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Kirklees crackdown on shisha bars

July 11th, 2012 Posted in smoking hookah Buy cheap cigarettes online Tags:

crackdown shisha bars
HEALTH chiefs are going to war on shisha bars.

They have pledged tough action against owners of premises who flout smoking laws and allow shisha pipes to be smoked there.

Kirklees environmental health officer Kim Walker said: “The situation is very worrying.

“We are taking action on two fronts. One is to prosecute the people who flout the law, as shisha is covered by the smoking regulations brought in to ban it from public places such as pubs and bars.
“And secondly, we are concerned at the health risks.

“People think that smoking through water is safe but that is definitely not the case.

“It is as dangerous as smoking cigarettes and there is also the added risk of TB (tuberculosis).

“We had one case in Kirklees where TB was passed on from a sufferer to another person because they shared a shisha pipe.’’

Shisha is tobacco smoked through a hookah, or water pipe. It comes from the Persian word shishe, meaning glass and has its roots back in Turkey and parts of Persia (now Iran) in the 17th century.

Ms Walker added: “We know there are clubs and cafes in Huddersfield who openly advertise shisha. Some say it will be smoked in outdoor shelters, which is allowed, but we worry it is being smoked indoors.

“It is very difficult. We have mounted investigations on premises in Kirklees only to be left standing outside locked doors while inside they move the pipes and get rid of the evidence.

“Some of those running these places know that it is a lucrative business and are quite prepared to pay the fines.

“There is also a worry that these are only the ones we know about and that many other cafes have opened up in back rooms of terrace houses.

“The people running them know their clients and it is difficult for us to get evidence.

“The health aspect is very worrying. People don’t appreciate the damage they are doing and we know of cases where youngsters aged 13 and 14 are allowed to smoke shisha.

“Unfortunately more and more young people think it is a cool thing to do.”

Clr Peter McBride said: “Shisha smoking is not exempt from the legislation of the Health Act which protects against the health risks of second hand smoke in enclosed public spaces. Environmental health officers seek to help businesses flourish but still comply with the law and operate legal smoking shelters.

“It would be unfair to those businesses who are complying with the law if councils were to turn a blind eye to such operators who are attempting to gain commercial advantage over others as a result.”

The World Health Organisation has advised that a 40-minute session on a waterpipe is the equivalent to the volume of smoke inhaled from at least 100 cigarettes.

Vajid Karim, of Arnold Street, Birkby, was found guilty in his absence by Kirklees magistrates this week, for allowing shisha to be smoked in an enclosed public area at the Mirage Shisha Lounge in Queensgate, Huddersfield.

He was fined £700 and ordered to pay £624.25 in prosecution costs plus a £15 victim surcharge for the smoking regulation offences.

Freedom of Information requests suggest that there has been a 210% increase in the number of such cafes in the UK since 2007.

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