Smokefree Information Guide
Since 1st July 2007 it is against the law to smoke in virtually
all enclosed public areas, workplaces and public and work vehicles.
Indoor smoking rooms in virtually all public places will no longer
be allowed. Managers of smokefree premises and vehicles have legal
responsibilities to prevent people from smoking.
This document is designed to be a brief guide to those running
licensed establishments on how to ensure their businesses comply
with the smokefree regulations
Your establishment may decide to make changes to provide areas
for the use of customers who smoke. This could be the erection of a
shelter, the use of heaters outside or perhaps the use of outside
seating. Wyre Forest District Council is here to help you to make
the right choices for your business and your customers.
An outdoor structure may be desirable to provide shelter for your
customers. Construction of such a structure may well have an effect
on the local area and neighbouring properties. The business needs
to consider the design of the structure to ensure it complies with
the Smokefree legislation.
Planning permission is required for any permanent structure
either attached to the building or free-standing.
For more information and advice visit our
A location/site plan - preferably at 1:1250 scale - is required
when submitting an application, to enable easy identification of
the property. A plan locating the extension or structure within the
property boundary should be included with the plans showing the
appearance and dimensions of the proposal, preferably at a scale of
1:50. The application will also need to be accompanied by a
Design and Access Statement which
should give consideration to how the structure complements the
design of the building or garden area and how access for people
with disabilities is to be provided.
Planning applications for smoking shelters and related structures
normally take up to 8 weeks from the time a valid application is
When assessing a planning application for a shelter, awning or
similar structure, the council will seek to ensure the facilities
are well-designed and sited sensitively in a way that:
- enhances the street scene;
- protects the safety and free flow of pavement users; and
- has no detrimental impact on the amenity of neighbouring
Planning permission will normally be required
for the following operations and uses:
- Permanent external smoking shelter structures, whether
freestanding or attached to existing buildings;
- Awnings/canopies/blinds attached to buildings will almost
always have a material effect on the external appearance of a
- Pavement and forecourt tables and chairs sited on the public
highway or a private forecourt;
- Use of any land as a beer garden or yard, where the land does
not form part of the business premises;
- Construction of timber decking; and
- Stub-out bins on the front of premises.
Planning permission will not be normally be required for the
following operations and uses:
- Portable freestanding awnings /canopies and space heaters;
- The use of beer gardens and yards where these are ancillary to
the main pub/restaurant use and are lawfully part of the existing
Such matters are likely to be considered at the planning
stage of the development and therefore, close liaison with Planning
officers and the Smokefree Officer is recommended.
Buying the Right Product
It is recommended that any shelter or similar structure bought
is fit for the intended purpose. This means they should
- Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 1994;
- A minimum of European Standard EN13561 wind resistance;
- Electrical compliance; and
- Building regulations Part L (which relate to heating and
We also recommend you check that ‘No Smoking’ signage meets the
requirements of the new legislation before purchase.
Street cafes are considered to be tables and chairs placed on
the public highway, where food and drink is served. In addition to
planning permission, approval will also be required from the
Worcestershire County Council Highways Department. It is essential
to ensure that publications for shelters do not contravene your
licensing conditions on use of outside areas.
It is important to note that all new structures must comply with
current health and safety regulations whilst ensuring the premises
are fully accessible for disabled customers. Find useful numbers
and links to assist you in any query you have.
Areas of possible concern include:
- Non-substantially enclosed structures erected to accommodate
smokers (e.g. rooftop patios) not having/or preventing the means of
escape to the safe assembly points located outside. Structures that
prohibit or inhibit safe channelling to the assembly points would
also be a cause for concern.
- Illicit smoking in concealed places.
- The use of heating devices which are unsafe, installed or
located in an unsafe manner, and/or poorly secured will be a fire
safety hazard and health and safety concern.
- LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) storage of cylinders. Apart from
the risk of fire LPG cylinders pose an asphyxiation risk. LPG
vapour is denser than air and must not therefore be stored in
cellars, basements or sunken locations.
- If the use of any smoking-related equipment, structure or
procedure is considered, it is the remit of the Fire Authority to
audit premises’ risk assessments to ensure that these do not
compromise means of escape and general fire safety. Suitable
enforcement can and will result where any such issues cannot be
resolved or effectively addressed through the Fire Risk
- Please note that the new fire safety regulations are supported
by 11 guidance documents each relevant to a building use group.
View fire safety law and guidance documents for business.
How to Deal with Smoking in a Smokefree Place
It is strongly recommended that owners and managers implement
written policy and procedures to demonstrate their compliance with
The procedures should:
- Draw individuals' attention to the ‘No-Smoking’ signage and
inform them that he/she is committing an offence by smoking and may
be subsequently issued a Fixed Penalty Notice of £50. Politely ask
them to stop smoking.
- Direct them to the nearest place where they are able to smoke
- Advise the individual who is smoking that their actions could
result in the person in control of the premises being prosecuted
and receiving a fine of £2,500.
- Inform the individual that he/she can be refused service.
- Advise any individual continuing to smoke that he/she will be
asked to leave the premises.
- Detail that normal procedures will be implemented for
anti-social behaviour occurring on the premises if any customer
refuses to leave the premises when requested to do so.
- Require accurate written records of all such incidents and
outcomes to be maintained.
- Note that if any individual threatens physical violence, the
owner/manager will notify and/or seek assistance from the
The policy should identify members of management and/or staff
who have responsibility for its implementation and review.
Issues to be considered will include:
- Litter accumulation in or near entrances to buildings or
blowing onto or impinging on public areas from non-substantially
enclosed structures erected to accommodate smokers.
- The possible increase in cigarette butts and other litter
deposited on footpaths and other public areas in the vicinity of
establishments in which smoking is prohibited.
We would advise:
- The provision of special bins, with compartments for smoking
related litter, placed at locations where problems are
The Environmental Protection Act 1990 makes it an offence to drop
and leave litter. This includes smoking-related materials such as
the discarded ends of cigarettes, cigars and the discarded remains
of chewing gum and bubble gum.
Section 88 of the EPA 1990 allows authorised officers of Councils
to issue Fixed Penalty Notices for litter offences (currently
Sections 93 and 94 of the 1990 Act enables councils to serve Street
Litter Control Notices requiring businesses to clear up the litter
and implement measures to prevent the land from becoming defaced
Issues to be considered will include:
- Members of the public congregating outside buildings but
remaining within the premises boundary (i.e. in structures made
specifically to accommodate smokers e.g. roof patios, lean-to
constructions, hut-like structures and shelters, etc.).
- Members of the public congregating on the public footpaths or
areas outside of the premises boundary will be dealt with using the
Licensing Act 2003 and/or by police action.
- Owners of premises playing musical equipment or speakers
(radios, speakers, CD players, TVs etc.) for the enjoyment of their
customers, in non-substantially enclosed premises provided for
smokers. Actions such as these may affect your licence.
If a business is proposing to provide new external signs, for
example, to direct customers to smoking shelters, the business may
need to make a separate application for advertisement
The main concerns in deciding whether to grant consent will
- Highway safety – for example, would the sign cause obstruction
to pedestrians or traffic.
- Amenity – for example, would the sign be visually obtrusive,
particularly in a conservation area or on a listed building, or add
to advertisement clutter.
Q. Can I have a designated smoking room in my
A. No. If you own premises that the public can access or which more
than one person works in then all enclosed and substantially
enclosed areas must be smokefree. This essentially means that all
indoor areas must be smokefree. The only exemptions to this rule
are living quarters in hostels, and nursing homes in which a
smoking room can be designated, and in hotel bedrooms.
Q. Is it true you cannot smoke in any public place
including parks and on the high street?
A. No. You can still smoke outside, the new smokefree legislation
covers ‘Enclosed’ and ‘Substantially Enclosed’ workplaces and
public places, in other words places that are essentially
Q. What is an 'enclosed' or 'substantially enclosed'
A. Premises are considered 'enclosed' if they have
a ceiling or roof and (except for doors, windows or passageways)
are wholly enclosed either on a permanent or temporary basis.
Premises are considered 'substantially enclosed'
if they have a ceiling or roof, but have an opening in the walls,
which is less than half the total areas of the walls. the area of
the opening does not include doors, windows or any other fittings
that can be opened or shut.
Q. Do I have to provide external shelters or other smoking
facilities for my workforce?
A. No. Employers are not obliged to provide smoking shelters for
their staff. However, employers do have an obligation to control
the amount of litter and noise which could result from
staff/members of the public congregating outside.
Q. I don’t smoke cigarettes or tobacco so the law won’t
A. Wrong. The smokefree law makes it an offence to smoke any
substance in an enclosed or substantially enclosed workplace or
public place, not just tobacco. It is also an offence to hold a lit
cigarette of any kind in a smokefree place.
Q. My business is already smokefree so the new law won’t
A. All businesses must display the correct signage at all public
and staff entrances to the premises. The law makes it an offence to
fail to display these signs, with a fixed penalty of £200.
Download signs FREE OF CHARGE.
Q. I can’t stop people from smoking in my premises if they don’t
A. The new laws make the manager on duty responsible for ensuring
all enclosed and substantially enclosed work places and public
places are smokefree. Failure to do so can result in a fine of up
Q. I have been told that it will be illegal to smoke within
15 metres of a place of work or a public building, could you please
tell me is this fact or a myth, as I have been unable to find an
answer on government websites or literature?
A. The answer is that as far as the law is concerned only areas
substantially enclosed (i.e. with a roof and more than 50% walls)
must be smokefree. However, an individual company may wish to ban
smoking elsewhere on their premises as part of their company