclosed area. Employers must decide whether or not to permit smoking elsewhere on the premises. (Employers are under no obligation to provide a smoking shelter.)

Failure to comply with the smokefree legislation will be a criminal offence!

  • Failure to display minimum no smoking signs: £200 fixed penalty notice, or up to £1000 if it goes to court
  • Smoking in a no-smoking place: a fixed penalty notice of £50
  • Failing to prevent smoking in a smokefree place: up to £2500.

Can I get help to make my company smokefree?

Yes - log onto


Smoking in the Workplace 

Smoking in the workplace has always been a difficult issue for employers to deal with, and as evidence grows about the negative effects on health for people who are exposed to second hand smoke (passive smoking), this doesn’t get any easier.

Every year there are more deaths associated with exposure to tobacco smoke in the workplace than any other cause. 

Smoking affects businesses in many ways:

  • it is a cost issue,
  • a health & safety issue
  • a personnel issue.

The benefits to businesses of Smokefree policies include:

  • Better corporate image
  • Reduced absenteeism and increased production
  • Improved staff morale, better morale means less staff turnover 
  • Reduced decorating costs - maintenance- redecorating, damage to furniture, office cleaning takes longer with ash to clean up
  • Lower risk of fire
  • Caring employer having a smoke free workplace shows you care about your employees health and their exposure to second-hand smoke
  • Support the 70% of your workforce who don’t smoke.
  • Support the 70% of smokers who want to quit

In the Workplace: How we can help you?

  • A workplace Smoking Policy Toolkit to help you throughout the process of developing a policy/ Development of a new workplace policy
  • Information about Smoking & its affects on smokers and non-smokers.
  • A review of your existing policy
  • Advice about how to involve your workforce
  • Information and personal support for employees wishing to quit
  • Free training for staff/support for other people who wish to stop smoking

It is important to say that smoking policies are not concerned with smokers, but where they smoke. They are implemented to protect those who do not smoke and to ensure they are able to enjoy a smoke free environment while at work.

Points to remember:

  • Employers do not have to provide facilities for smokers in the workplace.
  • When you address the issue of smoking in the workplace remember that 70% of the adult population are non-smokers so you will have the majority of your workforce with you.  But focus on smoking not the smoker.

 How do I develop a smokefree policy?

Health benefits…

Second-hand Smoke – The facts…

Passive smoking, environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), second-hand smoke. These are all familiar phrases, but many people still do not realise the seriousness of the impact that second-hand smoke has on peoples’ health.

Tobacco smoke pollution is an unwanted and unnecessary hazard to public health.  It harms everybody – adults, children, staff, and visitors. 

 Putting it simply, ‘second-hand smoking’ is the inhalation, by non-smokers, of the smoke from other people’s cigarettes, pipes, and cigars. Its effects are far from trivial and pose a serious environmental health hazard. We know conclusively that environmental tobacco smoke is a contaminant that contains over 60 cancer causing compounds (carcinogens) and other harmful chemicals that are inhaled by and enter the bloodstream of non-smokers.

Clearly, removing second-hand smoke has a positive health effect for staff and customers, consider these facts:

  • The British Medical Association has estimated that secondhand smoke kills at least 1,000 people every year in the UK!
  • It can have dangerous, short-term effects for certain customers: children, people with heart problems, asthmatics and pregnant women
  • Half an hour passive smoking is enough to reduce coronary heart flow and make the blood ‘sticky’ which can trigger strokes and heart attacks
  • Second-hand smoke kills one hospitality industry worker per week

Arguments for Alternatives - Smokefree Zones and Ventilation

Is Ventilation Effective?

  • No. Ventilation may remove the smell of tobacco smoke but it cannot remove all the cancer causing particles and gases from the air.
  • For ventilation to have any significant effect, it would need to be ‘tornado strength’.
  • Furthermore, ventilation is very costly and may cost tens of thousands of pounds to install and maintain.
  • The tobacco industry regularly advocates “ventilation solutions” as fair alternatives to smokefree places. However it is important to remember that they have a vested interest because smoke-free places reduce the consumption of cigarettes.

What About Smokefree Zones?

  • Smokefree zones also provide little or no protection against second-hand smoke simply because smoke drifts!

What do we mean by Smokefree?  

When we talk about ‘smokefree’ it means, quite literally, a 100% smoke-free environment. Not non-smoking areas, not even smoking with good ventilation but no smoking anywhere in your building.  Many places have no smoking sections but smoke drifts! This may be preferable to not providing any smokefree areas at all but it fails to provide the clean air that so many people are now saying they want.


Smoking in a Smokefree place

If you are in charge of smokefree premises and/or vehicles, you will have a legal responsibility to prevent people from smoking in them. If someone does smoke in any premises or vehicles you are responsible for, here are some practical steps you might take to deal with them. 

Tell them you would be committing an offence if you allowed them to smoke, and they are breaking the law by smoking in a smokefree premises or vehicle, and both parties could be fined.

If an employee refuses to stop smoking:

Remind them the new law is to protect employees and the public from the harmful effects of their secondhand smoke.  If necessary, put into practice your disciplinary procedure for non-compliance with your company’s smokefree policy.

If a customer refuses to stop smoking:

Explain that staff will refuse to serve them if they continue to smoke, and they will be asked to leave your premises.  If they won’t leave, implement your normal procedure for anti-social or illegal behaviour in your premises.

Keep a record of where and when the incident took place, the name of the person involved and the outcome.

If physical violence is threatened by a person smoking, we suggest you notify and/or seek the assistance from the police.

Guidance on Smoking Shelters

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