Smokefree legislation

Information about smokefree legislation and how it affects public spaces.

What happened?

From 1 July 2007 the Health Act (2006) became law; this means controls on smoking in enclosed premises and in vehicles.

Which places have to be smokefree by law?

The law says that virtually all enclosed and 'substantially' enclosed public places and workplaces in England must be free of tobacco smoke. This includes offices, factories, shops, pubs, bars, restaurants, membership clubs, public transport and most work vehicles that are used by more than one person.

The law also means that indoor workplace smoking rooms are not allowed. So anyone who wants to smoke needs to go outside instead.

Helping you be smoke free

If you need advice help is available:

  • Visit the Smoke free England Opens in a new window website for further information.
  • Environmental Health is available to give information and advice. Please contact or 01276 707100.
  • The NHS Surrey Stop Smoking Service can visit your business and offer free a stop smoking service if your staff would like it. Telephone 0845 602 3608 for further information about this service.

What your customers think

Independent research in Surrey by NOP World Health in 2005 (commissioned by the Smoke Free Surrey Alliance) showed that only one in four people smoke, and three out of four of these want to stop. Reassuringly, the change in the law does not look like it will harm business. In fact, 58% of Surrey people said that a smokefree law would not affect the way they used businesses and 34% said they would use restaurants and cafes more if a law was introduced. There are also widely publicised health benefits for your staff and your customers.

Enforcing smokefree

The large majority of smokers comply with the new law but where there is non-compliance Environmental Health have responsibility for enforcement. People who do not comply with the law will be liable to a fixed penalty notice or prosecution and a fine for the offences of:

  • Smoking in a smokefree place or vehicle
  • Failing to display a 'no smoking' sign
  • Allowing smoking in a smokefree place or vehicle.