The Royal Borough of Greenwich has successfully prosecuted a restaurant operation as a shisha bar and found to be flouting serious smoking and fire safety regulations.
Mr Aslam of Nine Lounge in Greenwich, pled guilty to 14 personal and company charges including breaking smoking and fire safety regulations, failure to properly maintain CCTV and blocking emergency exits, with fines and costs totalling £6,035.
Nine Lounge, which is located on the ninth floor of the Raddison Red hotel in Greenwich Peninsular, was selling shisha to customers to smoke indoors. Since 1 July 2007 the Health Act 2006 makes all indoor public places, workplaces and work vehicles smoke-free.
The Council had previously written to Mr Aslam at the start of the year, advising him not to continue to sell shisha, but these warnings fell on deaf ears. During a visit in April, the Council’s trading standards officers found customers had been supplied with shisha pipes and were smoking inside, as well as evidence of shisha being used by staff inside the kitchen.
Councillor Ann-Marie Cousins, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Enforcement said: “We would always rather work with shisha bars to ensure they operate legally rather than prosecute them. But shisha smokers are at risk of the same kinds of diseases as cigarette smokers – such as heart disease, cancer, respiratory disease and problems during pregnancy. Second-hand smoke from shisha pipes is also dangerous because it contains harmful substances like carbon monoxide, toxic chemicals, and toxic particles.
“That’s why it’s incredibly important that shisha bars operate within the law and make sure if they do sell shisha, it is happening outside and not indoors.”