Smoke Free Woking
Smoke Free regulations
On 1 July 2007, virtually all enclosed public places and workplaces in England became smoke free by law. The change was introduced by the Health Act 2006 and is intended to protect peoples health from the effects of second hand smoke, providing a healthier environment in which to socialise, relax, travel, shop and work.
What this law means
Smoking is prohibited in enclosed and substantially enclosed parts of public places and workplaces. This includes:
- shops, offices, factories
- restaurants, pubs, bars and membership clubs
- public areas of hotels, B&Bs and residential care homes and houses in multiple occupation
- covered walkways, such as Mercia Walk
- Multistorey car parks
- taxis and public transport
- work vehicles that are used by more than one person.
This means that indoor smoking rooms are no longer allowed, so anyone wishing to smoke will have to go outside. There are a few exemptions, primarily designated bedrooms in hotels and specified areas of other residential accommodation, such as prisons and care homes.
What businesses and employers should be doing
Employers, managers and those in charge of smoke free premises and vehicles are required to:
- display the prescribed no smoking signs
- take reasonable steps to ensure that no one smokes in smokefree premises.
Further information for businesses can be found on the smokefree England website.
The Smoke-free (Signs) Regulations 2013 set out what businesses need to do in relation to displaying smoke free signs at their premises.
How will the smokefree law affect me?
Individuals can find information of how the regulations will affect them on the following webpages:
Guidance for people visiting clients in their homes can be found here.
The law does not require outdoor smoking areas or shelters to be provided. However, if you wish to do so, please consider the following.
- Ensure that shelters or outdoor areas are not enclosed or substantially enclosed.
- Check whether planning consent is required for your shelter and that the use of the outdoor area is covered by the existing planning permission. Contact the Planning Team for advice.
- If your premises are licensed under the Licensing Act 2003, check whether there are conditions affecting use of outdoor areas. For example, there may be restrictions on times when beer gardens can be used or conditions relating to last entry or re-entry to the premises.
- Consider the potential noise impact caused by people congregating outside to smoke, particularly if the premises are open late at night or early morning.
- Take steps to minimise litter problems caused by cigarette ends.
How the law will be enforced
Within Woking, the Council's Environmental Health team is responsible for enforcing legislation. There are four offences.
- Smoking in a smokefree place.
- Failure to display the correct 'No Smoking' signs.
- Failure by a manager of a smoke free place to prevent a person from smoking.
- Any person who intentionally obstructs an authorised officer, fails to give assistance when requested to do so or who gives falses or misleading information.
To report non-compliance issues, please contact Environmental Health on 01483 743840, or email
What are the penalties for breaking the smokefree law?
If you don't comply with the smoke free law, you will be committing an offence which may attract a fine or prosecution. The fixed penalty notices and maximum fine for each offence are:
- smoking in a smoke free premises or work vehicle - 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 - fixed penalty notice of £200 (reduced to £150 if paid in 15 days) 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 - maximum fine of £2,500 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.
- Any person who intentionally obstructs an authorised officer or fails to give assistance when requested to do so or who gives falses or misleading information - maximum fine of £1000 awarded by the courts.
Can I get help to stop smoking
Yes. The Primary Care Trust (PCT) has a range of services. For further information, please contact the local NHS Stop Smoking Service on 0800 0525 855.
There is also a national NHS Free Smoking Helpline - 0800 022 4 332. Lines are open Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm, Saturday and Sunday, 11am to 5pm
Specialist advisers are on hand and can put you in touch with local services to help you quit. You can also visit the smokefree nhs website to chat to an advisor on line or to get information on how to stop smoking and stay stopped.
Quit 51 run a smoking cessation course. If you are served a Fixed Penalty Notice for dropping smoking related litter, or smoking in a smoke free place, you can pay the fine, sign up to stop smoking service. If you stop smoking for 4 consecutive weeks, you will receive a refund of up to £50 in Boots vouchers.
Information can also be found here.
Where to get further information
Visit the Smokefree England website for information, guidance, links to the regulations, frequently asked questions and free signs.