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Welcome to birmingham.gov.uk

Non-Smoking Compliance

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Overview

From 1 July 2007 we became responsible for the enforcement of smoke free laws in Birmingham. There are three offences:

  • Smoking in a smoke free place or vehicle
  • Not displaying appropriate no smoking signs in a smoke free place or vehicle
  • Allowing smoking in a smoke free place or vehicle.

To report a non-compliance issues press the online form button above, or alternatively contact the national hotline on 0800 587 1667.

For more advice and information for commercial businesses please see smokefree information for licensed businesses.

Essential Information
  • Certain premises may have exemptions from the smoke free laws.

    • Hotels, guest house, inns and hostels
    • Care homes
    • Hospices
    • Prisons
    • Specialist tobacconists (only for the purposes of sampling goods)
    • Mental health units
    • Research and testing facilities

    1. emissions from tobacco and other products used for smoking
    2. development of products for smoking with lower fire hazards
    3. the fire safety testing of materials involving products for smoking
    4. smoking cessation programmes
    5. Performers. It is appropriate for a person to smoke as part of a performance. They can do so only for the 'main' performance.

      The list of exemptions needs to be considered in conjunction with the table of conditions required to be met for designated rooms which is set out below.
  • The table below details the conditions that must be met for designated rooms in a specified premises, as set out in the Smoke-free (Exemptions and Vehicles) Regulations. A "yes" on the chart means that the condition must be met in order to designate a room for smoking. If all required conditions are not met in any designated room in a specified premises, the room must be smoke free under the provisions in the Health Act 2006.

    Type of Premises

    Accommodation for guests and club members (hotels, guest houses, inns, hostels, or members clubs), not including dormitories.

    Other residential accommodation (only care homes, hospices and prisons).

    Research and testing facilities (limited to those engaged in research or tests specified in regulations).

    Mental Health Units that provide residential accommodation (exemption allowed until 1st July 2008).

    Specialist tobacconist shops (as defined in the Tobacco Advertising and Promotion Act 2002.

    Type of room that can be designated

    Guest bedrooms, set apart exclusively for sleeping accommodation

    Bedrooms or rooms used only for smoking.

    Rooms used for specified research or tests.

    Bedrooms or rooms used only for smoking.

    Entire shop

    Room designated in writing by the person in charge of the premises, which the permitted smoking room is located.

    yes

    yes

    yes

    yes

    Room has a ceiling and, except for doors and windows, is completely enclosed on all sides by solid, floor-to-ceiling walls.

    yes

    yes

    yes

    yes

    yes

    Room does not have a ventilation system that ventilates into any smoke free area.

    yes

    yes

    yes

    yes

    yes

    Room does not have any doors that open onto smoke-free premises, which is not mechanically closed immediately after use.

    yes

    yes(except prisons)

    yes

    yes

    yes

    Room is clearly marked as a room in which smoking is permitted.

    yes

    yes

    yes

    yes

    yes

  • Birmingham Public Heath, in partnership with Birmingham City Council (Regulation and Enforcement) is working to increase awareness, amongst users, of the health effects of using shisha. Part of the awareness campaign is an educational DVD which is being used at health events, in GP surgeries and is available with a wealth of other information on this important subject at:

    http://www.allaboutshisha.com

    Shisha (hookah or Hubble bubble), is a form of smoking traditional to the Middle East and Asia and its popularity within the United Kingdom has increased in recent years. It is a sociable activity where people sit together and pass the shisha pipe amongst the group so they can enjoy the experience together. Shisha smoking can now be found within the home or within shisha businesses.

    Shisha is smoking a substance which is tobacco flavoured with molasses or sugar cane juice and dried fruit, so the smoke has a sweet smell and a taste. This substance is burnt over lit charcoal and the smoke passes through a liquid, to cool down the smoke, before it is inhaled through a pipe by the consumer.

    Shisha smoking is on the increase in the city of Birmingham, and although illegal until the age of 18, it is common practice for parties to take place where under 18’s are in attendance.

    Contrary to user’s belief, the effects of smoking shisha are deemed more harmful than smoking cigarettes because the liquid in the pipes does not act as a filter for the harmful toxins within the smoke from the tobacco and charcoal. Shisha smoke can contain carbon monoxide, nicotine, arsenic, and lead.

    World Health Organisation (WHO) research shows that in one hour a water pipe smoker can inhale the equivalent amount of smoke as released by 100 cigarettes.

    In addition, there are health implications from sharing the pipe, including a risk of catching TB, herpes and gum disease and the risk of passive smoking.

    Shisha is smoked now by all sectors of the community and by both men and women, young and old. Users do not always recognise the risks of smoking shisha or deem it as smoking in the same way as smoking cigarettes. Many of the smokers are young people and it is also thought that if they start smoking shisha there is a very high probability that they will become cigarette smokers.

    Pregnant women who smoke shisha may also be unaware of the health risks to themselves or their unborn baby.

    Shisha premises are not exempt from the smoke free legislation. Shisha is therefore smoked outside, predominantly in elaborate shelters which have to be 50% open to the air. Shisha business are different from other businesses as they encourage customers to stay in the external smoking area for extended periods of time by providing furniture, heating, lighting, entertainment and refreshments. Officers are working extensively with these businesses and in partnership with Fire Safety Officers to ensure they are compliant with all legislation.


    For information on help to stop smoking go to http://www.smokefree.nhs.uk/

    If you would like to discuss any concerns about the safety of a shisha premises or report any non compliance issues generally then use our online form at http://www.birmingham.gov.uk/smokefree


Frequently Asked Questions
    • See external website for further information.


    • Yes. The Primary Care Trust (PCT) has a range of services across Birmingham. They run support groups and most GP surgeries have trained staff that can offer one to one appointments. The PCT will also run support groups for your employees, staff and customers in your business premises. For further information you may wish to contact the local NHS Stop Smoking Service on 0800 0525 855.


    • All leased cars are exempt. Vehicles being primarily used for business purposes should be smokefree and display the appropriate no-smoking signs.


    • If you are planning to erect a permanent structure you should contact Planning as you may require planning permission. Please note that planning permission can take up to 8 weeks. You should also consider if the shelter will affect your license, and if the structure needs permission from Highways.



    • No. If you own premises that the public can access or which more than one person works in then all enclosed and substantially enclosed areas must be smokefree. This essentially means that all indoor areas must be smokefree. The only exemptions to this rule are living quarters in hostels, and nursing homes in which a smoking room can be designated, and in hotel bedrooms.

    • Sole traders also need to comply with the law, unless they are working from home.


    • Enclosed and substantially enclosed workplaces are those with a ceiling or roof and more than 50% of their perimeter consisting of walls (including windows and doors). This effectively means all indoor areas.

      • Anyone found smoking in a smoke free place would be served a Fixed Penalty Notice, for committing the offence. This will increase if payment is not received promptly.
      • Failure to display the appropriate no smoking signs would result in a Fixed Penalty of £200
      • Failing to prevent smoking in a workplace will result in prosecution of the manager on duty with a fine of up to £2,500

    • If you haven't been able to find the information that you need then the link below will take you to a form that you can use to ask us further questions.


      Service Specific Enquiry