1) Why is there a new smoking ban in England? The government has identified that second-hand smoke is a threat to health in non-smokers exposed to it. As such, they have decided to protect non-smokers from the negative effects of 'environmental tobacco smoke in enclosed spaces.
2) When does the new smoking ban in England take effect? 1st July 2007 - smoking in enclosed public spaces is already banned in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
3) Where does the new smoking ban in England specifically ban smoking from? The new law bans smoking in virtually all enclosed public places, including pubs, bars, restaurants, offices, factories, cinemas and sports stadiums.
4) How will I know what areas are smoke-free? Smoke-free places will be clearly sign-posted with no-smoking signs. It is a legal requirement for places where smoking is now no longer allowed, to display no smoking signs.
5) But what does smoke-free really mean? If you light up in a public place, workplace or company vehicle you’ll be breaking the law. Or if managers let you smoke in no-smoking zones, they’ll be breaking the law.
6) Will this new smoking ban in England mean all smoking is banned? The ban covers the smoking of tobacco or anything that contains tobacco, or smoking any other substance. This includes manufactured cigarettes, hand-rolled cigarettes, pipes, cigars, herbal cigarettes and water pipes (including shisha, hookah and hubble-bubble pipes).
7) Will smoking be banned outdoors too? The Health Act 2006 includes powers to make non-enclosed places smoke-free, but at present the Government does not intend to make any non-enclosed places smoke-free.
8) What happens if I smoke in a smoke-free area? Smoking in smoke-free premises or vehicle will give a fixed penalty notice of £50, which is discounted to £30 if paid within 15 days. Business owners can expect a fine of up to £2,500 for failing to prevent smoking within enclosed public spaces.
9) What about hotels and private clubs? Hotels will be non-smoking but there may be designated rooms where guests can smoke. Private clubs are covered by the ban. This includes working men clubs and golf clubs.
10) How will the new smoking ban in England be enforced? The government has set aside funds for councils to employ 'smoking officers' who are tasked with ensuring businesses follow the letter of the law. It is expected to be enforced on a 'softly, softly' basis at first. All businesses are expected to be given a 'warning' before any legal action is taken against them.
11) Did you know? If a business owner were found guilty of breaking this law and then failed to pay the fine, resulting in a custodial sentence, they would be allowed to smoke in enclosed public areas of the prison!
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