Watch the live web stream of the virtual full Brent Council meeting on Monday, 13 July 2020 at 6pm

Smoke-free workplaces

The Health Act 2006 smoking ban applies to every pub, restaurant, office, shop, garage, warehouse; every indoor workplace. It also applies to partially-enclosed areas if less than half the sides are open, and in most vehicles used at work.

Employer requirements

Employers, managers and those in charge of smoke-free premises and vehicles must:

  • display no smoking signs in smoke-free premises
  • take reasonable steps to ensure that staff, customers/members and visitors are aware that premises and vehicles are legally required to be smoke-free
  • ensure that no one smokes in smoke-free premises or vehicles

You may also want to take these supportive measures:

  • remove ashtrays from smoke free areas
  • develop a smokefree policy in consultation with staff
  • provide your staff and customers with support to quit smoking
  • ensure that your staff and customers know where they can smoke if they choose to

Smoking shelters

There is no requirement for you to provide a smoking shelter, however, if you choose to, it is likely you will need planning permission.

A smoking shelter is similar to a bus shelter and aims to give people who go outside to smoke some protection from the weather. Shelters can only be erected on your site - not over the pavement or on land not owned by you. Note that the law requires shelters to have mainly open sides so that smoke is not trapped in an enclosed space.

Consult The Smoke-free (Premises and Enforcement) Regulations and contact our food safety team service for advice on structures by emailing

Investigations and inspections

We will:

  • inspect premises to check appropriate no smoking signs are displayed and smoking has been prohibited
  • investigate any complaints received

The new law allows the councils to serve fixed penalty notices on people smoking inside workplaces. Brent Council will prosecute proprietors of commercial premises if they allow staff or customer to smoke.

Water or shisha pipe smoking

Using a water pipe (otherwise known as shisha or hookah) to smoke tobacco poses a serious potential health hazard to smokers and others exposed to the smoke emitted. The smoke free law bans the use of water pipes or shisha within any enclosed workplace, this includes shisha cafes.

Enforcing the law

Local councils enforce the law. In Brent, this is carried out by environmental health officers, in food premises such as restaurants; bars; hotels; and other premises that sell food. 

Health and safety enforcement officers enforce the law in all other work places.

Regulations on signs, penalties and discounted amounts, offences in vehicles and the format for fixed penalty notices can be found on the Smoke Free England website.