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No smoking signs reminder to South Lakes businesses

SLDC Environmental Health Officer Peter Adams with a no-smoking sign that businesses are legally required to display at all entrances to their premises Credit: South Lakeland District Council

Businesses in South Lakeland are being reminded that it is a legal requirement to display ‘no smoking’ signs at all entrances to their premises.

Spot-checks by council officers have revealed a significant number of businesses are still not complying with the legislation.

The government introduced smoke-free laws in 2007, which made it an offence to smoke in virtually all enclosed public places, workplaces and public and work vehicles.

Managers of smoke-free premises have a legal responsibility to prevent people smoking and part of the law requires no smoking signs to be displayed in a prominent position at every entrance to the premises.

Failure to comply with the laws is a criminal offence. Failure to display no­ smoking signs carries a fixed penalty notice of £200 imposed on whoever manages or occupies the smoke-free premises or vehicle, or a maximum fine of £1,000 if prosecuted and convicted by a court.

South Lakeland District Council (SLDC) officers are responsible for enforcing the law and can offer information and support to help businesses meet their legal obligations.

The council operates a ‘progressive enforcement’ policy, giving advice to businesses initially and only resorting to prosecution if the business fails to act on the advice.

“So far everyone we have spoken to has listened to the advice and we haven’t needed to issue any fixed penalty notices.

“But our recent checks have shown there are still many businesses that are not complying with the law. We just want to remind them that there is the risk of a fine or prosecution if they don’t do something about it.’’

– SLDC Environmental Health Officer Peter Adams