Less than fifty days to go until smoke free

This weekend marked just 50 days to go before the Winchester district becomes smoke-free.

At 6am on 1 July virtually all enclosed public places and workplaces in England will be covered by new legislation that will protect employees and the public from the effects of second-hand smoke.

Winchester City Council and the NHS Trusts are providing support and advice for local businesses to help them comply with the new legislation and our enforcement officers will work closely with them to build compliance through education, advice and support.

From July 1, and unlike the media-hyped 'smoke police', our environmental health team will mainly be offering advice to businesses and responding to any complaints from members of the public. It may be necessary to take enforcement action but this will only be the case when we have exhausted all other routes.

The new legislation in England will cover virtually all enclosed and substantially enclosed public places and workplaces, including shops, offices, factories, pubs, restaurants, public transport, and work vehicles that are used by more than one person.  Indoor workplace smoking rooms will also disappear so anyone wishing to smoke will have to go outside instead.

All smoke-free premises and vehicles will also be required to display no-smoking signs.  Specific details on signage and specifications for where signs will need to be displayed will be included in the guidance. No-smoking signs will be made freely available from the Department of Health.

Those who do not comply with the new legislation may be liable to a fine or prosecution if found smoking in a smoke-free place or vehicle, failing to display a no-smoking sign or allowing smoking in a smoke-free place or vehicle.

Local businesses who have not yet had an information pack from the Department of Health, should go to www.smokefreeengland.co.uk or phone 0800 169 1697.

Visit www.smokefreehampshire.co.uk for more information and for details of local NHS Stop Smoking Services.