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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 April 2007, 10:14 GMT 11:14 UK
Where can you smoke once the ban starts?
The Magazine answers...

Health Act 2006
One does not a workplace make
Smokers should be given time off work to quit before the 1 July ban comes into force in England, NHS experts say. Where will nicotine-lovers unwilling - or unable - to quit be able to have a puff?

The Health Act 2006 says "smoke-free" places will be public places and workplaces which are "enclosed or substantially enclosed".

So no more smoking in pubs, cinemas, offices, factories, shopping centres and on public transport.

But smoking rooms can be provided in "any premises where a person has his home, or is living permanently or temporarily", such as hotels, care homes and prisons.

Smoking rooms in prison, hotels and care homes
Open air
On stage during a performance
Offshore oil rigs
Specialist tobacco shops
Always in own home, even in presence of health visitor
All pubs and restaurants come under the ban. The government had initially intended to exempt pubs with no food, but backed down after consultation - MPs also voted for a total ban. Nor did private clubs escape the ban after efforts to get an exemption failed.

For premises to be classed as partially enclosed, they must have walls around half their perimeter and a roof. A canvas awning can count as a roof.

Smoking solo

A workplace requires more than one person to work there for the ban to apply. So the cab of a lorry becomes a workplace if it is used to carry a passenger. The Road Haulage Association says this amounts to a blanket ban because a second driver is required to conduct testing, and that might only be twice a year.

Cigarette timeline
On 1 July, smoking in enclosed public places will be banned across the UK
Scotland and Wales already have such a ban; Northern Ireland will do soon; England's ban starts 1 July
The Magazine will count down the weeks with a series of articles about the impact of the ban on life in Britain

"I wouldn't say they're happy about it but I think they will accept it and obey it because the penalties are quite strict," says spokeswoman Kate Gibbs.

Similarly, company car drivers must adhere to the ban if they share their car with any colleagues. Owners who give a lift to a workmate should comply, says Jeremy Bennett, editor of the website Company Car Driver. And several companies which lease fleets of vehicles that are used by third parties have already introduced the ban and put the "no smoking" stickers on the dashboards.

Army barracks are not named in the legislation, but the Ministry of Defence outlawed smoking in shared premises last year. But offshore oil rigs will be exempt.

There are some exceptions to the ban, although some experts have praised the clear wording of the new law.

"There are always going to be some anomalies but the legislation has been well drafted in my view and these have been minimised," says health psychologist Robert West, director of tobacco studies at Cancer Research.

People will not be penalised for smoking in their own homes, even if this exposes others to second-hand smoke, including health visitors, nannies, cleaners and tradespeople.

Smoke on stage

But actors and comedians onstage will be allowed to light up for the sake of the "artistic integrity of a performance", unlike in Scotland.

A regular feature in the BBC News Magazine - aiming to answer some of the questions behind the headlines
When Edinburgh festival actor Mel Smith threaten to flout the ban by lighting up a cigar onstage, the city council said it would close the venue. He backed down.

The Department of Health has resisted copying Scotland's example in naming the grounds of hospitals as smoke-free, but many in England have that status already due to regulations of the local NHS Trust.

Police interview rooms are exempt in Scotland but not in England. And hotel rooms are not automatically smoke-free.

Residential psychiatric institutions in England can have a smoking room for one year but must impose the ban from 1 July 2008.

But people sampling goods in a specialist tobacconist are exempt, as long as there is a sign on the door warning people that it is not smoke-free.

People caught smoking by local authority enforcement officers will be fined 50, reduced to 30 if paid within 15 days. But, if the case comes to court, the fine could rise to 200.

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