Smoking at work: the law

Smoking isn’t allowed in any enclosed workplace, public building or on public transport in the UK.

Penalty for smoking in the workplace

Workers can be fined up to £200, or up to £50 in Scotland.

The law doesn’t apply to e-cigarettes. Employers can decide if they can be used on their premises.

What businesses must do

Businesses must:

  • display ‘no smoking’ signs in all workplaces and vehicles - no smoking signs in Wales must be in both Welsh and English
  • make sure people don’t smoke in enclosed work premises or shared vehicles

Staff smoking rooms aren’t allowed - smokers must go outside.

Fines and penalties

Businesses can be fined up to £2,500 if they don’t stop people smoking in the workplace or up to £1,000 if they don’t display ‘no smoking’ signs.

In Scotland, there is a fixed penalty fine of £200, which can go up to £2,500 if the fine isn’t paid.

Smoking in work vehicles

Smoking isn’t allowed in any work vehicle that more than one person uses, eg:

  • taxis
  • buses
  • vans
  • goods vehicles used by more than one driver
  • company cars used by more than one employee

A worker can smoke in a company car that only they use if their employer agrees.

Residential care homes

Residential care homes and hospices can offer individual smoking rooms but only for residents.

The rooms must be well ventilated and smoke mustn’t get into other rooms.