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Smoke free

The smoke free legislation came into effect in England on 1st July 2007. The legislation makes virtually all public places and work places smoke free, including work vehicles. The legislation is designed to protect workers and members of the public from the serious health risks of second hand smoke.

Smoking is illegal within public places and workplaces if these are wholly enclosed or substantially enclosed. The smoking law affects public premises including workplaces and work vehicles. The law applies to staff, customers and visitors and it is the legal responsibility of whoever controls or manages smoke-free premises and vehicles to prevent smoking in them.

The primary aim of the legislation is to protect third parties, particularly workers and the general public, from exposure to the harmful effects of second-hand smoke. Exposure to and inhalation of second-hand smoke is a cause of cancer, heart disease, respiratory disease and other illnesses. Second-hand smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals. Over 50 are known to cause cancer.

Craven District Council, as the enforcement authority, provides services and advice to employers on what they need to do to comply with the legislation. The primary aim of the Council is to enforce the legislation regarding the ban on smoking in public places.

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 and can give out fixed penalty notices to people whom they believe are committing, or have committed, an offence. 

OffenceWho is liable?Fixed penalty notice  Court fine

Failing to prevent smoking in a smoke free place

Anyone who manages or controls the smoke free premises pr vehicle

n/a

 

Up to £2,500

Failing to display required no-smoking signs

Anyone who manages or occupies the smoke free premises or vehicle

£200

 

Up to £1,000

Smoking in a smoke free place

Anyone who smokes in a smoke free place

£50

 

Up to £200

 

There are many known facts and figures regarding the effects of smoking on health, a small number of which are listed below:

  • lung cancer (smoking causes over 80 per cent of all lung cancer deaths)
  • heart disease
  • bronchitis
  • strokes
  • stomach ulcers
  • leukaemia
  • gangrene
  • other cancers e.g. mouth and throat cancer

Additionally, there are the negative health effects that are experienced through the process of passive smoking. This is where non-smokers who work or socialise in places with smokers, are exposed to the smoky air of the building they are in.

It has been shown that the extract ventilation of a bar or room is not sufficient to minimise the effects of passive smoking for the majority of the population. The majority of the poisonous chemicals (80%) from a burning cigarette are invisible, hence why extract ventilation is highly ineffective. A breeze the equivalent to a hurricane would be required to adequately ventilate an average bar. Additionally cigarette smoke does not respect the barriers of no smoking areas.

It is for these reasons that smoking in public places is now banned. Public opinion is in support of this ban, with 80% of people surveyed in support of a ban on smoking in enclosed workplaces. Only 1 in 5 of the adult population of England smoke, and 7 out of 10 smokers want to stop. This equates to only 7.5% of the adult population being happy to smoke. 

The reasoning behind the legislation is starting to become clear, with a simple and cost effective way to help the 70% of smokers who want to stop, as well as ensuring clean, healthy air for the 80% of the population who don't smoke.

After drastically reducing your chances of dying from smoking related illnesses, the next biggest reason for stopping smoking is to save money. In fact you can save a vast amount of money.

Did you know that...

  • Breathing second-hand smoke increases the risk of heart disease by at least 25%
  • Thirty minutes of exposure to second-hand smoke is enough to reduce blood flow to the heart
  • Breathing second-hand smoke kills three times more workers than accidents in the workplace
  • A bar worker who doesn't smoke ends up smoking every time they go to work
  • 35 workers in the North East die each year because of exposure to second-hand smoke

The NHS Stop Smoking Service offers help for people who want to quit and has a free help line on 0800 1690 169

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