A shisha tobacco cafe, housed in a former nightclub, has been fined £2,880 for continuing to allow smoking in an enclosed public place.
Pasha, based on the first floor of The Mill on Aqueduct Street, Preston, was accused of failing to ensure no smoking signs were displayed, failing to control smoking on smoke free premises, and intentionally encouraging or assisting the commission of smoking by providing shisha materials.
Preston Magistrates Court ordered the firm that runs it, Preston Cafe Ltd, to pay £400 costs and a £120 surcharge after previously hearing investigators estimated up to 250 people could potentially have smoked there in a day.
Last month a trial took place in the firm’s absence, during which they were found guilty.
The court heard investigators found shisha and coals being prepared in a kitchen during a visit in August 2013, with 70 smoking pipes available. Around 20 people were present in one of the rooms.
A sign on the counter said customers must buy “a minimum of one shisha” “between two people” and that, at “peak times”, customers would be limited to two hours.
Prosecuting on behalf of Preston City Council’s environmental health team, David Haley said people were found smoking shisha in what was “an enclosed public space”.
He added: “People were working in the premises, which should have been smoke free.”
Craig Sharp, chief environmental health officer at Preston City Council, said: “The law on smoking in workplaces and enclosed public places applies as much to the use of shisha as it does to cigarettes.
“Even though it has passed through water, the level of toxins in shisha smoke can be much higher than in cigarette smoke and therefore second-hand smoke from shisha is also extremely harmful.