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Photographic evidence of the shisha lounge being non-compliant

Ignoring smoking laws lands lounge in court

The owners and director of a shisha lounge have been ordered by a court to pay thousands of pounds after persistently flouting the law.

Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court heard that Sahara Lounge, in Acton Lane, Park Royal, repeatedly ignored warnings from Ealing Council officers that smoking shisha in enclosed spaces was against the law.

The prosecution followed 6 visits from council officers and repeated warnings.

Magistrates also heard that the venue served drinks without registering as a food and drinks business.  

New Sahara Lounge Ltd (the shisha business operator) and the sole director, Hashim Khalif Siyad, of the same address, each pleaded guilty at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court on 30 April to 3 smokefree offences and for failing to register their food business. Mr Siyad was fined £246 for two offences and the business was also ordered to pay £4,262 for two offences.

Warnings ignored

In 2022, council officers carried out an unannounced visit at Sahara Lounge to check that they were complying with regulations including smoking, licensing, and food safety.

Officers noted that customers were smoking shisha inside the lounge and that drinks were being sold without a licence.

The business was given extensive advice and guidance on being smoke-free but, despite previous warnings, it continued to ignore the rules at subsequent visits.

Can’t ignore harmful effects

Last year, 5 businesses in the borough were taken to court for breaches of the Health Act 2006 and Smokefree (Premises and Enforcement) Regulations 2006 – resulting in fines totalling more than £21,000.

Councillor Kamaljit Nagpal, the council’s cabinet member for decent living incomes, said: “This case is another great example of joint work by our enforcement teams to take action on serious and repeated breaches of the law.  

“Like the rest of society, shisha lounge operators will be well aware of the harmful effects of second-hand tobacco smoke. It’s now 18 years since the national ban on smoking in all enclosed public spaces and workplaces was brought in, and there is simply no excuse for flouting it. We will continue to support local businesses to ensure they act responsibly and comply with smoke-free legislation. If you are a shisha business operator, I encourage you to check out our advice.”

Dangers of shisha

Smoking shisha can seriously damage your health.

Shisha tobacco carries the same health risks as other tobacco containing products such as cigarettes. The shisha smoke has harmful chemicals and there are recognised adverse effects – the most directly on the individuals using waterpipes, and from secondary smoke and fumes.

Visit the NHS website for advice on quitting smoking.

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