Why have a policy on smoking?
Smoking is by far the largest single preventable cause of serious ill-
health and death in Scotland.
According to figures produced by NHS Health Scotland, it causes about
one in five of all deaths in Scotland - around 13,000 each year. Under the
terms of the Health and Safety at Work Act etc 1974, as an employer, HMIE
has to take reasonably practicable steps to ensure the health, safety and
welfare of employees at work. This includes protecting staff and visitors alike
from the harmful effects of smoking including passive smoking. Additionally
the Scottish Government’s Staff Health Strategy seeks to improve the health
of staff by raising awareness on a wide range of lifestyle health issues and
risks. This policy forms part of that strategy and is designed to recognise the
interests of both smokers and non-smokers.
Within HMIE, non-smoking is regarded as the norm. Smoking is not,
therefore, permitted at any time in any HMIE offices. Additionally, staff
are requested not to smoke at entrances to HMIE offices that are
accessible to the general public or are the main entrance for staff.
The HMIE Smoking Policy is fully compliant with The Smoking, Health and
Social Care (Scotland) Act 2005 and associated regulations. We realise that
some staff may wish to continue to smoke or find it difficult to stop and our
policy, therefore, offers a common sense approach that makes special
provision for smokers. However, the main priority is to discourage smoking
allowing our staff to enjoy a smoke-free working environment, while
encouraging and helping those who wish to stop.
Who is affected?
The smoking policy applies to all HMIE employees.
Employment Agency staff, contractors and visitors are obliged to comply with
Where can you smoke?
Smoking may only take place outside. You are asked to smoke only in areas
that do not disturb other staff and members of the public. Smoking is
permitted in designated smoking areas and shelters that are positioned for
this purpose. For HMIE buildings without grounds, smoking is not permitted
at entrances to these buildings or their immediate vicinity. Where reasonably
practical, external 'smoking shelters' are provided and are the main smoking
area for that building. Since these may be subject to change, they are not
listed in this document. Each building will have signage to remind staff of the
areas in which smoking is not permitted. Health promotion events, staff
notices, staff induction procedures and reception staff give details of the
external locations where smoking is permitted.
Smoking is also not permitted in vehicles used for work purposes. This
includes pool and hire cars, and private vehicles whilst being used for official
business and carrying non-smoking passengers.
Advice for smokers
There are immediate benefits for those giving up smoking irrespective
of your age and length of time you have been smoking. Help is
available if you wish to stop smoking - for details of the support that is
available from the Scottish Government or for details of external
cessation services e-mail email@example.com.
You may smoke outside HMIE buildings. Details of where the
designated smoking areas are for your building will be available locally.
Your line manager will give details if you are unsure.
If you are uncertain about the arrangements for smoking breaks in your
area, you should ask your line manger to explain them to you.
Failure to adhere to HMIE's smoking policy may lead to disciplinary
Advice for managers
You should make sure that all staff are aware of the arrangements
HMIE apply to taking breaks; this includes smoking breaks. HMIE’s
induction arrangements also make clear the policy to all staff.
Staff who smoke should do so within designated areas and the time
spent away from their desk should not exceed the break time that
applies to all staff, namely fifteen minutes in the morning and fifteen
minutes in the afternoon. At all times you should keep in mind that the
delivery of HMIE business is the priority. You have a responsibility to
ensure that the smoking policy is not being abused and this should be
managed along with the performance of your staff - the delivery of
You should make staff aware that continued failure to comply with our
smoking policy may lead to disciplinary action being taken.
If you require help or advice to implement this policy you should email
Further information and support
You can find out more about smoking and obtain support if you are
trying to give up from:
Smokeline (0800 84 84 84) is a freephone counselling service provided
to give help and advice to smokers who are trying to give up. The line
is available from 12.00 am to 12.00 pm seven days a week. You will
also be offered a helpful step by step guide on how to give up smoking.
ASH Scotland - Action on Smoking and Health on 0131 225 4725 and
Health (Scotland) on 0131 536 5500 for general information on
smoking and giving it up.
Your GP surgery. Most GP surgeries will hold regular cessation
services and will be able to support your efforts to give up.
Scottish Government’s Counselling and Welfare Service on
0131 244 5693 (GTN: 7188-5693). The Counselling and Welfare
Service can offer general advice and support if required.
The Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) on 0800 587 5670, a 24-
hour freephone service offering general advice and support if required.