In March 2006, guidance on the implementation of smokefree legislation was published by Local Authority Co-ordinators of Regulatory Services. The purpose of the guidance, which includes specific sections on no-smoking signs, is to support local council regulatory officers in successfully implementing smokefree legislation which will be enforced in England from 6 am on Sunday, 1 July 2007.
The Department has also provided a two-phase training programme for local authorities on smokefree legislation and will shortly launch an e-learning facility so local authority officers can complete training at their workplace. Training also includes references to no-smoking sign requirements and has been provided to develop a standardised approach to the enforcement of the new smokefree law across England, and has been provided free of charge to local authorities.
The Department has provided a two-phase training programme for local authorities on smokefree legislation and will shortly launch an e-learning facility for local authority officers to complete training at their work place. Training has been provided to develop a standardised approach to the enforcement of the new smokefree law across England, and has been provided free of charge to local authorities.
The first phase of training was conducted between October to December 2006 for service planners within local authorities to assist the development of local smokefree implementation strategies. Some 450 officers attended this training. The second phase of training is currently being delivered for local authority regulatory officers to provide knowledge, practical skills and competencies so they can build compliance with the new law in their local areas. Some 1,150 places have been made available for local council officers for this training. The two-phase programme of training has been delivered to local councils free of charge by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) on a regional basis.
An e-learning facility has also been developed to provide training on the new smokefree law for local council officers. This facility has been developed by the Trading Standards Institute, will be freely available to any local council officer across England who requires training on the new law and will be launched shortly.
The total cost of developing and providing training on smokefree legislation for the Department is £445,600. An estimate of the costs to local authorities could only be made at disproportionate cost. The Department cannot precisely determine the number of local authority officers who have received training on the new smokefree law— some local authorities have made additional arrangements directly with the CIEH for the delivery of training programmes, many local councils have undertaken in-house training and the smokefree e-learning system is expected to be popular.
Through the Smokefree England campaign, the Department is delivering a major communications campaign to support businesses to be prepared for the implementation of smokefree legislation on 1 July 2007. Recent surveys by the Department show levels of awareness amongst businesses and the general public have improved significantly.
Information on the new law is available from the freephone Smokefree England information line on 0800 169 169 7 and on the Smokefree England website at:
Presently, the Smokefree England website receives approximately 100,000 visits a week, while the phone line receives 6,000 calls a week.
The Department has developed a range of guides on the new law. A Smokefree England information pack, including a guide, no-smoking signs and other support materials has been sent to all registered, actively trading businesses in England that employ staff during April. Guidance documents can be downloaded from the Smokefree England website, and are available in a range of different languages and accessible formats, including an MP3 audio version.
The Department also continues to work closely with a diverse range of organisations across the country to increase awareness of the new legislation among their constituents.
In May, the Department commenced a national advertising campaign using a range of media to inform members of the public about what the legislation will mean when it comes in to force. While 93 per cent. of the overall population are aware of smokefree legislation, 45 per cent. don't know that it comes into force on 1 July 2007. Therefore the campaign has been developed to assist the public to know when the law will be implemented, where the law will apply and what the penalties are for non-compliance.
Local authorities are also working to build compliance in their communities through a diverse range of activity. Local businesses are advised to contact their local council for advice and support in implementing smokefree legislation. National health service trusts and local NHS Stop Smoking Services are also working in different ways to promote the new smokefree law.
The total budget allocated to the Department of the smokefree communications campaign is £8.5 million. The costs to local authorities and NHS trusts of their efforts to promote the new smokefree legislation could be made only at disproportionate cost.
The Health Act 2006 requires no-smoking signs to be displayed in smokefree premises and vehicles that comply with the requirements set out in the Smoke-free (Signs) Regulations 2007.
To support those with management responsibilities for smokefree premises, the Department has designed and made freely available no-smoking signs that comply with the requirements of smokefree legislation. The total design cost of no-smoking signs being made available as part of the Department's Smokefree England campaign was £1,270.
Based on the current costings and volumes, no-smoking signs for premises cost the Department 0.04p each to produce.