Smoking at work

Kensington and Chelsea Smokefree workplaces

Smoking is no longer allowed in workplaces, public premises, on public transport and work vehicles in England. This is to reduce exposure to secondhand smoke.

It means that you, your staff, customers and visitors are not allowed to smoke within your organisation's premises if they are wholly or substantially enclosed. Smoking rooms are no longer allowed.

The law prohibits smoking any substance, including tobacco, such as:

  • manufactured cigarettes
  • hand-rolled cigarettes
  • pipes and cigars
  • herbs
  • water/shisha pipes

This includes being in possession of lit tobacco or any other lit substance in a form in which it could be smoked.

Smokefree policy

Businesses are advised to develop a workplace smokefree policy. This may be a verbal or written policy which is communicated to all staff and employees. This may be included in the induction training for new members of staff. Many businesses have also placed a copy of their smokefree policy on the staff notice board. Such policies often include but not limited to:

  • the law against smoking in workplaces
  • disciplinary actions to be taken where staff breach the law
  • how to deal with customers smoking in the premises

You can download a sample policy here:

If you need help developing a Smokefree policy for your workplace, please visit the Smokefree England website.


Dealing with non-compliance


We are confident that people will respect the smokefree law but you need to be prepared if someone smokes in a premise or vehicle for which you are responsible. We advise that you:

  • draw the attention of the smoker to the no-smoking sign and ask them to stop smoking
  • remind them that they are committing a criminal offence by smoking in a smokefree premise or vehicle
  • mention that as the person-in-charge for the smokefree premises or vehicle, you are responsible for preventing smoking and both of you may receive fines
  • consider refusing to offer your services to the individual, and request that he or she leave the premises or vehicle
  • keep a record of the incidence

If the person refuses to stop or leave, we advise that you deal with it the same way as you would deal with a disruptive customer. Seek the assistance of the police if physical violence is threatened by the person smoking. For further advice, please visit the Smokefree England website.

Last updated: 29 November 2019