A company which manages a Preston Shisha cafe has been ordered to pay a total of £7,675 at Preston Magistrates’ Court.
Misty Blue Ltd, which manages Ignite Shisha cafe on Watery Lane, pleaded guilty to failing to prevent customers from smoking in a smoke-free place, contrary to The Health Act 2006, and fined £1,600.
There was also an additional fine of £5,000 for the company also pleading guilty for offences under the Serious Crime Act 2007 for providing facilities and equipment for smoking in a smoke-free place, thereby intending to encourage and assist offences of smoking.
Court costs of £955 and a £120 victim surcharge were added to the total.
Preston Magistrate’s Court heard that during an unannounced visit on January 28, 2016, environmental health officers from Preston Council found up to 40 customers sitting around tables smoking from shisha pipes in a room which was fully enclosed. There was also a room within the premises for the preparation and storage of tobacco-flavoured shisha and storage of 86 shisha pipes for use by customers.
In the company’s mitigation the smoking room could be open but was closed because of the inclement weather at the request of customers to warm up the room.
The court heard that it was irrelevant as to whether the room could be opened. The Magistrates said this was a deliberate act by Misty Blue Ltd with up to at least 40 people present.
Cabinet member for planning and regulation, Councillor John Swindells, said: “Operating shisha businesses is an area of great concern to us because there are some very significant health issues associated this shisha premises and we want to ensure public safety for staff working in these premises and customers.”