R (N), et al. v. Secretary of State for Health, et al

Smokers, who were, or had been, detained at a mental health facility, appealed a Division Court ruling in which they challenged a government regulation banning smoking in mental health facilities based on the right of privacy in the home and the right to protection against discrimination against mentally ill persons. Specifically, their argument focused on the difference between the exemptions granted to prisons versus the exemptions granted to mental health units, which were only temporary. Agreeing with the Division Court and dismissing the appeal, the Court concluded that the smokers are not protected under the European Convention on Human Rights because the smoking prohibition does not have a sufficiently adverse effect on a patient's physical or moral integrity and the "right" or "freedom to smoke" does not engage these rights under the Convention.


N, R (on the application of) v. Secretary of State for Health, HRLR 31, Supreme Court of Judicature Court of Appeal (Civil Division) (2009).

  • United Kingdom
  • Jul 24, 2009
  • Supreme Court of Judicature Court of Appeal (Civil Division)



  • R (E)
  • R (N)


  • Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust
  • Secretary of State for Health

Third Party

  • Equality and Human Rights Commission

Legislation Cited

Health Act 2006

Smoke-free (Exemption & Vehicles) Regulations 2007 (SI 2007/765)

International/Regional Instruments Cited

Related Documents

Type of Litigation

Tobacco Control Topics

Substantive Issues

Type of Tobacco Product