Proposals to curb smoking in enclosed public places are being put out to consultation by the government. Here are the plans:
All enclosed public places and workplaces should be smoke free, unless specifically exempted. This would cover not just hospitals and schools but also rail stations, shops, plus pubs where food is prepared and served and restaurants
Exceptions include residential premises - oil rigs, halls of residence, adult hospices, long-stay adult residential care homes, psychiatric hospitals, prisons and other "places of detention"
All restaurants smoke free, pubs and bars preparing and serving food will be smoke free. Other pubs and bars will be able to choose if they want to permit smoking - although the plan is to ban smoking within one metre of the bar
Private members clubs will have to hold annual ballots about allowing smoking
How quickly will bans be brought in?
By the end of 2006 all government departments and the NHS will be smoke free. By the end of 2007 all enclosed public places and workplaces, other than licensed premises, will be smoke free. By the end of 2008 arrangements for licensed premises to be in place
Offences for breaching new rules
Ministers are proposing three types of offences with fines of between £50 and £200 for
not displaying no-smoking notices in smoke free premises
failing to prevent smoking in a smoke free premises
knowingly smoking in a smoke free premises
What will the consultation focus on?
The consultation paper will look at the definition of an enclosed public place, the definition of preparing and serving food, exemptions, signage, offences and penalties, the timetable for the changes. People wishing to respond must do so by 5 September 2005
People wishing to contribute can e-mail: email@example.com
Or they can write to: Smoke free Legislation Team, Health Improvement Directorate, Department of Health, Rm 707 Wellington House, 133-155 Waterloo Road, London SE1 8UG.