Smoking in Public Places

Scotland was the first country in the UK to introduce a ban on smoking in enclosed public places because of the health risks associated with passive smoking.   The law came into effect on 26 March 2006.

Smoking is no longer allowed in any workplace or public place which is ‘wholly or substantially enclosed’.  In simple terms this means a public place, including workplace, which has a roof and walls on at least 50% of its perimeter.  This includes restaurants, bars, shops, offices, work vehicles and community halls.  The laws also apply to public transport including buses and bus stops, taxis and private hire vehicles.  Many premises have adopted smoke-free policies which also prohibit the use of e-cigarettes, although this is not currently a legal requirement.

The law does not cover domestic premises or common parts in domestic premises, such as stairways.

Enforcement of the law lies with the Environmental Health team, who have powers to serve fixed penalty notices on those who do not comply with the law.  Environmental Health also has a role in ensuring that businesses and individuals have the information and advice they require to comply with the law.

The Environmental Health Service is committed to the support of businesses and individuals to achieve compliance.

Premises covered by the law are required to display prominent notices stating that they are no-smoking premises.  The name of the responsible person should also be displayed as someone to whom complaints about smoking can be made.  

Templates are available to download below:

No Smoking – A4 sized poste (45.9kB)
No Smoking – A5 sized sign (42.6kB)
No Smoking – A6 sized vehicle sign (78.7kB)

More information on how organisations can comply with the law in Scotland can be found on the Scottish Government (Opens in a new window or downloads a file) website.