Everything You Need To Know: Smoking Shelter Regulations

Everything You Need To Know: Smoking Shelter Regulations

The government implemented new legislation in 2007 to declare the entire UK smoke-free in public places. The new regulations stated that places of work must be smoke-free at all times in all enclosed and substantially enclosed parts. This is still the case even if people work there at different times of the day.

In response to this, businesses began to install smoking shelters to accommodate people who work on or visit their premises. However, smoking shelters must comply with the requirements of the Smoke-free (Premises and Enforcement) Regulations 2006.

Pro Tip: You are under no obligation to provide a smoking shelter for your employees – Keep reading to learn more.

What is a smoking structure?

A smoking shelter or structure is an area that is under a roof or ceiling. It does not need to have walls and could be simply an area with a canopy

For a more enclosed feeling, the smoking shelter can have back and sides. However, it legally can not be fully enclosed. More information on this is provided below.

Do I have to provide a smoking shelter?

No. You are under no legal obligation to provide any kind of smoking shelter for your employees.

However, installing a smoking shelter may prove a wise move. You don’t know where your employees or customers are likely to smoke. Which may cause issues – such as second-hand smoke complaints. 

Smoking shelters will be a natural draw for smokers. So public areas around your property will not be filled with unwanted smoke. Installing a smoking shelter will accumulate all of the smoke in one designated area.

Smokers will also be more than happy with having a designated smoking area. They will be able to enjoy their smoking habit while being protected from the natural elements.

As a business owner, you will also get to decide where you want to install a smoking shelter. This can steer odours and noise away from busy entrance ways, for example.

Do I need planning permission for a smoking shelter?

Yes. Planning permission is required for all permanent external structures. This is the case if the shelter is attached to a building or free-standing.  Always check if a shelter will need Building Regulation approval, too. Shelters that are greater than 15m2 will require approval.

How many sides can a smoking shelter have?

To comply with regulations, smoking shelters must have openings that are open to the outside not be fully enclosed or substantially closed. This means that the shelter must not have any fittings that can be opened or closed that enclose more than 50% of the shelter.

Pro Tip: Doors, windows and passageways are not considered openings

How far must a smoking shelter be from any other structures?

There are no legal requirements on how far a smoking shelter should be from any other structure. However, we’d always recommend it be at least 2 metres away from other structures. There may be ventilation issues if it’s too close to a building, or you may receive complaints if it is too close to any entranceways or windows.

If you would like further information you can reach out to us directly or get in touch with your local council or authority.

How can MIKO help?

Thinking about installing a smoking shelter on your premises? At Miko Shelter Solutions, we work on the basis that ‘all things are possible’. This motto has been borne out of over 30 years of experience in the design and manufacturing of street furniture and shelters. These blanket-terms cover a wide range of products, including our smoking shelters.

If you have any questions regarding our products or services please get in touch with Miko Engineering by using our contact form.



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