The smoke free provisions of the Health Act 2006 were implemented during 2007 and are firmly established throughout the UK. Smoking is prohibited in all indoor public places and work places, including work vehicles. This includes pubs, cinemas, offices, factories and on public transport. There are a few exemptions, these being any private dwellings, some bedrooms in hotels and specified areas in residential accommodation, such as prisons and care homes.
The laws are designed to protect workers and members of the public from exposure to the harmful effects of second hand smoke. As a result, people working in bars, restaurants, pubs and other workplaces are breathing fresher and cleaner air.
The implications are wide-ranging and apply to every business in Newark and Sherwood. These laws are enforced locally by the council.
It is expected that these controls encourage people to give up smoking. Employers and managers may also wish to support staff and customers to quit.
Smoke free advice to business
We aim to provide support and assistance to ensure continued compliance with the smoke free requirements. If you run a business, the exact details on what is required is contained in the regulations but you may need to consider:
Smoke free policies
To ensure your employees are aware of the smoke free requirements you could develop a written smoke free policy for your workplace. You will need to decide how to deal with non-compliance with your smoke free policy and how the policy fits within your existing health and safety policy.
There is no legal requirement to provide smoking shelters. It is common for health-focused employers not to spend money creating places for smokers to congregate. However if you do have an outside smoking shelter or area, you will need to be sure that it is not enclosed or substantially enclosed.
Any proposals for a new shelter may be subject to other regulatory requirements such as planning consent and building control approval. Please check before building a shelter.
Smoking outside premises
It is common for people to stand outside to smoke, particularly around entrances and exits and in places where they can obtain shelter from the weather. This may give rise to a number of associated issues which you will need to consider including:
• Smoking related litter
• Fire safety
Smoke free enforcement
It is our intention to create a supportive environment where people are encouraged to comply with the smoke free laws. Our approach to enforcement is non-confrontational, focused on raising awareness and understanding to ensure compliance.
There are clear penalties including fines for offences when smoking is prohibited. We expect that enforcement action will be considered only when efforts to encourage compliance have failed.
Smoking ban for Newark and Sherwood play areas
A voluntary smoking ban will be introduced in play areas throughout Newark and Sherwood in a bid to improve healthy living.
Twenty sites will be covered under the initiative which is primarily aimed at parents but also to cut the number of young people taking up the habit.
Newark and Sherwood District Council believes smoke-free outdoor public places should be the standard, showing young people that smoking is the exception rather than the rule.
It believes the move will also help educate parents about the impact of second-hand smoke on their children’s health.
Although there is very little evidence to show that outdoor exposure to such smoke carries significant health risks, smoking is a social norm in many less affluent communities and children are more likely to grow up with family and friends who smoke and go onto become smokers themselves.
As the ban is on a voluntary basis it will rely on the goodwill of the people using the park and be supported by effective signage. Local schools have been involved in this scheme by being asked to design posters with a ‘stop smoking’ message. The best posters have been made into signs and have been erected at play parks across the district to highlight the voluntary ban.
Barnby Road Community Park in Newark was the first to be designated as a no smoking park and the council has welcomed the support of several schools in the initiative and is encouraging more to become involved.
Smoking is a priority area in the County Health and Wellbeing Strategy with an emphasis on reducing smoking among young people.
In Newark and Sherwood, 18.3 per cent of the population smoke compared to the national average of 19.5 per cent and is below the county average of 19.4 per cent but well above the rates found in the neighbouring districts of Gedling and Rushcliffe (14.9 per cent and 14.6 per cent).
Some of the play areas are now managed by Newark Town Council under the terms of a devolution arrangement with the district council.
The sites covered by the ban are Balderton: Grove Street; Clipsham Close, Mead Way and Southfields. Coddington: Thorpe Oaks Play Area. Clipstone: Dodsley Way, Vicar Water Country Park play area, Hilcote Drive. Edwinstowe: Fourth Avenue. Lowdham: Old Tannery Drive play area and open space. Newark: Tolney Lane, Newbury Road (Beacon Hill), Edgehill Drive (Beacon Hill), College Close (off Grange Road), Syerston Way, Castlefields (Wheatsheaf Avenue), Bridge Community Centre, Sconce & Devon Park enclosed play area and natural play area, Riverside Park and Sherwood Avenue.