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A number of countries have introduced no smoking bans in dining areas over the last few years. Gradually, these laws have been tightened, so it is now common for smoking to be completely banned indoors in any public building. Whether it is a legal requirement not to smoke, or it is not permitted for another reason, the best way to inform people is by putting up a “No Smoking” sign.
Putting up a sign informing people that smoking is not permitted can be about creating a smoke-free zone or to take account of people with allergies, or just to avoid the smell of smoke. Just as often nowadays it is a legal requirement as a result of a ban on smoking in certain places.
Using the right text can clearly convey the message that smoking is forbidden.
Text such as “Please do not smoke” has a more gentle tone, but there is a risk people will still smoke. It may be interpreted that smoking is undesirable, but not actually forbidden.
This is by far the most common text to show that smoking is not allowed. The sign usually has a white background surrounded by a red circle with a diagonal line through it. Within the circle there is a smoking cigarette. The text “No smoking” is often placed clearly under the picture.
Although it is illegal to smoke in restaurants and similar premises, these are not the primary locations for prohibition signs. They are more common in locations where there is a danger associated with burning cigarettes. One example is filling stations, where there may be a danger from smoking in the vicinity of fuel vapours.