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Case 222 - Sign asks public to refrain from smoking in supermarket foyer for health and safety reasons

Issue

A couple of signs are displayed in the entrance foyer in a supermarket chain - 'For health and safety reasons, please could you refrain from smoking in the foyer.' The enquirer thinks that a 'no smoking' sign with text and pictogram would have been satisfactory and possibly more effective.

Panel decision

Smoking is banned by law in enclosed spaces of this kind but on grounds of public health. The law requires the display of at least one 'no smoking' sign but does not specify what wording should be used on the notices. In the panel's experiences many other establishments have found much simpler and clearer wording which can be used to meet the requirements and convey the message to customers. The use of the phrase for "health and safety reasons" is somewhat misleading and unhelpful.

2013-11-06