Smoking in public places

Virtually all enclosed public places and workplaces in England are now smoke free. This ensures a healthier environment, so everyone can socialise, relax, travel, shop and work without exposure to second hand smoke.

The smoke free law:

  • recognises a person's right to be protected from the harm of secondhand smoke and to breathe smoke free air
  • helps people trying to give up smoking by providing supportive smoke free environments
  • reduces illness and the number of deaths from medical conditions caused by secondhand smoke inhalation
  • improves life expectancy because less people will take up smoking in the first place

Smoking is illegal within public places and workplaces if they are partly or completely enclosed. The law affects most public premises, including workplaces and work vehicles, and applies to staff, customers and visitors. Failure to comply with the law is an offence:

  • if a business fails to display a 'no smoking' sign in premises covered by the law they could receive a fixed penalty of £200 (discounted to £150 if paid within 15 days from the issue of a notice) or a fine of up to £1000 if taken to court;
  • if someone is found smoking in a smoke free place they may get a fixed penalty notice of £50 (discounted to £30 if paid within 15 days from the issue of a notice) or a fine of up to £200 if taken to court;
  • if a business fails to prevent smoking in a smoke free place or vehicle they could get fined up to £2500 if they are taken to court.

Smoking shelters

Please visit our planning application process page for planning and general guidance for smoking shelters.

Contact details

Environmental Health team

If you have an enquiry about environmental health, send a message to the Environmental Health team

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