Smoke-free Premises

Scotland was the first country in the United Kingdom to introduce a ban on smoking in enclosed public places. The move was taken to reduce unwanted exposure to other peoples’ tobacco smoke and improve working conditions for employees.

Smoke-free laws apply to premises like restaurants, bars, shops, cinemas, offices, hospitals, work vehicles and sports centres. Those premises are no-smoking premises if they are wholly or substantially enclosed. The laws also apply to public transport including buses and bus stops, taxis and private hire vehicles.

The law does not cover domestic premises nor common parts in domestic premises such as closes and stairways.

Argyll and Bute Council’s Regulatory Services will respond to complaints about smoking in no-smoking premises and have powers to service fixed-penalty notices for non-compliance.

The emphasis of the law and the approach of the council is to provide smoke-free public places and not to penalise people who choose to smoke, unless they deliberately do so where it is prohibited. We will work with premises managers to ensure that they understand the law and what steps they can take to maintain a smoke-free environment for customers and staff.

Premises covered by the law are required to display prominent notices stating that they are no-smoking premises. The name of a responsible person should also be displayed as someone to whom complaints about smoking can be made.

For more information on the requirements of the law in Scotland, visit This site also includes guidance for premises managers and copies of notices and signs which can be downloaded and printed off for use.