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Library: Legislation: The Health Act 2006



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Introduction

The Health Act 2006 received Royal Assent on 19th July 2006 and the non-smoking provisions took effect on 2nd April 2007 for Wales1, and will take effect on 1st July 2007 for England2. Please refer to the The Smoking, Health and Social Care (Scotland) Act 2005 for the equivalent Scottish legislation.

This document aims to give a very brief highlight of some of the key parts of the Act and its related regulations. For ease, we have broken down this document into the following sections:

Throughout, references to the pertinent legislation have been included as footnotes. The reader is referred to the full text of the Regulations (available here from the Government’s Official UK legislation site) for full details.

Please note that at the time of writing, the Smoke-free Premises etc. (Wales) Regulations 2007 are still only in draft form. This document assumes that final legislation will be largely of the same form.

Smoke Free Premises & Vehicles

The following became or are due to become smoke-free upon implementation of the legislation:

  • places of work used by more than one person or where the public “might attend”3;
  • enclosed public places3; and
  • almost all vehicles used in the course of work4.

Provision of No Smoking Signage

No smoking sings are required at the entrance to smoke free premises5 and in each compartment of smoke-free vehicles6.

These no-smoking signs must feature the common graphic representation of a burning cigarette enclosed in a red circle with a red bar across it. These must be at least 70mm or 75mm in diameter for England and Wales respectively.

In the case of smoke-free premises (i.e. excluding vehicles), there must be at least one sign at each entrance that is at least 230×160mm (roughly A5 size). This sign must, except in special circumstances, also feature the following wording:

  • “No smoking. It is against the law to smoke in these premises” (for England7); or
  • “Mae ysmygu yn y fangre hon yn erbyn y gyfraith / It is against the law to smoke in these premises” (for Wales8).

Offences

The Act contains new offences including the failure to display minimum no smoking signs, failing to prevent smoking in a smoke-free place and, of course, smoking in a no-smoking place. Penalties are most severe for the first two offences with fines extending to fines of up to £2,5009.

Timescale

The Health Act 2006 received Royal Assent on 19th July 2006 and the non-smoking provisions took effect on 2nd April 2007 for Wales1 and 1st July 2007 for England2.

General

Click here for the full text of the Act available from the Government’s Official UK legislation site.

Should you wish for any further information under this subject, please feel free to contact us.

 

Footnotes & References

  1. Section 2 of The Health Act 2006 (Commencement No. 1 and Transitional Provisions) (Wales) Order 2007
  2. Section 1 of The Smoke-free (Premises and Enforcement) Regulations 2006 and section 1 of The Smoke-free (Exemptions and Vehicles) Regulations 2007.
  3. Section 2 of The Health Act 2005.
  4. Section 11 of The Smoke-free (Exemptions and Vehicles) Regulations 2007 and section 4 of The Smoke-free Premises etc. (Wales) Regulations 2007. Please note that the legislation covers vehicles used by more than one employee (whether or not at the same times) and those used by members of the public. In practice this is therefore almost all vehicles used in the course of work.
  5. Section 2 of The Smoke-free (Signs) Regulations 2007 and Section 5 of The Smoke-free Premises etc. (Wales) Regulations 2007.
  6. Section 3 of The Smoke-free (Signs) Regulations 2007 and Section 6 of The Smoke-free Premises etc. (Wales) Regulations 2007.
  7. Section 2, paragraph (2)(c) of The Smoke-free (Signs) Regulations 2007. Please note that the words “these premises” may be substituted for words reflecting the specific place, e.g. “this hotel”.
  8. Section 5, paragraph (2)(b) of The Smoke-free Premises etc. (Wales) Regulations 2007.
  9. The Smoke-free (Penalties and Discounted Amounts) Regulations 2007



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