Smoking in enclosed places

Smoking in enclosed spaces

It is an offence for people to smoke:

  • in a workplace (even work vehicles) or
  • in a place open to members of the public, that is enclosed or substantially enclosed

The law forbids smoking anything, including tobacco, such as:

  • manufactured cigarettes
  • hand-rolled cigarettes
  • pipes and cigars
  • herbal cigarettes
  • water or shisha pipes
  • hookah

Smoking includes being in possession of lit tobacco or any other lit substance in a form in which someone could smoke it..

As a premises owner:

  • you must not smoke in your enclosed premises
  • allow others to smoke in your enclosed premises
  • you must display at least one no smoking sign. It is up to you where you display it and what it looks like

if you fail to display a no smoking sign you could receive:

  • a fixed penalty of up to £150 or
  • a fine of up to £1000

Enclosed premises

An enclosed premises:

  • has a ceiling or roof (including any fixed or movable structures such as awnings) and except for doors, windows or passageways are wholly enclosed on a permanent or temporary basis
  • has a ceiling or roof (including any fixed or movable structure such as awnings)
  • has permanent openings in the walls which are less than half of the total areas of walls, including other structures which serve the purpose of walls and constitute the perimeter of the premises

Tents, marquees and similar structures are enclosed premises if they fall within the definition and tent panels will always be counted as being rolled down).

if you want to put up a smoking shelter, you may need:

  • planning permission. You can contact our Planning team for more information
  • a pavement permit if your smoking area is on the highway

The 50 percent rule

If 50 percent or more of the walls are missing it is legal to smoke. If more than 50 percent of the walls are present it is illegal to smoke:

  • when looking at the area of an opening you do not take into account doors, windows or other fittings that open or shut.
  • if an opening or cover can be closed, you treat the openings as closed to work out the 50 percent rule
  • In tents marquees and similar structures, treat the tent panels as being rolled down

You can contact our Licensing team if you have any questions about smoking in enclosed spaces.


Address: Causeway House
Bocking End

Telephone: 01376 552525

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