Operators of Sheffield shisha lounge fined thousands of pounds for allowing smoking illegally

Dubai Cafe.
Dubai Cafe.

The operators of a shisha lounge have been ordered to couch up thousands of pounds in fines for allowing smoking illegally at the venue.

The owner and two members of staff at the Dubai Cafe in London Road, Sheffield, were made to pay more than £2600 for failing to prevent smoking in a smoke-free place.

Shisha pipes at Dubai Cafe.

Shisha pipes at Dubai Cafe.

Employees Rasouli Miri and Zana Rashid Ali pleaded not guilty to the offences at a one-day trial on Tuesday, August 22, but were found guilty by Sheffield magistrates.

Ali, aged 38, of Brunswick Road, Burngreave, was ordered to pay out £430 in fines and costs, while Miri, aged 27, of Park Grange Mount, Cutlers View, was made to pay £380.

This comes after cafe owner Herman Mustafa, aged 33, of Cemetery Road, Sharrow, was ordered to pay £1,880 in April this year after admitting failing to prevent smoking in a public place.

Altogether, the fines and costs to be paid out by the three men totalled £2,690.

This comes after a previous owner was made to pay more than £1400 for the same offence in December 2014.

In addition, the nearby Breeze Shisha Lounge and the Mint Paris Lounge were fined thousands of pounds for similar offences earlier this summer in separate cases.

Shisha pipes use tobacco sweetened with fruit or sugar to give a more aromatic taste. A Sheffield Council spokeswoman previously said because premises of this kind often do not sell alcohol they simply operate with a licence as a normal cafe selling tea and coffee.

She added that to prosecute, the authorities have to catch people in the act of smoking inside the premises and the authority doesn't always have the resources available to constantly monitor the situation.

Following the latest case, Sheffield Council issued a start warning to others who are allowing smoking illegally on premises.

Councillor Bryan Lodge, cabinet member for environment and streetscene, said: "The law is clear – venues must be smoke-free, and that includes shisha lounges. If a business is operating as a shisha café, the premises must meet the necessary requirements.

“If those requirements are not being met, and smoking is taking place indoors, we can and will take owners and members of staff to court, where they are likely to be handed large fines.”

The authority works closely with partners at organisations including South Yorkshire Police, the Safeguarding Children Board, South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue, HM Revenue and Customs and the UK Border Agency to make regular visits of premises suspected to be allowing illegal smoking.