Smoking Guide lines for residential Management Companies
Smoking Guide lines within the Work Place and Public Areas
The activity of smoking in the communal hallways and stairways within the building is illegal and is covered under the legislation that was introduced in England on the 1st July 2007 This Act also includes all public areas, and the work place.
The correct signage stating "No Smoking" should also be displayed within the communal areas. the activity of smoking in the communal hallways and stairways within the building is illegal and is covered under the legislation that was introduced in England on the 1st July 2007 the activity of smoking in the communal hallways and stairways within the building is illegal and is covered under the legislation that was introduced in England on the 1st July 2007
When will the ban come into effect?
1st July 2007 .
What is the aim of the new law?
The law aims to protect the general public from the harmful effects of passive smoking. Breathing other people's smoke is called passive, involuntary or second-hand smoking. The non-smoker breathes 'side stream' smoke from the burning tip of the cigarette and 'mainstream' smoke that has been inhaled and then exhaled by the smoker. Second-hand smoke (SHS) is a major source of indoor air pollution.
What does the law do?
The new law bans smoking in "no-smoking premises", by:
- creating an offence of permitting others to smoke in no-smoking premises;
- creating an offence of smoking in no-smoking premises;
- creating an offence of failing to display warning notices in no-smoking premises;
- setting out the powers of enforcement officers to enter no-smoking premises; and
- creating an offence of failing without reasonable cause to give one's name and address on request by an enforcement officer.
What do you mean by 'no-smoking premises'?
The full list of no-smoking premises can be found in Schedule 1 to the smoking regulations. They include premises like restaurants, bars, shops, cinemas, offices, hospitals, work vehicles and sports centers. Those premises will then be no-smoking premises if they are wholly or substantially enclosed. What that list of no-smoking premises has in common is that they all fall into one of the following four broad categories of premises, namely those:
- to which the public or a section of the public has access;
- which are being used wholly or mainly as a place of work by persons who are employees;
- which are being used by and for the purposes of a club or other unincorporated association; or
- which are being used wholly or mainly for the provision of education, health or care services.
Are there any exemptions to the law?
Only a few exemptions to the law have been made, mainly on humanitarian grounds. The exemptions are residential accommodation, designated rooms in adult care homes, adult hospices, designated rooms in psychiatric hospitals and units, designated hotel bedrooms, designated detention or interview rooms, designated rooms in offender accommodation premises, offshore installations, private vehicles, certain laboratory rooms, submarines and refueling vessels. Nothing in the new law, however, obliges an employer or manager of exempted premises to permit smoking or to provide a
Will the ban affect my business premises?
Most business premises will be affected. If they are one of the kinds of premises listed and are wholly or substantially enclosed then they will be no-smoking premises.
What do you mean by 'wholly or substantially enclosed'?
This is an area with a ceiling or roof that – except for doors, windows and passageways – is either wholly enclosed (whether permanently or temporarily); or is enclosed but for an opening which is less than half of the area of its walls. The legal definition can be found in the smoking regulations.
How will the new law affect my business premises?
If your premises are caught by the smoke-free law, you, your staff, customers and visitors will not be allowed to smoke in the enclosed areas of your premises.
Does this apply to my customers?
My workplace has designated or segregated areas for smoking. Is this not enough?
No, the legislation requires that any no-smoking premises must be completely smoke-free, unless an exemption applies under the legislation. This is because only a complete ban on smoking in enclosed areas will reduce exposure to passive smoking. This means that the provision of smoking rooms inside workplaces will no longer be allowed.
My premises are well-ventilated. Does that not provide protection from passive smoking?
No. There is no safe level of exposure to second-hand smoke. Ventilation systems improve comfort by removing the smell and visibility of the smoke. They do not remove toxic carcinogens from the air.
My workplace is already smoke-free. Will I have to do anything?
You have a duty to comply with the new law, including putting up the required no-smoking signs within the workplaces.
I have a very small business with only a couple of employees who both smoke. Does this law still apply to me?
Yes, if your workplace is wholly or substantially enclosed.
As an employer, or person in control of premises affected by the law, what will I have to do to comply?
Employers, managers and those in control of no-smoking premises need to display no-smoking notices and to take reasonable measures to ensure that staff, customers/members and visitors are aware of the new law and that they do not smoke in their premises. We recommend the following minimum action–the display of no-smoking notices (as specified in the legislation and guidance) so that they are clearly visible to all employees, customers and visitors while they are in the premises or approaching them; developing and implementing a smoke-free policy; removing all ashtrays from premises; informing anyone smoking that he/she is committing an offence; requesting that they extinguish their smoking material immediately or leave; and refusing service (if your business provides a service for customers or members).
What do I do if someone ignores the ban and smokes on my premises?
You will be expected to take all reasonable measures, outlined above to ensure that the person stops smoking. If he/she refuses, implement your normal procedure for anti-social/illegal behavior in the premises. In all cases where physical violence or intimidation is threatened or encountered, seek the assistance of the police.
Need to comply with the law, unless they are working from their home.
Do I have to provide an outside smoking shelter for my staff?
No. Nothing in the new law obliges an employer or manager of no-smoking premises, or exempted premises, to permit smoking or to provide a smoking area.
I don't want staff congregating outside my premises to smoke. What should I do?
You may wish to discuss with your staff how best to meet your wishes, whilst acknowledging their needs. As a first step, review your existing smoking policy in consultation with staff
The Enforcement Protocol, setting out the key principles of the enforcement approach.
Who will enforce the law?
Environmental Health Officers have the power to enter all 'no-smoking premises' in order to establish that the smoke-free legislation is being enforced in accordance with the law. Environmental Health Officers can also give out fixed penalty notices to people whom they believe are committing, or have committed, an offence under the legislation.
Will my business be subject to checks?
Environmental Health Officers have powers to enter no-smoking premises in order to check whether an offence has taken place or is being committed. Officers of the council will, in general terms, have access to premises to which the public has access.
What penalties will there be for those who break the law?
Those in control of no-smoking premises could be liable to a fixed penalty fine of £200 if they do not take reasonable action to prevent someone smoking on the premises, or if they do not provide adequate No Smoking signs. Individuals who smoke in no-smoking premises will be liable to a fixed penalty fine of £50. Refusal to pay or failure to pay may result in prosecution and a fine of up to £2,500.
Will fixed penalty notices be applied at the time of the offence, or at a later date?
That will be up to the enforcement officers. The aim will be to be non-confrontational.
What should I be doing now?
You should discuss the implications of the new law with your staff and consider carefully the detailed guidance provided to ensure that you are in a position to comply with the law from 6am on March 26, 2006.
What is the compliance line?
If someone is smoking in no-smoking premises, there should be signs on display which will tell people who they can make a complaint to. If this doesn't resolve the problem, then people can call the national compliance line 0845 130 7250 to register their complaint. The line will be manned 12 noon until 12 midnight, seven days a week, including public holidays. Calls will be charged at local rate. All complaints to the compliance line will be passed to the local environmental health department and will be followed up.
What happens if people make false complaints to the compliance line?
Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) have considerable experience of handling complaints on a wide range of issues and will use their professional judgment in all instances. All valid complaints will be followed up by EHOs, who will decide on the appropriate level of enforcement action to be taken. If employers can demonstrate that they have taken all reasonable precautions to comply with the law, they have nothing to fear from bogus calls.
Merlin Estates Ltd