5.6.2 The legislation

THE HEALTH ACT 2006 is legislation designed to stop the harmful effects of second-hand smoke. The Act is made up of 86 sections which are not all relevant for environmental enforcement officers. The provisions that are available to use are in chapter 1 and are sections 1 to 12 of the act. The relevant sections and subsections are below;

5 Smoke-free premises
(1) Premises are smoke-free if they are open to the public.

But unless the premises also fall within subsection (2), they are smoke-free only when open to the public.

(2) Premises are smoke-free if they are used as a place of work

(a) by more than one person (even if the persons who work there do so at different times, or only intermittently), or

(b) where members of the public might attend for the purpose of seeking or receiving goods or services from the person or persons working there (even if members of the public are not always present).

They are smoke-free all the time.

(3) If only part of the premises is open to the public or (as the case may be) used as a place of work mentioned in subsection (2), the premises are smoke-free only to that extent.

(4) In any case, premises are smoke-free only in those areas which are enclosed or substantially enclosed.

5 Vehicles

(1) The appropriate national authority may make regulations providing for vehicles to be smoke-free.

(1A) Regulations under this section may in particular provide for a private vehicle to be smoke-free where a person under the age of 18 is present in the vehicle.

6 No-smoking signs

(1) It is the duty of any person who occupies or is concerned in the management of smoke-free premises to make sure that no-smoking signs complying with the requirements of this section are displayed in those premises in accordance with the requirements of this section.

(2) Regulations made by the appropriate national authority may provide for a duty corresponding to that mentioned in subsection (1) in relation to—

(a) places which are smoke-free by virtue of section 4,

(b) vehicles which are smoke-free by virtue of section 5.

The duty is to be imposed on persons, or on persons of a description, specified in the regulations.

7 Offence of smoking in smoke-free place

(1) In this section, a “smoke-free place” means any of the following—

(a) premises, so far as they are smoke-free under or by virtue of sections 2 and 3 (including premises which by virtue of regulations under section 3(5) are smoke-free except in relation to performers),

(b) a place, so far as it is smoke-free by virtue of section 4,

(c) a vehicle, so far as it is smoke-free by virtue of section 5.

(2) A person who smokes in a smoke-free place commits an offence.

(3) But a person who smokes in premises which are not smoke-free in relation to performers by virtue of regulations under section 3(5) does not commit an offence if he is such a performer.

(4) It is a defence for a person charged with an offence under subsection (2) to show that he did not know, and could not reasonably have been expected to know, that it was a smoke-free place.

(5) If a person charged with an offence under this section relies on a defence in subsection (4), and evidence is adduced which is sufficient to raise an issue with respect to that defence, the court must assume that the defence is satisfied unless the prosecution proves beyond reasonable doubt that it is not.

(6) A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding a level on the standard scale specified in regulations made by the Secretary of State.

8 Offence of failing to prevent smoking in smoke-free place

(1) It is the duty of any person who controls or is concerned in the management of smoke-free premises to cause a person smoking there to stop smoking

(2) 9 Fixed penalties

(3) (1) An authorised officer of an enforcement authority (see section 10) who has reason to believe that a person has committed an offence under section 6(5) or 7(2) on premises, or in a place or vehicle, in relation to which the authorised officer has functions may give him a penalty notice in respect of the offence.

(4)  (1A) The appropriate national authority may by regulations provide that, in the circumstances specified in the regulations, an authorised officer of an enforcement authority (see section 10) who has reason to believe that a person has committed an offence under section 8(4) in relation to a vehicle in relation to which the authorised officer has functions may give the person a penalty notice in respect of the offence.]

(5) (2) A penalty notice is a notice offering a person the opportunity to discharge any liability to conviction for the offence to which the notice relates by paying a penalty in accordance with this Chapter.

(6) (3) Schedule 1 makes further provision about fixed penalties

10 Enforcement

(2) It is the duty of an enforcement authority to enforce, as respects the premises, places and vehicles in relation to which it has enforcement functions, the provisions of this Chapter and regulations made under it.

11 Obstruction etc. of officers

(3) (1) Any person who intentionally obstructs an authorised officer of an enforcement authority, acting in the exercise of his functions under or by virtue of this Chapter, commits an offence.