The Smoking Ban - A Breath of Fresh Air!

In April 2007, virtually all enclosed and substantially enclosed public spaces, workplaces and vehicles in Wales became Smoke-free as new regulations came into force to help protect public health. This was intended to ensure a healthier environment for everyone to work and relax in, free from the dangers of second-hand smoke.

The Smoke-free Premises etc. (Wales) Regulations 2007 prohibit smoking in enclosed public places, work places and work vehicles. Failing to display No Smoking signs is also an offence.

The smoking ban applies to anything that can be smoked. This would therefore include cigarettes, pipes (including shisha and hookah pipes), cigars and herbal cigarettes.

The premises covered by the ban are essentially anywhere with a roof and which are enclosed by more than 50% walls – so that could include covered walkways in shopping malls etc. as well as shops, pubs and workplaces etc. The ban also covers work vehicles, including taxis.

There is no legal requirement to provide smoking shelters, but if they are provided:

  • The space covered by the roof of the shelter must only be enclosed by 50% or less of wall area.
  • Planning consent will be required for any form of permanent smoking shelter, and approval from the Licensing team may also be required for any licensed premises.

Why was the Smoking Ban introduced?

Being exposed to second-hand smoke can increase a non-smoker's risk of getting lung cancer by 24% and the risk of getting heart disease by 25%, as well as being associated with many other medical conditions like respiratory disease and other types of cancer. There is no risk-free level of exposure to second-hand smoke.

Second-hand smoke is tobacco smoke from other peoples cigarettes and cigars and it contains over 4,000 chemicals in the form of particles and gases - some of these chemicals are dangerous poisons. Just thirty minutes exposure is enough to reduce coronary blood flow.

Enforcing the Smoking Ban

Responsibility for enforcement of the ban rests with local authorities, who have a range of powers available to them to ensure the smoking ban is effective. Offences that could lead to enforcement action include:

  • Smoking in a Smokefree place
  • Failing to display the required no-smoking signs
  • Failing to prevent smoking in a Smokefree place.

Non-compliance of the Smokefree law is a criminal offence. Fixed Penalty Notices can be issues for some offences, whilst more serious cases may lead to prosecution.

  • The fixed penalties are:
    • failing to display correct signage, a fixed penalty charge will be £200 (reduced to £150 if paid in full within the stipulated time). 
    • smoking in a smoke-free premises, a fixed penalty charge will be £50 (reduced to £30 if paid within the stipulated time).
  • The maximum fines on prosecution are:
    • Failing to display the correct no-smoking signs (£1000 maximum)
    • Smoking in a smoke-free place (£200 maximum)
    • Failing to prevent smoking in a smoke-free place (£2500 maximum)
    • Intentional obstruction of an enforcement officer (£1000 maximum)

How can I complain about breaches of the legislation?

If someone is smoking in no-smoking premises or a work vehicle, you should complain in the first instance to the manager or the person in charge of the premises or vehicle – they have a legal duty to stop smoking on their premises.

If problems persist, you can contact:

  • The Licensing team in relation to all licensed premises, on 01633 647284
  • The Food, Health and Safety Team on 01633 627621/22 for all other premises
Last Modified: 05/12/2018
For more information contact:

Licensing Team

Tel: 01633 647284


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