Smoking and vaping in public places

Smoking is prohibited in all enclosed or substantially enclosed public places and workplaces.

Smoke-free legislation affects all premises that:

  • The public has access to: for example pubs, clubs, restaurants and cafes
  • Are being used wholly or mainly as a place of work
  • Are being used wholly or mainly for providing education, health or care services

Smoking is also prohibited in all vehicles that are:

  • Used for public transport for example buses, trains and taxis are affected by the law.
  • Used as a workplace by more than one person,
  • Carrying someone who is under 18
It is an offence to smoke in smoke-free premises or vehicles, permit others to smoke in smoke-free premises, or to fail to display warning notices in smoke-free premises.

Premises are considered to be 'substantially enclosed' if they have a ceiling or roof, and where openings in the walls are less than half of the total area of the walls. The area of the opening does not include doors, windows or any other fittings that can be opened or shut.

Smoking is permitted in shelters and outdoor areas that are not enclosed or substantially enclosed.

Exemptions from smoke-free legislation

  • Premises which are used as a full time place of residence for extended periods, for example: private dwellings, and adult care homes in private residential spaces.
  • Designated rooms in hotels, hostels and bed and breakfast accommodation are exempt since they are places where people live even though they are not private homes.

Electronic cigarettes

There is currently no national legislation in place which restricts the use of electronic cigarettes in premises or vehicles.

It is a matter for the owner, manager or person in control to decide whether the use of electronic cigarettes is to be permitted in their premises or in their vehicles. Likewise, the use of electronic cigarettes in the workplace is up to the individual employer.

Get help to stop smoking

The NHS Smokefree website has lots of information to help you stop smoking. Contact the free NHS smoking helpline 0300 123 1044 to order a free quit kit or to speak to an advisor.

West Sussex Wellbeing also has a Stop Smoking Service. Visit the West Sussex Wellbeing website to access information and support.