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With England becoming smokefree from July 1st, council officers are making business owners aware of their responsibilities.

The Health Act 2006 has been designed to protect people from the effects of second hand smoke, and means businesses like pubs, restaurants and all workplaces must ban smoking inside their premises.

As part of their responsibilities, officers from Hounslow Council’s business regulation unit are routinely advising business owners about the new legislation. The unit comprises of staff from trading standards, food safety, health and safety and licensing.

Cllr Barbara Reid, lead member for environment and planning, said, “The introduction of smokefree legislation will mean a cultural change for many business operators in the borough. Our officers are making business owners aware of the new law and its implications. Our advice is to be prepared - the ban is now just two months away.”

The concept is a a smokefree England that will create a healthier environment, so everyone can socialise, relax, travel, shop and work free from secondhand smoke. Hounslow Council will be implementing a local publicity campaign to run concurrently with national publicity around smoke free legislation.

Employers, managers and those in charge of smokefree premises and vehicles will need to:

• Display 'no smoking' signs in smokefree premises and vehicles.
• Take reasonable steps to ensure that staff, customers/members and visitors are aware that premises and vehicles are legally required to be smokefree.
• Remove any existing indoor smoking rooms.
• Ensure that no one smokes in smokefree premises or vehicles.

They are also being advised to take these supportive measures:

• Remove ashtrays from smokefree areas.
• Develop a smokefree policy in consultation with staff.
• Offer staff training to help them understand the new law and what their responsibilities are.
• Provide your staff and customers with support to quit smoking.


April 24, 2007