Promoting a tobacco free society

Enforcing the Law

Enforcing the law

The smoke-free workplace legislation is enforced by officers authorised by the chief executive officers of the Office of Tobacco Control and the Health Service Executive under the National Inspection Programme. There are 40 dedicated environmental health officer posts for tobacco control whose responsibilities include enforcing the smoke-free workplace legislation. These are supported by an additional 400 environmental health officers and a further 100 inspectors from the Health and Safety Authority.

If, following an inspection, an enforcement officer finds evidence of a breach of the law he/she may decide to issue a warning to, or initiate proceedings against, the individual person and/or the owner/manager of the premises concerned.  A decision to recommend prosecution is based on the nature of the offence, the previous history of the premises or person and the efforts made by the premises or person to comply with the legislation.
Once a prosecution is initiated the matter will come before the relevant District Court.  The judge will hear evidence both for the prosecution and the defendant.  Based on this evidence, the judge will decide whether to convict or acquit the defendant.  If the defendant is found guilty, the judge will decide on what penalty to impose.  The maximum fine is €3,000.


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