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6.1 Smoking and Alcohol


The Health and Well-being Standard


As from the 1st October 2015 new rules apply about smoking in vehicles. For further information see Smoking in vehicles and new Guidance Rules about tobacco, e-cigarettes and smoking: 1 October 2015.

Smokefree – NHS

Electronic Cigarettes – NHS

Drinkaware – NHS


In May 2022 this chapter was updated and should be re-read.


Caption: Contents list
1. Smoking
  1.1 E-cigarettes/Vapes
2. Alcohol

1. Smoking

Staff and visitors are not permitted to smoke in front of children. Homes may designate an area, where staff may smoke.

Children may only smoke if the social worker and, preferably, the child's parents approve. If approval is given, the arrangements for this must be outlined in the child's Placement Plan; together with a clear plan for helping the child to reduce or cease the habit.

Staff are not permitted to purchase or give cigarettes, tobacco, or the materials for making or lighting cigarettes or tobacco to children.

1.1 E-cigarettes/Vapes

”The use of e-cigarettes among young people is rare and is almost entirely confined to those young people who  already smoke”.

See: Public Health England - Independent Expert E-cigarettes Evidence Review.

It is an offence for shops to sell e-cigarettes to under 18s or for an adult to buy e-cigarettes for them.

The long term effects of vaping / E-cigarettes on health are unknown, but current research indicates that their use is significantly less harmful than conventional smoking, and that the use of e-cigarettes is currently the most popular tool used by smokers who want to quit.

However, if a young person indicates that they would like to try e-cigarettes as a way of giving up smoking, they should be encouraged to contact the LAC Nurse, their GP or local stop smoking services.

For more information, please see: Electronic Cigarettes - Evidence and Advice on E-cigarettes (GOV.UK).

2. Alcohol

All homes should be alcohol free zones; alcohol should not be brought or kept on the premises.

If staff are concerned that a child/young person has been drinking alcohol, this should be raised with the home’s manager and the child’s social worker as required. Where it becomes evident, or it is suspected, that a child or young person has been drinking alcohol, the most appropriate response will vary dependent on how much the young person has had to drink or how it has effected them. These options are outlined below:

  • Offering fluids - water, squash;
  • Periodic monitoring and checks by staff - 10 minutes, 30 minutes, hourly, etc.
  • Contacting health professionals for advice e.g. G.P.
  • Hospitalisation for day patient or overnight stay if appropriate, etc.

See: Alcohol, Young People and the Law (GOV.UK).

Staff are not permitted to consume alcohol whilst on duty and should not arrive at work under the influence of alcohol.