Shisha cafe hit with £3,000 fine for smoking ban breach
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Local Government and also in Health, Legal
Manchester cafe owner fined over shisha pipe smoking
An Islington shisha cafe that repeatedly flouted the smoking ban has been hit with a £3,000 fine.
Proprietor Brawen Mengesha routinely provided shisha pipes for visitors to Gifa on Seven Sisters Road to smoke inside his premises contrary to the Health Act 2006, which covers all enclosed public places and workplaces.
According to the World Health Organisation, smoking a shisha pipe involves inhaling much higher quantities of harmful smoke than several packets of cigarettes.
The fine followed enforcement action by Islington Council. Cllr Paul Convery, executive member for community safety, said: "Licensed premises and workplaces who flout the smoking ban risk serious fines - as this case shows.
"We will investigate complaints and we will advise those who are breaking the law what they need to do to comply with smoking legislation.
"Failure to follow the law can lead to significant costs and jeopardise a business's viability."
Highbury Magistrates' Court heard that Mengesha, 26, had failed to listen to all advice and warnings from the council and had already been convicted in 2012 for similar offences.
The defendant argued that as he was not personally present on the dates of the offences he could not be held responsible if others allowed smoking inside and that a smoking structure within the rear garden was not "substantially enclosed", as prohibited under the smoking ban.
Both arguments were rejected by the court, which also dismissed a plea that on one occasion the premises were not open to the public.
Cafes are considered workplaces and must be smoke free at all times.
The council has prosecuted five shisha cafes since the smoking ban began in July 2007. All received council advice and then warnings before prosecutions started - in some cases following up complaints by the local community.