We at Westminster City Council are enforcing against hazards from shisha. Shisha smoking is not the safe alternative to tobacco it may appear, but dangerous to health. Even countries where shisha is traditional, such as the UAE, have sought to limit its use. In Westminster we need to manage this activity, particularly where it takes place illegally indoors and creates a danger of fire at the café itself and potentially the flats above and surrounding buildings.
Late night noise and pavement obstruction can also create trouble for nearby residents. So WCC has prevented shisha use at Fatoush in Star Street, taken action against Al Deewan in Sale Place for indoor use and served a planning enforcement notice on Minerva in Star Street. Our emerging Shisha Strategy has been consulted upon as we seek to work with café operators to minimise health and other risks. Currently cafes can offer shisha smoking without a licence but WCC, in common with other authorities, is seeking to change this.