Promoting a tobacco free society

Workplace Legislation

Workplace Legislation

The Public Health (Tobacco) Acts, 2002  and 2004 prohibit smoking in most enclosed workplaces including licensed premises and registered clubs.  Section 47 of the Acts, which came into force on 29 March 2004, is designed to protect third parties, such as workers, from the ill-effects of exposure to second-hand smoke.

Section 47 (1) of the Acts, prohibits the smoking of a tobacco product in a specified place.

Under Section 47 (2) of the Acts, a person who smokes in contravention of subsection (1) of that section is guilty of an offence.

Under Section 47 (3) of the Acts, where a person smokes in contravention of subsection (1) of that section, the occupier, manager or any other person for the time being in charge of the place where the breach occurs shall be guilty of an offence.

Section 47 (4) of the Acts establishes a defence for a person against whom proceedings are brought under Section 47 (3), provided that they can demonstrate that they have made all reasonable efforts to ensure compliance with Section 47.

Section 47 (7) of the Acts sets out exempted premises/places. These include dwellings, hotel bedrooms and places or premises, or parts of a place or premises, wholly uncovered by any roof whether fixed or moveable, or certain outdoor parts of a place or premises covered by a fixed or movable roof, provided that not more than 50 per cent of the perimeter of that part is surrounded by one or more walls or similar structures (inclusive of windows, doors, gates or other means of access to or egress from that part).

Under Section 5 (2A) of the Acts, a person found guilty of an offence under Section 47 is liable on summary conviction to a fine of up to €3,000.

Guidance to assist owners and managers in complying with the law is available in the publications section on the website.

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