Exemptions to the Smoking Ban - A Guide to Stop Smoking

The Smoking Ban is aimed at nearly all public areas and workplaces but there are a few exemptions to this ban.

The aim of this ban is that of a smoke free environment which people can enjoy without the risks of passive smoking. But the government has enabled a few areas to ‘opt out’ of the ban.

Areas which are exempt from the smoking ban include:

  • Prisons
  • Hospices (adults only)
  • Nursing/Residential care homes
  • Mental health units
  • Designated ‘smoking’ areas in hotels

Even these areas are outside of the ban they are still subject to a set of restrictions. For example, a prison may allow its inmates to smoke in their cells but not in communal areas. Or they may ban anyone who smokes from doing so in their cell if they share this with a non-smoker.

It may seem strange allowing smoking in a hospice as this is a place dedicated to palliative care. But, for someone suffering from a terminal illness this is their last chance to enjoy a few forbidden pleasures. And it is unlikely to do any harm at this stage.

Hospices, care homes and mental health units may state that patients/residents are able to smoke in their own rooms but not in communal or other enclosed areas.

This is slightly different in the case of hotels as these tend to have a mix of smoking and non-smoking guests. What they will probably do is have a set of rooms for smokers and another set of rooms for non-smokers.

If you have a job which requires you to visit people in their own homes then be aware that you cannot stop them from smoking whilst you are there, even if you are a non-smoker. This is a difficult situation but you are in another person’s home which means respecting their wishes.

They may be happy not to smoke in front of you whilst you are there but that is entirely their decision.

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