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Shisha cafe operator faces £4,000 bill for breaching smoking ban

A shisha cafe operator has been ordered to pay £4,000 after breaching the smoking ban. The room had been built on a flat rear roof without planning permission and was substantially enclosed for the purposes of the Health Act 2006, making it illegal to smoke in the room. Council officers gave advice to the business about the smoking ban, but a follow-up visit on April 4 found more shisha smoking in the room, and evidence of cigarette smoking. At Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court on Thursday July 24, Mr Syed Zaidi, the cafe manager, was convicted in his absence of two offences of breaching the Health Act 2006, relating to the offences witnessed on March 14 and April 4. He was fined £3,000, ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £120 and the council's full costs of £930, making a total of £4,050. Cllr Paul Convery, Islington Council's executive member for community safety, said: "We expect high standards from businesses serving residents and the public in Islington.

"In this case the smoking ban was completely ignored and so was our advice, so we took legal action that has resulted in a hefty fine.

"We can offer help to businesses on how to avoid breaking the law - but we will take decisive action where the law is flouted."

He added: "There is a myth that smoking shisha is somehow 'ok' or healthier than cigarette smoking, but evidence suggests it is just as dangerous or even worse."

Shisha causes the same diseases as smoking cigarettes including cancer, respiratory illness and gum disease.  Shisha smoke contains dangerous carbon monoxide as well as addictive nicotine.

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