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					                        Smoking on stage – Is it artistic integrity???

                             A template for theatres in London.


The Health Act 2006 allows for an exemption to the smokefree legislation to be granted for
certain actors within certain stage performances. This potential exemption is of particular
relevance in London due to the large number of theatres and stage shows across the Region. It is
therefore important to ensure a consistent approach as far as possible throughout London in
relation to the interpretation and application of this part of the law.


The criteria and form below set out a number of simple steps for producers/theatres to consider
and the stage at which the relevant Local Authority should be contacted It will also help to
ensure that any actor who is granted an exemption in a performance is aware of the exact
parameters associated with such an exemption.


In relation to exemptions from the smokefree legislation, Section 3.5 of the Health Act
states that:
        For the purpose of making provision for those participating as performers in a
        performance, or in a performance of a specified description, not to be prevented from
        smoking if the artistic integrity of the performance makes it appropriate for them to
        smoke-
   Importantly, this exemption (if granted) permits an area “not to be smoke-free in relation
   only to such performers” – meaning that smoking is not to take place anywhere else within
   the venue or by any other persons than the agreed actor at the agreed moment in the
   performance.
With thanks to Roger Slaughter, London Borough of Lambeth and the Old Vic Theatre.3
steps to establishing if smoking is important to “artistic integrity” and when to contact the
Local Authority:

1. The play/production must be assessed for whether smoking is absolutely necessary or
whether it can be taken out altogether.

The initial approach should be to try and take it out altogether, but there are occasional cases
where that would not be feasible - the classic example being an actor playing Winston Churchill
– the trademark cigar may be considered essential.

If the smoking is taken out - no exemption needed, no need for contact.


2. If smoking is considered essential to the artistic integrity of the production

The initial approach should be to try and source suitable theatrical
substitutes.

If smoking is essential and a theatrical alternative is available – no exemption needed, no need
for contact.

3. If smoking is considered essential and no theatrical alternative is
considered suitable.

This is where an exemption will need to be agreed and the producer/theatre will need to
demonstrate that they have fully considered the first two points.

There's no legal requirement for any forms relating to this exemption but, if challenged, it would
be useful/appropriate to demonstrate the steps that had been taken and the basis for claiming an
exemption.

Having the attached form completed in advance will provide this information - describing all the
circumstances in which an exemption is to be claimed, exactly where smoking takes place in the
production and covers the considerations on points 1 and 2 above. As there may be a challenge
from the public and/or press on the issue of smoking on stage, the time taken to complete the
form will hopefully save time and confusion should such a query arise.

If an exemption is agreed early in the development of a production, theatres may consider
mentioning this in the small print in the programme to help avoid queries or complaints.
EXEMPTION FROM SMOKE-FREE LEGISLATION

PRODUCTION:
PRODUCTION DATES.                                                                                              1ST PERFORMANCE    FINAL PERFORMANCE

         Smoke-free legislation contains an exemption which applies to performers in performances
          - in specific circumstances.
         This is: "Where the artistic integrity of a performance makes it appropriate for a person
          who is taking part in that performance to smoke, the part of the premises in which that
          person performs is not smoke-free in relation to that person during his performance".
         There is no exemption for smoking in rehearsals
         Consideration has been given to removing smoking from this production and the use of
          theatrical alternatives.
         It is considered that neither of these options are suitable and that the artistic integrity of the
          production will be compromised unless the smoking of tobacco takes place as detailed
          below.
         As such we consider that an exemption from the provisions of the Smoke-free (Premises
          and Enforcement) Regulations 2006 is appropriate.
SCRIPTED REFERENCES TO SMOKING.
page




REQUESTS FOR PERFORMERS TO SMOKE.
PERFORMERS NAME:                                                                                       CHARACTER:

No.             SCENE.                                                                                 WHAT.                     DESCRIPTION
1

2
3
4


5




6

       I agree that the smoking as detailed above is justifiable on artistic grounds and I
        therefore will be smoking on stage during the performance.
       I will not smoke at any other time during performance without approval from the
        theatre management or during rehearsals.
NAME.                                                                                                                                       SI
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JUSTIFICATION FOR SMOKING ON ARTISTIC GROUNDS.



AUTHORISATION.
We the undersigned agree that the smoking as detailed above is justifiable during performance on artistic grounds and will therefore fall
under the performance exemption to the smokefree legislation.
Director:
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Production Manager:
NAME.                                                                                    SI
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General Manager:
NAME.                                                                                    SI
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         Send to:
         Head of Environmental Health and Trading Standards

         Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames,

         Email: carol.gilbert@rbk.kingston.gov.uk    Fax: 0208 547 5568   Tel: 0208 547 4761/ 5536

				
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posted:1/5/2012
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