Smoking in churches
Regulations banning smoking in public places in England came into force on 1 July 2007. Church of England representatives met with the Head of the Smokefree team from the Department of Health, together with their consultant on publicity matters to discuss how the Church and the Department could work together positively to minimise the impact and to understand the implications of the legislation.
The main practical points to note as a result of the legislation are:
- Signs do not have to be permanently fixed to the fabric – a poster on the notice board or a sign in a portable stand will do
- The regulations require one A5 notice at all public entrances, which must include the international (red circular 70mm) no smoking sign
- Signs must carry the wording ‘NO SMOKING It is against the law to smoke in these premises’. The wording may be adapted to read ‘…in this church’ etc. It could also be included in a general notice encouraging appropriate behaviour for a house of prayer
- A small 70mm international sign is also required at all staff (i.e. not public) entrances
- There will be no cost to parishes. Signs can be requested from local authorities or the Department of Health
- The signage policy is to be reviewed by Government in three years’ time, by when it is hoped that no smoking will be much more absorbed into the public culture and signage unnecessary
The Department is keen to work with the Church on advice and guidance, including advice specifically about churches on their website. For more information, visit www.smokefreeengland.co.uk.