Smoking Shelters

What are smoking shelters?

A blanket ban exists on smoking tobacco in all enclosed or substantially enclosed public areas and workplaces in the UK. This has necessitated the business owners to provide adequate space for visitors and staff members to satiate their urge to smoke. Thus, smoking shelters emerged for the convenience of smokers and non-smokers alike.

Smoking shelters in the UK are versatile structures, partially enclosed with ceilings or roofs. An outdoor smoking shelter primarily protects users from the elements while they abide by the law to light up.

With 13.8% of the UK population addicted to smoking cigarettes, smoking shelters are a crucial infrastructural consideration for all public places, including commercial premises, health facilities, educational campuses, and residential complexes. Despite the name that suggests exclusive usage by smokers, non-smokers too can utilise outside smoking shelters to take refuge during inclement weather conditions.


What are the smoking laws in the UK?

It is illegal to smoke in all enclosed/substantially enclosed public places in the UK. The restrictions are inclusive of public conveyance or vehicles used for business.

With clearly visible “No Smoking” signage placed appropriately in all smoke-free premises and vehicles, smoking indoors is a strict no-no. Further, owners should make adequate efforts to raise awareness among all users of the premise about the smoking restrictions and designated outside smoking shelters.

What are the rules for a smoking shelter?

According to the smoke-free legislation, smoking shelters should be neither enclosed nor partially enclosed, implying a roofed outdoor space with openings along the perimeter that amount to an area lesser than 50% of the total space. So, tents, marquees, etc., do not meet the legal specifications of smoking shelters.

If you are planning a smoking shelter installation at your premise, keep in mind to keep a safe distance of 1.5m from any adjoining structure, like walls and trellis.

Ideally, a freestanding smoking shelter with a roof should have at least half of the perimeter walls permanently open and unobstructed by any adjacent construction or objects up to 1.5m. Please note that doors, windows, and passageways of smoking shelters don’t make appropriate ventilating openings.

How do you make a smoking area?

To make a smoking area that complies with smoke-free legislation in the UK, choose an appropriate location away from existing building structures. Ideally, the place should be away from the main entrance gate and high-traffic areas so that non-smokers do not feel inconvenienced. To avoid potential fire hazards, create your outdoor smoking shelter for home or office premises on gravel, bare dirt, or walkway laid with paving stones, concrete, or bricks. Wooden decks, synthetic turf, etc., are not suitable as the base of smoking shelters. Make sure that the ensuing installation meets the smoke-free and building permit requirements.

How many sides can a smoking shelter have?

Smoking shelters can have all four sides open with just roofs on top. However, the ones with at least one side closed and a rooftop protect smokers better from wind, rain, or other unfavourable weather conditions while providing adequate ventilation for the smoke to escape.

How far does a smoking area need to be from a building UK?

As per the law, the position of smoking shelters in the UK should be at least 1.5m away from a building to ensure the effectiveness of natural ventilation. Further, the smoke shouldn’t find a way to waft indoors, thus raising the chances of passive smoking. Violating this rule tantamount to breaking the law in the country, warranting substantial penalty.

However, there isn’t any distance specification between similar smoking shelters or canopies. Outdoor smoking shelter experts can provide recommendations for each premise on a case-to-case basis.

Do you need planning permission for smoking shelters?

Planning permission is essential for smoking shelters that are bigger than 15m2.
Legally, any permanent structure, whether freestanding or adjacent to a building, will need approval from local authorities. Further, smoking shelters built upon foundations, or those that are difficult to disassemble, are considered permanent features. For example, if you wish to build permanent decking for outside smoking shelters, you have to get your construction plans approved. Freestanding awnings or portable canopies fixed to the ground permanently would require prior planning permission.

How long will it take to assemble a smoking shelter?

Pre-fabricated galvanised smoking shelters are straightforward to assemble in most cases. The assembly and installation may take longer if you are getting these customised. The Tamstar outdoor smoking shelter for home or office is fixed with anchor bolts in a solid concrete base, concrete pads or Tarmac, 150-200m deep. These come in flat packs with clear assembly instructions. Typically, smoking shelters are easily installable by two people within an estimated average of 5-hours.

You may also avail the on-site assembly and smoking shelter installation services of our experienced sub-contractors.

Are your smoking shelters compliant with the 2006 health act?

According to the smoke free legislation of the 2006 Health Act, smoking shelters in the UK should not have less than 50% of the enclosed area. The Tamstar smoking shelters are fully compliant with the 2006 Health Act. We provide outdoor smoking shelter products that range from wall-mounted canopies to ones with curved and flat roofs, meeting every specification mentioned in smoke-free law.

Tamstar smoking shelters are made of heavy-duty galvanised steel with an optional polyester powder coating to enhance durability and add a premium finish. The impact-resistant glazing panels of outside smoking shelters also provide UV protection.

How will I receive my smoking shelter?

The Tamstar smoking shelters are packaged flat, with clear instructions to aid easy self-installation. We also provide all-in-one solutions with optional ashtray bins, benches, and shelter stickers.

Do I need to provide a smoking shelter for employees?

While it is not obligatory for business owners to provide an outdoor smoking shelter for employees or visitors, it does make sense to get one installed to keep your premises clean and uncluttered around the entranceways. Moreover, it shows your people-friendly attitude for both smokers and non-smokers, besides adhering to the prevalent smoking restrictions in the country.

Where do I position a smoking shelter?

Ideally, smoking shelter installations should be away from high-traffic areas of your premises. Make sure to place the shelter away from adjoining permanent building structures.

Do I need to provide a cigarette bin?

Yes, a cigarette bin in the freestanding smoking shelter will prevent littering and inevitable environmental pollution.

Do you have to provide an outdoor smoking shelter?

It is not mandatory for business owners or premise managers to provide an outdoor smoking shelter. However, getting one installed levels up your pro-people goodwill, besides keeping you on the right side of the smoke-free law.

What organisations do you supply to?

Our portfolio of customers and successful projects include the following:

Manufacturing sites, Industrial units, Distribution centres, Warehouses, Business offices, Call centres, Councils, Schools, Colleges, Universities, Hospitals, NHS, Nursing homes, Pubs, Windpower farms, Shipping ports, Contractors, Construction, Landscaping.