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Hainault shisha bar boss fined more than £2k after customers caught smoking indoors

PUBLISHED: 13:00 12 December 2018

A still from a video posted on Levels Shisha Lounge Instagram page. Photo: Instagram\@levelshishaloungeuk

A still from a video posted on Levels Shisha Lounge Instagram page. Photo: Instagram\@levelshishaloungeuk

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A Hainault shisha bar boss has been ordered to cough up £2,255 after customers were caught smoking indoors.

Mujahid Ali, chief executive of Level Shisha Lounge, in Fowler Road, was found guilty of breaching anti-smoking legislation at Barkingside Magistrates’ Court on Friday, December 7.

Redbridge Council brought the case before the court after enforcement officers found people smoking inside the premises during surprise visits in September and October 2018.

Ali, who did not appear in court, was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,185 and a victim surcharge of £70.

A shisha – also known as hookah or water pipe – is an instrument used to smoke flavoured and non-flavoured tobacco or herbal mixtures.

A still from a video posted on Levels Shisha Lounge Instagram page. Photo: Instagram\@levelshishaloungeukA still from a video posted on Levels Shisha Lounge Instagram page. Photo: Instagram\@levelshishaloungeuk

Under the Health Act 2006, smoking tobacco or anything containing tobacco, or smoking any other substance, in an enclosed or substantially enclosed premises, is an offence.

Photos and videos on the bar’s Instagram page also appear to show groups of people smoking inside the bar.

In August 2016, Ali was issued with a restriction notice by the London Fire Brigade for failing to provide emergency fire escape routes or adequate methods of warning in case of fire, among other issues.

The Registrar of Companies has also issued the business a notice on December 4 stating that it will be dissolved within two months as a result of its annual return being months overdue, unless “cause is shown to the contrary”.

Cllr Bob Littlewood, cabinet member for crime, safety and community cohesion, said: “This prosecution sends out a very clear message that operating an illegal shisha venue will not be tolerated and we will take tough action against any business breaking the law or breaching the regulations.

“There are very clear and strict rules in place to protect people from the dangers associated with smoking in public places - it was clear in this case that the owner of the lounge decided to ignore the legal requirements placed upon them.

“It is essential to protect the public from the harmful effects of smoke and we will continue to work hard to enforce the legislation throughout the borough”.

Level Shisha Lounge has been approached for comment.

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