Borough Council of Wellingborough

Smokefree England

Smokefree Legislation

Smokefree legislation applies to every business and organisation employing people and requires all workplaces and enclosed public places to be smokefree. This means that places of work such as factories, offices, shops, public and government buildings, schools, bars, restaurants, hospitals, charities, public transport and many others are required to be smokefree and to have smokefree policies in place.


The legislation doesn't just apply to licensed premises or organisations of a certain size or limited companies but to every enclosed or substantially enclosed place where people work.


Smokefree legislation was introduced to protect employees and the public from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke. The legislation is set out in the following Regulations: -


The Smoke-free (Premises and Enforcement) Regulations 2006
The Smoke-free (Signs) Regulations 2007
The Smoke-free (Exemptions and Vehicles) Regulations 2007
The Smoke Free (Penalties and Discounted Amounts) Regulations 2007
The Smoke-free (Vehicle Operators and Penalty Notices) Regulations 2007



The Regulations relate to the smoking of tobacco or anything that contains tobacco or the smoking of any other substance, including manufactured cigarettes, hand rolled cigarettes, pipes and cigars. They also cover the smoking of water pipes.


The medical and scientific evidence of the risks to health from exposure to secondhand smoke is incontrovertible. Within the Government's White Paper: Choosing Health a clear strategy was set out to tackle smoking, as well as the effects of smoking on others. Smoking is recognised to be the greatest cause of preventable illness and premature death in the UK, killing around 106,000 people a year.


Through smokefree regulations the Government has shifted the balance significantly in favour of smokefree enclosed public places and workplaces. The objectives are to:


  • Reduce the risks to health from exposure to secondhand smoke.
  • Recognise a person's right to be protected from harm and to enjoy smoke free air.
  • Increase the benefits of smokefree enclosed public places and workplaces for people trying to give up smoking so that they can succeed in an environment where social pressures to smoke are reduced.
  • Save thousands of lives over the next decade by reducing both exposure to hazardous secondhand smoke and overall smoking rates.
There are a number of direct business benefits in being smokefree:


Improved staff health, productivity and morale
Reduced maintenance and cleaning costs
Reduced risk of future litigation



The Government will keep smokefree legislation under review and a comprehensive evaluation will be conducted and published within three years of implementation.