Are smoking shelters compulsory?

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Are smoking shelters compulsory?

Are you wondering “Are smoking shelters compulsory?” If so, you’re certainly not alone. This is a common question asked by UK business owners who want to be sure they’re complying with their legal obligations. Read on to find out if you’re legally required to install a smoking shelter on your site. 

What is a smoking shelter?

A smoking shelter is, in its simplest form, an area under a ceiling or roof where people can smoke. Whilst it’s true that many smoking shelters have a back and sides to create a more enclosed effect, they can’t be fully enclosed. Legally, a maximum of 50% of the structure can be enclosed. This is to comply with the UK smoking ban in enclosed spaces. 

Any shelter which is deemed ‘substantially enclosed’ will be required to be smoke-free to comply with the Health Act 2006 and Smoke-free (Premises and Enforcement) Regulations 2006. The purpose of a smoking shelter is to provide shelter during periods of inclement weather.

Why have smoking shelters become so popular? Smoking Shelters in Leicester

The number of businesses investing in smoking shelters has rocketed since 2007. It was on July 1st of that year that the UK government brought into force a complete indoor smoking ban in enclosed workplaces and public spaces throughout the country. Smokers were no longer able to smoke freely in these places and would need to find an appropriate smoking area outside. 

As a result of the rule, many businesses opted to install smoking shelters on their premises. This made life easier for their employees and customers who smoked. More and more companies are still investing in smoking shelters due to this law. With RTC Fencing one of the leading companies providing these structures in the UK.  

Do employers have to provide smoking shelters?

No, you are not legally required by law to offer your employees a designated smoking shelter. However, it could prove to be a good move for your business. Not only can you ensure that your staff are smoking in a safe area far enough away from buildings but you can help to keep the smokers in your workforce happy. A smoking shelter provides people who smoke with vital shelter when it’s raining or snowing. 

For many employees who smoke, the activity is thought of as a stress reliever. By providing a smoking shelter, you can supply them with a secure place to relax away from their desks during their breaks. 

What are the consequences of not providing a smoking shelter?

Legally, nothing. There’s no law that says that you must provide a smoking shelter on your premises. However, there are some consequences to prepare for if you choose not to. If you don’t provide a smoking shelter, people may smoke too near to the main buildings on your site. This can lead to non-smokers becoming disturbed by second-hand smoke. 

This type of smoke isn’t just unpleasant to walk through – it can also cause significant health issues, including cancer. Young children are particularly at risk of conditions caused by second-hand smoke, including lung infections, bronchitis and asthma. By installing a smoking shelter, you’ll encourage people to smoke in this designated space. Keeping the rest of your outside premises ‘smoke-free’. 

Another consequence of not providing a smoking shelter is litter. By providing a designated area for people to smoke, you can discourage the dropping of cigarette butts and empty packets onto the floor. Smoking shelters can come with cigarette bins attached, making it easy for smokers to dispose of their rubbish without littering. Not only does this help your site to stay clean, tidy and presentable but it also reduces the risk of fire caused by dropped cigarette butts. 

Smoking Areas in Birmingham Smoking shelters in Nottingham, Leicester and Birmingham

Although a smoking shelter is not compulsory for a business, it can be a fantastic investment. A smoking shelter can provide a safe, comfortable area for your staff and customers to smoke in all weathers. If you’re looking for a reputable company to provide smoking shelters in Leicester, Birmingham or Leicester, look no further than RTC Fencing. 

We have been supplying and installing smoking shelters throughout the Midlands and across the UK for many years. Our smoking shelters are built to the highest standards and according to all the latest regulations. As well as installing these structures outside many commercial and public buildings, we also install them outside hospitality venues such as bars, nightclubs and restaurants.

Smoking shelters designed and manufactured to the highest standards 

At RTC, we design and construct smoking shelters to the very highest standards. Not only are they incredibly durable and able to withstand all that the British weather has to throw at them but they also adhere to all the latest rules and regulations set out in the Smoke-free (Premises and Enforcement) Regulations 2006. This means that rather than being fully or substantially closed, they have openings that are open to the outside. 

We aim to install our smoking shelters a minimum of two metres away from any building or structure. This helps to prevent issues with ventilation that can come with installing a shelter too close to a building or entranceway. We supply commercial smoking shelters in various designs and with a range of features to suit your needs. 

Contact us 

Now you know the answer to “Are smoking shelters compulsory?”, you may be looking to invest in them for your business premises. To find out more about our smoking shelters in Nottingham, Leicester and Birmingham, get in touch. Call us on 0800 086 2517 to discuss your requirements with one of our friendly and knowledgeable team. You can also contact us by sending an email to or sending a message via our website

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