Driving forward for smoke free
Since 1 July 2007, most enclosed public places and workplaces are required to be smoke free - this includes work vehicles which must also be smoke free.
Since 1 October 2015, all private vehicles in England and Wales must be smoke-free if they are enclosed, there is more than one person present and one of them is under 18 years old.
If you provide or manage or drive work vehicles then the law applies to you and the following information will assist you to understand the legislation.
Smoke free vehicles will include:
- Those vehicles that transport the public (eg buses, taxis), are required to be smoke free at all times, ie even when not carrying paying passengers
- All private vehicles with more that one person present if any person is under 18 years old.
- Where a vehicle is a work vehicle (eg vans, trucks, staff minibuses, haulage lorries)
- Pool cars and most fleet or lease cars
- If the vehicle is used in the course of voluntary work (paid or unpaid) by more than one person
Vehicles where the smoke free law does not apply:
- Vehicles used mainly for the private purposes of an owner who has a right to use it that is not restricted to a specific journey (eg some work lease cars)
- With convertible vehicles (removable roof) smoking is permitted when the roof is completely stowed, or removed, but the vehicle must be smoke free when the roof is in place
Can I allow smoking in my car or vehicle?
- Yes, if it is solely for your own business or private use
- No, if your vehicle is ever used by others for work or by customers. If you are a cab or bus driver, for example, even if you are on your own, your vehicle must be smoke free at all times. This is because tobacco smoke is absorbed into soft furnishings and stays around for weeks releasing chemical particles hazardous to health
What do I need to do to comply with the law?
- Individuals must not smoke inside a smoke free vehicle, including customers
- Smoke free vehicles must have the correct no smoking signs prominently on display to remind customers and other users. Other reasonable measures to stop smoking would include sealing up ashtrays
- Employees should be told that it is an offence to smoke in a company smoke free vehicle and disciplinary procedures may be appropriate
- Smoke free vehicles must display a legal no smoking sign prominently in each compartment where people are carried
- The sign must be the international no smoking symbol (a single burning cigarette enclosed in a red circle) and be at least 70 milimetres in diameter
- Signs can be downloaded, printed or ordered from the Smokefree England website. You have the option of buying or designing your own no-smoking signs, as long as they meet the design requirements
The above list of smoke free vehicles does not cover all situations - if there is any doubt whether a vehicle should be smoke free or not.
If you are unable to view documents of these types, our downloads page provides links to viewing software.