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Community Information

Smoking ban for Business Premises

Guidance and advice to employers, managers and other people in control of work and public places on the law in relation to smoking.

this images relates to the smoking ban

On 26 March 2006 the law on smoking changed. The Scottish Parliament voted to ban smoking in all enclosed public places because of the health risks associated with passive smoking. This new law came into effect at 6.00am on 26 March 2006 and applies to businesses, workplaces, clubs, pubs and restaurants.

What does this mean for my business?

It is your responsibility to make sure your premises and staff meet all the requirements of this new law. If you want to find out more, visit the Scottish Government's website for more information and the answers to many frequently asked questions.

Where does the law apply?

The ban will cover all enclosed spaces to which members of the public have access. This will include places of work, education, health care services and private clubs. Vehicles including buses, taxis, company cars, ferries and trains will also be covered by the ban.

Where does the law NOT apply?

  • Residential accommodation.
  • Designated rooms in adult care homes.
  • Adult hospices.
  • Designated rooms in psychiatric hospitals and psychiatric units.
  • Designated hotel bedrooms.
  • Detention or interview rooms which are designated rooms.
  • Designated rooms in offshore installations.
  • Private vehicles.

How can my business comply with the law?

  • Display the required 'No Smoking' signs in such a way as to make staff, customers and visitors aware that they must comply with the new smoking law.
  • Remove all ashtrays.
  • Develop and implement a smoke-free policy with staff to ensure that infringements by employees, customers, members etc. are dealt with under agreed procedures.
  • Inform anyone smoking that he/she is committing an offence.
  • Request that they extinguish their smoking material immediately or leave.
  • Refuse service to individuals who are smoking against the law (if your business provides a service for customers or members).

What signage is required?

Businesses are required by the law to display 'No Smoking' signs in or on any premises affected by the ban, so that they can be seen and read by people in the premises and approaching the premises. They must be obviously displayed and protected from tampering, damage, removal or concealment.

The minimum signage requirement for premises is a 'No Smoking' notice which:

  • is at least 230mm by 160mm in size
  • states that the premises are no-smoking premises and that it is an offence to smoke there or knowingly to permit smoking there
  • displays the international 'No Smoking' symbol, at least 85mm in diameter
  • displays the name of the person to whom a complaint may be made by anyone who observes someone smoking.

It's up to the manager or person in control to decide on the number of notices required to make sure everybody on the premises is made aware that smoking is not allowed. If the manager decides that he/she needs more than one 'No Smoking' notice, the additional notices need to:

  • state that the premises are no-smoking premises and that it is an offence to smoke there or knowingly to permit smoking there
  • display the international 'No Smoking' symbol, at least 85mm in diameter.

Businesses are also required by the law to display 'No Smoking' signs in or on any vehicles that are affected by the ban in such a way that the signs can be seen and read by persons who are in the vehicle, as well as persons approaching the vehicle in question.

The reference to vehicles includes trains, buses, taxis, private hire cars and any vessel, boat or hovercraft. There's no legal requirement on the size of these signs but they must still meet certain requirements.

The minimum signage requirement under the new law for any relevant vehicles is a 'No Smoking' notice which:

  • states that the vehicle is no-smoking and that it is an offence to smoke there or knowingly to permit smoking there
  • displays the international 'No Smoking' symbol
  • displays the holder of a particular post (e.g. the manager) to whom a complaint may be made by anyone who observes someone smoking.

Who will enforce the law?

Community Wardens have the power to enter all No Smoking premises to ensure that the smoking ban is being upheld. They will also be able to give out fixed penalty notices to anyone who is committing, or has committed an offence.

What will the penalties be?

Employers and Managers could face a fixed penalty of £200 if they don't provide adequate signage or take reasonable action to stop someone smoking on the premises. Individuals who break the law will face a fixed penalty of £50.


Smoking ban enforcement is also carried out by environmental health officers:


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