Smoke free legislation

Virtually all enclosed public places and workplaces in England  are required to be smoke free. A smoke free England ensures a healthier environment, so everyone can socialise, relax, travel, shop and work free from secondhand smoke.

The key points of the legislation are:

  • Public transport and work vehicles used by more than one person will also need to be smoke free.
  • No-smoking signs will have to be displayed in all smoke free premises and vehicles.
  • Staff smoking rooms and indoor smoking areas will no longer be allowed, so anyone who wants to smoke will have to go outside.
  • Managers of smoke free premises and vehicles will have legal responsibilities to prevent people from smoking.
  • If you are uncertain where you can or can't smoke, just look for the no-smoking signs or ask someone in charge.

What are the penalties for breaking the smoke free law?

If you don't comply with the smoke free law, you will be committing a criminal offence. The fixed penalty notices and maximum fine for each offence are:

  • Smoking in smoke free premises or work vehicles: a 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: a fixed penalty notice of £200 (reduced to £150 if paid in 15 days) imposed 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: a maximum fine of £2500 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.

What does the legislation mean for me?

Find out how the legislation affects you with the following downloads:

Are there any exemptions to the legislation?

Yes. See our exemptions page for further information.

Sources of further information

NHS Smokefree website - for help giving up smoking.

Smokefree England - for more detailed information on the smokefree regulations.

How do I make a complaint?

If you would like to make a complaint about non-compliance with the smoke free regulations you can do so using our online form.

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