Councils seek powers to deal with "immune" shisha rods Society


The councils have requested authorizations to deal with unjustified shisha bars that violate the laws on smoking and fire safety, allowing indoor smoking and service under 18 years of age.

The LGA is struggling to regulate areas that persistently violate regulations, as persecution is slow and owners making high profits are becoming more and more limited by extraordinary fines of £ 2,500.

Council leaders stated that part of the problem of dealing with shisha bars violating the law is secrecy surrounding the ownership of many facilities, limiting the ability of councils and police to take action against them.

The secrecy surrounding ownership and ineffective fines means that offenders can easily open the lines under a new name.

The number of shisha bars has tripled in recent years, with more than half of the councils now having a bar or cafe in their area.

Along with the violation of smoking regulations, shisha is often illegally imported and sold duty free.

The LGA is requesting the extension of activities that can be licensed by the boards. This would make it easier for license holders to open the bars, monitor buildings more efficiently and withdraw permits for repeat offenders.

Simon Blackburn, chairman of the LGA's Security Council and Greater Communities, said: "The growing popularity of shisha bar and the unfair way that some of them run out of gaps in the outdated and rigid licensing system.

"Smoking bans do not offer adequate punishments to prevent irresponsible owners of Shisha bars winning profits, which means that councils often have to carry out costly and lengthy research to take action against the same grid over and over again ".

Rustu Korkmaz, owner of the Double Apple shisha bar in northern London, said: "The councils must definitely do more to tackle the shisha bars that break the law.

"The problem is some of the new bars that have been opened in recent years – they open a bar that violates the regulations, they close after a year and reopen with a different name or a different region. They are in it to make quick profits.

"In recent years, several shisha bars have been opened in my area – there are three right across the road. I opened my bar in 2011 and I never had problems because I always follow the rules – we pay duties, we do not have smokers indoors we recognize everyone who sees under 25. "

Licensing powers could also allow local public health teams to work with owners to ensure that customers know the risks associated with shisha, in particular the misconception that it is less harmful than cigarette smoke.

The British Heart Foundation recommends that shisha smoke contains cigarette smoke and therefore nicotine, tar, carbon monoxide and heavy metals such as arsenic and lead. This puts shisha smokers at risk of the same diseases as cigarette smokers, including heart disease and cancer.


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