From 6am on 26 March 2006, smoking will be banned in Scotland in all public places that are either wholly or substantially enclosed.  Owners and managers of businesses will have a duty to display 'no smoking' notices and take reasonable precautions to ensure that staff, customers, members and visitors are aware of the new law and do not smoke on the premises.  Fines of £200 are risked by owners/managers who fail in their duties under the new legislation.  Defaulting may also be taken into account in decisions as to whether to renew liquor licences.  Individual defaulters will risk a £50 fine if they are caught by Environmental Health Officers.  See the link below for more information on how the ban will affect your business.

Proposals have also been made in England for a smoking ban in public places and workplaces.  The government White Paper which was published in November 2005 provided for two exceptions to the ban.  However, these have provoked some controversy and on 2 February 2006, Ministers published the three options on which they will be holding a free vote.  These are: (i) to extend the ban to licensed premises but not genuine membership clubs;  (ii) to extend to both licensed premises and membership clubs; and (iii) to exempt non-food serving pubs and membership clubs, as originally proposed.  The plan is to stagger the bringing in of the ban, starting with all NHS premises in 2006 and aiming at a full ban by 2008.  See the link below for the most up-to-date Department of Health press releases.

Smoke-free in Scotland: http://www.clearingtheairscotland.com/index.html
Department of Health Press Releases:  http://www.dh.gov.uk/Home/fs/en

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