Smoking in Public Places (SIPPS)

  • A ban on smoking in the workplace, in enclosed and “substantially” enclosed public places (with certain limited exceptions) and in certain vehicles was introduced in England on 1 July 2007.
  • A public place smoking ban was implemented in Scotland in March 2006 under separate legislation (the Smoking, Health and Social Care (Scotland) Act) on 26 March 2006. Wales and Northern Ireland introduced bans on 2 April 2007 and 30 April 2007, respectively. A PPS ban was implemented on the Isle of Man on 29 March 2008.
  • 20% of the adult population choose to smoke cigarettes or handrolling tobacco.
  • It is perfectly legal to manufacture, sell by retail, buy and consume tobacco.
  • The scientific evidence available on environmental tobacco smoke causing serious diseases in non-smokers is, when taken as a whole, inconclusive, but it is accepted that non-smokers can find tobacco smoke unpleasant and annoying.
  • The TMA are not opposed to restrictions on smoking in public places.  Smokers should have available to them places where they may smoke but without inconveniencing others and, conversely, non-smokers should have access to smoke-free areas.   The majority of EU Member States have achieved this and were disappointed that the UK Government did not consider this when the Health Act was reviewed in 2010.
  • Smoking in work and public places was governed for years by voluntarily adopted self-regulation.  If allowed more time, that approach could have been effective in providing more non-smoking facilities in pubs, bars, restaurants, so that non-smokers would not be exposed to tobacco smoke against their wishes.

Impact on business

The TMA believes there is still an economic case for exemptions in order to achieve a more equitable approach to the issue of public place smoking, as evidenced in other European member states.  For example, the Dutch government had to relax its all inclusive ban when a court ruled that this was disadvantageous for small and family business1. Similarly, in some German states exemptions were allowed, and this has been widely accepted as a reasonable outcome.  In Bavaria,  there is a <75 m2 exemption for single room drink led venues for adults and larger outlets are allowed a separate smoking room (walls and self-closing door).

To download a copy of the TMA briefing on smoking in outside spaces, please click on the image below.