Bid to clampdown on shisha bars

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Shisha bars that flout smokefree laws in Lancashire should be dealt with more severely according to Lancashire County Council.

Smoking shisha tobacco is growing in popularity across the country and there has been a massive 210% increase in the number of bars across the UK in the last five years.

It is estimated that the amount of nicotine inhaled from a half-hour shisha session is equivalent to five cigarettes.

There have been some issues with shisha bars ignoring smokefree legislation in Lancashire and the county council wants to help stop this from becoming a bigger problem in the future.

These concerns have led Lancashire County Council to write to Anna Soubry MP, Under-Secretary of State for Public Health, asking the Government to consider introducing tougher measures.

County Coun. Azhar Ali, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “The smokefree legislation was introduced in 2007 and has been a real success, resulting in fewer people being admitted to hospital with smoking-related illnesses.

“However, shisha bars present a new challenge. Many shisha bars seem undeterred by the current legislation and we think that by introducing compulsory licensing for places selling tobacco, giving more controls to issue higher fines, and making it easier to tackle under-aged tobacco sales, the Government could make it easier for councils to clamp down on shisha bar owners who deliberately ignore the smokefree law.