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Care of Churches

No Smoking Regulations

Health Act 2006

How does it affect your church?

From 1 July 2007 virtually all enclosed public places and workplaces in England became smokefree. The new law was introduced to protect employees and the public from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke.

The smokefree law applies to virtually all 'enclosed' and 'substantially enclosed' public places and workplaces.

This includes both permanent structures and temporary ones such as tents and marquees, and includes churches, places of worship and church/parish halls.
A normal church porch would be defined as 'substantially enclosed' so smoking is not allowed.  A lych gate, however, is not 'substantially enclosed' so people could smoke there.

The law does NOT affect the use of incense or candles in churches!

Requirements

Those people who control or manage smokefree premises have legal responsibilities to prevent people from smoking.
The new law requires no-smoking signs to be displayed in all smokefree premises.

No-smoking signs

No-smoking signs must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • be a minimum of A5 in area (210mm x 148mm)
  • display the international no-smoking symbol at least 70mm in diameter
  • carry the following words in characters that can be easily read:

'No smoking. It is against the law to smoke in these premises'.

Signs 'need to be displayed in a prominent position at every entrance to smokefree premises'.

It is up to each PCC to choose the most appropriate place in the building for the sign, as long as the sign is prominently displayed.

It is not necessary for it to be permanently fixed to the fabric of the building. It may be that the sign could be displayed within a porch or on a notice board near the main entrance.

In addition, smaller signs consisting of the international no smoking symbol only (at least 70mm in diameter) must be displayed at external entrances to smokefree premises that are only used by members of staff (e.g. vestry) - providing the premises displays at least one A5 area sign.

Signs can be downloaded free-of-charge from www.smokefreeengland.co.uk

What to do

Ensure that the PCC is aware of its obligations under the regulations.
Display no-smoking signs as required by the regulations.

Remember

The local authority is the enforcing body.

PCCs must take notice of the requirements of the regulations and consider how they can meet its requirements.

Display of the required signage will not normally require a faculty.

Useful Information and Contacts

Smokefree England: www.smokefreeengland.co.uk

Signage Guidance for Churches, Places of Worship and Church/Parish Halls (NHS)