Belfast is a smoke-free cityIt's against the law to smoke in most enclosed workplaces and public places, including:
- offices, factories, bars, restaurants, cafés, hotels and other places of work
- public places like shopping centres, church and community halls and health centres
- most vehicles used for work purposes and public vehicles such as cars, lorries, vans, buses, taxis, trains and minibuses.
- check they are complying with the law
- offer help and advice
- take legal action against offenders (where necessary).
Penalties and finesIf you're caught smoking in a smoke-free place, you may receive a £80 fixed penalty fine or a maximum fine, upon conviction, of £1,000.
If you are a business owner and you don't display a no smoking sign on your premises, you could receive a fixed penalty fine of £200. You could also be prosecuted and may face a maximum fine of £1,000.
If you fail to prevent people from smoking in designated smoke-free places and vehicles, it may lead to a maximum fine, upon conviction, of £2,500.
You can also report breaches of smoke-free law to us by calling 0845 603 2500.
Calls will be charged at a local rate and all reports are investigated by our officers.
Cigarette vending machinesThe Northern Ireland Assembly recently approved The Protection from Tobacco (Sales from Vending Machines) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012. These Regulations make it illegal to sell tobacco products directly to the public from vending machines in Northern Ireland from 1 March 2012. We will be carrying out enforcement visits to premises to ensure that the regulations are being adhered to.
The guidance on vending machines (PDF - 31KB), which was produced by the Department of Health, Social Services and Public safety, explains the requirements of the legislation.
For more information or advice, contact our Health and Safety Unit on 028 9027 0428.