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Whether providing facilities for smoking as a main part of your business (e.g. shisha café), or providing facilities for smoking that’s incidental to the business (e.g. pub’s smoking shelter), you must comply with The Health Act 2006 and The Smoke-free (Premises and Enforcement) Regulations 2006.
Where smoking is a main activity, the objective is often to provide a comfy, warm place where people can stay for extended periods of time. This contrasts with the regulations which require enclosed or substantially enclosed premises to be smoke-free.
Businesses importing and/or supplying tobacco products, including Shisha, also face other regulations.
Before entering into binding contracts to rent or purchase premises or spending money modifying a premise check that your ideas can comply with all relevant legislation.
Before setting up a shisha café you should consider:
Compliance with any of the above considerations does not automatically earn compliance
with another. For example having planning permission does not mean that the structure is
compliant with smoke-free law.
The above list is not intended to be exhaustive and it is your responsibility to ensure that you
comply with all aspects of the law. This is a complex area and you should consider obtaining
independent legal advice.
Because of the wide variety of laws and enforcing authorities involved, we regularly work in partnership with the police, Customs and Revenue, and Trading Standards.
Section 1(2) of the Act applies to the smoking of tobacco or anything which contains tobacco. This includes being in possession of lit tobacco or anything lit which contains tobacco. Also being in possession of any other lit substance in a form in which it can be smoked. That includes smoking shisha. Smoking is described as being in possession of a lit article.
The Act prohibits smoking in an area which has a roof or ceiling and is enclosed or
substantially enclosed, and which is:
Premises will be considered to be “enclosed” if they have a ceiling or roof, and except for doors, windows or passage ways are wholly enclosed, whether on a permanent or temporary
A ceiling or roof is any fixed or moveable structure or device capable of covering all or part of
the premises and can include things like canvas awnings, temporary covers etc.
The term roof includes any fixed or moveable structure or device which is capable of covering
all or part of the premises as a roof, including, for example, a canvas awning.
Premises are “open to the public” if the public or a section of the public has access to them,
whether by invitation or not, and whether on payment or not.
No. All of England and Wales is covered by the same legislation*.
This is specified in the ‘The Smoke-free (Premises and Enforcement) Regulations 2006’.
Premises will be considered to be substantially enclosed if they have a ceiling or roof, but
there are openings in the walls which are less than half of the total wall area, including other
structures that serve the purpose of walls. When working out the area of an opening, no
account can be taken of openings in which there are doors, windows or other fittings which
can be opened or shut.
Please note that walls, other structures and items close to the shelter may be counted when
determining the degree of enclosure.
Walls and other structures etc that are more than 1.5 metres away from the perimeter of the
smoking shelter will not be considered by us as part of that shelter, while those that are 1.5 metres or nearer to the perimeter of the smoking shelter will be considered part of it.
In the case of a nearby wall; where the roof edge is the same height or higher than the adjacent wall then the distance between the wall and roof edge measured horizontally, will be used to calculate the openness of that wall. Where the edge of the roof is higher than the top of the wall the direct distance between them will be used. This calculation gives credit for increases in either or both the height of the roof above the top of the wall or the distance the structure is placed from the wall. See example in attached leaflet "Thinking about setting up a shisha cafe", on the left hand side of the page.
If we believe that your smoking shelter is substantially enclosed and should be smoke-free they may prosecute you or people who smoke inside. The case would normally be heard in the Magistrates’ Court: it is the opinion of the court that will decide whether the shelter is substantially enclosed or not.
Section 6 of the Act deals with the requirement for ‘no smoking' signs. It is the responsibility of the owner or person involved in the management of the premises to make sure that no-smoking signs are displayed in those premises in accordance with that section.
If you require help with something in this section, please contact us.