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October 5, 2012

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Simplified smoke-free signage rules

Legal requirements for no-smoking signs have changed as part of the Government’s drive to ease the regulatory burden on businesses.

The new Smoke-free (Signs) Regulations 2012 (the 2012 Regulations) came into force on Monday (1 October) and replace the Smoke-free (Signs) Regulations 2007.

The 2012 Regulations set out the minimum requirements for no-smoking signs in smoke-free premises and vehicles.  They require at least one legible no-smoking sign to still be displayed. Employers are free to decide the size, design and location of no-smoking signs, and need take no action if they were in compliance with the previous Regulations.

To highlight the changes, the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) has partnered with the Trading Standards Institute to produce new guidance for regulatory officers and businesses.

According to the CIEH, the previous rules covering smoke-free legislation achieved high levels of compliance with businesses and proved popular with the public. All the research in the UK indicates that smoke-free legislation has resulted in health improvements for employees, as well as the public, says the organisation.

Ian Gray, CIEH principal policy officer, who co-authored the guidance, said: “Many people managing smoke-free premises and vehicles understand the need to support their staff in ensuring simple and trouble-free compliance by members of the public using their premises and vehicles.

“Businesses are free to keep any pre-existing no-smoking signs in place and to provide as much additional signage in whatever format and language they consider appropriate to inform people and support compliance.”

The guidance is available on the CIEH website at:

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