How to implement a smoke-free policy and the benefits of this

​​​​​​​​​As an employer, you have the opportunity to encourage and support employees who want to stop smoking.

You also have a duty of care to protect people from the effects of smoking in your workplace.

Smoking remains one of the biggest causes of ill health and premature death in Scotland.

It results in more than 8,000 deaths every year.

Here you can find information on why you should promote stopping smoking at work, and how to develop a smoke-free policy.

Why have a smoke-free policy?

The Smoking, Health and Social Care (Scotland) Act 2005 states that smoking is not allowed in any enclosed workplace, public building or on public transport in Scotland, with a limited number of exemptions. 

Smoking is also not allowed in any work vehicle that more than one person uses.

If you do not follow the requirements of this law, then there is a fixed penalty fine of £200 for your organisation.

This can go up to £2,500 if the fine is not paid.

You can find out more about smoking at work and the law on the GOV.UK website (external site)​.

While you are not legally obliged to help employees stop smoking, doing so means you are less at risk of non-compliance with the above law.

You will also potentially benefit from reduced sickness absence and increased productivity.

To promote a smoke-free workplace you can:

  • offer smoking awareness resources and materials
  • allow employees to access stop smoking services during work hours
  • provide stop smoking support and treatment delivered by trained employees
  • provide on-site stop smoking support where feasible
  • develop a smoke-free policy

Quit Your Way Scotland is an advice and support service for anyone trying to stop smoking in Scotland for free.

Develop a smoke-free policy

One of the best ways to promote stopping smoking and protect people from the effects is by developing a smoke-free policy for your organisation.

We recommend that you consult and involve employees in the development of your smoke-free policy and review it regularly.

It should clearly state:

  • where and when smoking or vaping is allowed (if anywhere)
  • how the policy will be enforced
  • what support will be provided to employees who wish to stop smoking

Supporting a smoke-free working environment

We have created a guide to support your workplace to becoming smoke-free.