COUNCIL chiefs in Leeds have vowed to continue to clampdown on shisha cafes which fail to comply with smoke free legislation after revealing nine successful prosecutions were launched over the past year.
A report to today’s meeting of Leeds City Council’s licensing committee reveals fines and court costs totalling £7,526 were handed out to nine people for allowing smoking in a smoke free place.
The report shows the local authority launched prosecutions at six of the 10 shisha cafes across the city where enforcement visits were carried out in 2013/14 or 2014/15.
Successful prosecutions followed enforcement visits at Arabiya, Al Qasa, Phantom Lounge, Cabin 164, Rendezvous and Afterz.
Shisha smoking – also called hookah, narghile, waterpipe, or hubble bubble smoking – involves inhaling smoke from flavoured tobaccos through a waterpipe and shisha cafés are subject to the smoking ban.
The Health Act 2006 and its associated Smoke-free (Premises and Enforcement) regulations 2006 came into effect on July 1, 2007 and prohibit smoking in enclosed workplaces and public places.
Leeds City Council launched its first prosecution of a shisha café for breaching smoke free legislation in 2013.
Papers being presented to today’s licensing committee meeting at Leeds Civic Hall state: “Shisha smoking continues to be a real risk to public health and environmental health are continuing to make visits to shisha premises to secure compliance with smoke free legislation.”
The World Health Organisation advises that a one hour water pipe smoking session involves inhaling 100 to 200 times the volume of smoke inhaled with one cigarette and has a higher level of carbon monoxide than ordinary tobacco.