Smoking: Policing the ban

23 February 2006
Smoking: Policing the ban

Last week's smoking vote pinpointed summer 2007 as the target date for enforcing the ban. Significantly, fines for businesses breaching the new laws were increased, but not for smokers themselves.

Details of how the ban will be enforced will not be set in stone until the draft regulations go out for consultation after the Health Bill has passed through Parliament.

Meanwhile, pub associations plan to lobby for more time to adjust to the new regime.

What will the ban affect?

Restaurants, pubs, bars and private members' clubs.

What will be exempted from the ban?

Hotel rooms, prisons, care homes and army barracks.

Who will police it?

Environmental health officers are currently in the frame.

What are the penalties for non-compliance?

  • Failure to display no-smoking signs will attract an initial fixed penalty notice of £200. If payment isn't received within 29 days, offenders could face fines of up to £1,000 in the courts.

  • Maximum fines for landlords who allow smoking on their premises have soared from £200 to £2,500. Repeat offenders face more severe punishments.

  • Smokers who light up in defiance of the laws face £50 fines.

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