No smoking signs

This original rant pre-dates my blog. I even made a web site about it which I have since removed, and collected pictures of violations.

Whilst, in general, I applaud the ban on smoking indoor in public places (the main complaint being that one can no long use pub beer gardens if you don't smoke! I.e. the rule do not go far enough), I was particularly annoyed with the stupidity of the laws on the no smoking signs themselves.

Many premises had no smoking signs (symbol of lit cigarette, red circle and line through it, maybe "No Smoking" text as well). But the new law (Health Act 2006) required no smoking signs displayed at every entrance. The regulations for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, were all different. Indeed, it was not that easy to make a single sign design that met all of the requirements. Some needed to be "any shape, but A5 area", some had to be rectangular, some needed extra wording. The size requirements for the symbol varied. It was a stupid bureaucratic mess. It also meant that all of the existing "No smoking" signs that were in place were no longer valid!

The law was hugely ignored - lots of premises had no signs, lots had old signs, some had new signs but the wrong ones for the country in which they were displayed, and many did not have signs on all entrances. Almost every train had a sign that was too small, meaning they could be fined for every carriage. I also had an issue with having to advertise the law - people are expected to know the law, and we don't have "No stabbing" signs, do we!

What I have just noticed, and am surprised was not more widely mentioned, is a new regulation: The Smoke-free (Signs) Regulations 2012 which revokes the previous regulation and simply says "At least one legible no-smoking sign must be displayed in smoke-free premises in accordance with the duty at section 6(1) of the Act."

I still think it is daft making the requirement to have a sign, to be honest. That is something anyone managing a building (and with an obligation to stop smokers) would put up anyway. But the new regulation is simple, and does not dictate the stupid different formats - well, at least in England - I cannot see for sure that it has been sorted in Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland.


  1. Personally, I think "do not make illegal copies of this disc" beats "no smoking" for sheer pointlessness.

    Also, are you aware that when commenting with Google signin, your blog swallows the first comment?

    1. Indeed. And sadly google blogspot is one of the sensible blogs to use from what I can see, so a tad stuck with the limitations. Feel free to hassle them about anything you see wrong. I'm happy to review other blogging services if I can easily import everything though :-)

    2. Have you considered Jekyll? All you need is a github repository.

    3. Try anything, as long as it comes with an automatic proof reader ;)

  2. I'm not sure I've seen blogspot described as a "sensible" blog platform in years :)

  3. I completely agree, and I thought along similar lines when the ban came in. Our office has always been non-smoking, no signs were ever needed, I never smelt any smoke. Then when the ban came in we had to have all these ugly little signs stuck up everywhere.


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