The different British jurisdictions have different rules on smoking.


  • Health Act 2006 — Amongst other things, this Act makes provision for the prohibition of smoking in certain premises, places and vehicles. This includes enclosed or substantially enclosed areas of mental health units.
  • Smoke-free (Exemptions and Vehicles) Regulations 2007 — Reg 10 allows for a temporary exemption to the Health Act 2006 definition of "smoke free" for a "designated room for the use of patients aged 18 years or over in residential accommodation in a mental health unit". The exemption ran out on 28 July 2008.
  • R (G) v Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust [2008] EWHC 1096 (Admin)HUMAN RIGHTS — Right to respect for private and family life — Smoking ban — Claimants detainees at high security psychiatric hospital — Regulation providing mental health units temporary exemption from smoking ban — Whether regulation to be read as providing mental health units with permanent exemption — Whether interference with claimants’ Convention rights — Human Rights Act 1998, s 3(1), Sch 1, Pt 1, arts 8, 14 — Smoke-free (Exemption & Vehicles) Regulations 2007 (SI 2007/765), reg 10(3). A provision which had the effect of prohibiting smoking in a high security psychiatric hospital was not incompatible with the human rights of detained mental patients and was not unlawful.§
  • R (N) v SSH; R (E) v Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust [2009] EWCA Civ 795The right or freedom to smoke does not engage Article 8(1); Article 14 could not therefore be relied upon either. In any event, the SSH's smoke-free regulations and the Trust's smoke-free policy would be justified under Article 8(2), and the different treatment under the regulations for mental health units compared with prisons, care homes and hospices would be justified under Article 14.§
  • Guardian, 'Smokers win right to challenge hospital ban' (6/5/11). Silber J gave permission to seek judicial review of Chadwick Lodge's policy of prohibiting smoking on hospital grounds (indoors or outdoors) or on escorted community leave.


  • The Health Act 2006 applies as above.
  • Smoke-free Premises etc. (Wales) Regulations 2007 — Regulation 3 provides for a permanent exemption to the anti-smoking Health Act 2006, for "designated rooms for use by those aged 18 years or more" in a "mental health unit which provides residential accommodation for patients".


A smoking ban at the State Hospital was held to be unlawful, to breach Article 8, and to breach Article 14 in conjunction with Article 8; however, this decision was overturned on appeal (McCann v State Hospitals Board for Scotland [2017] UKSC 31M, [2017] MHLO 22).

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