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Pub owner fined over smoking on premises

A Middlesbrough pub owner has been fined for letting customers smoke on his premises.

When Environmental Health Officers called unannounced at the Springfield Hotel, they found evidence of smoking throughout the premises including multiple cigarette ends and used ashtrays.

Customers were also seen smoking inside the Borough Road pub during a visit by officers from Middlesbrough Council and Cleveland Police.

The visits took place in November last year, and in February and March this year.

Under the Health Act 2006, smoking tobacco or anything which contains tobacco, or smoking any other substance in an enclosed or substantially enclosed premises is an offence. 

At Teesside Magistrates’ Court on Monday (December 17), Springfield Hotel owner Darren Hunter was found guilty of failing to prevent customers from smoking in a smoke-free place.

The 52-year-old, of Durham Road, Stockton, was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £892 costs, plus a £100 victim surcharge.

Judith Hedgley, Middlesbrough Council’s Head of Public Protection, said: “Smoking in an enclosed place or in areas that are more than 50% enclosed has been illegal for more than 10 years.

“The law is clear and simple - anyone caught smoking in a smoke-free place or anyone who allows smoking in such a place is committing an offence which results in a fixed penalty notice or prosecution.”

Councillor Julia Rostron, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, said: “The dangers of breathing other people’s tobacco smoke are well known – these laws were brought in ten years ago to protect public health.  

“Our Environmental Health Officers check that smoke-free legislation is being followed when they are visiting businesses in Middlesbrough.

“Most businesses comply with the law and we do not receive many complaints.”