Smoking Enforcement Officers to target taxis and work vehicles

Following the success of the smoking ban in public houses, hotels, restaurants, shops and other workplaces, The Highland Council’s Smoking Enforcement Officers are set to target taxis and works’ vehicles.

Alistair Thomson, the Council’s Head of Environmental Health and Trading Standards, said: “We have visited more than 2,000 premises in connection with the smoking ban and most businesses and individuals have taken a responsible position regarding the smoking ban. 

“However, it would appear that a small number of individuals in the taxi trade and in works’ vehicles are choosing to ignore the law. Indeed, 20% of the formal warnings issued have been to taxi drivers

“The Smoking Officers have issued free signage to the taxi trade and advised that it is illegal to smoke in these vehicles.  We have tried to educate and advise people in these sectors about the ban but where this has not been effective, enforcement action through the issuing of fixed penalty notices, will now be used.”

Councillor John Laing, Chairman of the Council’s Transport Environmental and Community Services Committee, said: "I commend the Council for taking a strong stance on this important issue.  I am sure the taxi drivers will recognise the importance of protecting the health of their customers and observing the law."

Assistance for those wishing to stop smoking is available free from Highland Smoking Cessation Service on lo-call 0845 757 3077.

28 Aug 2007