AN EVASIVE Coventry shisha bar owner has been fined more than £2,600 for breaching the Health and Consumer Protection Act.
Mohammed Ali, aged 41, of Dudley Road, Birmingham, was found guilty in his absence of offences under the Health Act.
He was fined £1,800, ordered to pay costs of £873 and a victim surcharge of £20.
Coventry Trading Standards officers visited the Pyramid Lounge in Lower Ford Street, Coventry, in February and April of this year.
Officers saw members of the public smoking shisha pipes and cigarettes in enclosed premises and shisha tobacco was found in jars which were either not labelled or were in a foreign language.
By law, tobacco products must be labelled and display the ‘Smoking Kills’ warning in English – or with an appropriate picture warning.
Furthermore, smoking on premises is only permitted if at least 50 per cent of the venue is open air.
Despite admitting he was aware of the law, Mr Ali had the shutters and screens of the Pyramid Lounge down to enclose the space.
The Health Act 2006 makes it a requirement that all enclosed public spaces, such as bars and workplace premises are smoke-free.
Allan Harwood, Coventry Trading Standards’ consumer protection manager, said: “Smoke-free legislation is designed to protect the public and employees from the inhalation of second-hand smoke.
“Breaching this can have lifelong consequences for people.
“Our officers had visited the Pyramid Lounge on a number of occasions and attempted to talk to the owner.
“However, they were told on a number of occasions that the owner was out of the country.
“But during a subsequent visit, Mr Ali himself – who had been present at our visits – eventually admitted that he actually owned the shisha bar.”