Shisha bar in Poplar is fined for letting customers smoke in marquee

A warning shot has been fired by Town Hall bosses against shisha bars in London’s East End not to break the law by allowing smoking on their premises.

It follows one bar owner being summonsed for breaking smoke-free laws in an enclosed marquee.

Dabir Ahmed, 36, admitted allowing customers to smoke “in a substantially enclosed area” at his shisha bar in Poplar when he appeared before Thames magistrates.

Ahmed was prosecuted by Tower Hamlets Council which said this week it was sending out a message that those flouting smoke-free laws “won’t get away with it.”

Deputy Mayor Ohid Ahmed said after the hearing: “We will continue focussing and putting pressure on shisha bars to make sure they are complying with legislation.”

The prosecution followed two inspections of the Canopy Bar in Broomfield Street, off Upper North Street, by council environmental officers in December.

Customers were smoking tobacco in shisha pipes in a large white marquee which was effectively an enclosed area, they found. This has been illegal since the public smoking ban became law in July, 2007.

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Ahmed had ignored warning notices, magistrates were told last week, following inspections on December 10 and 20. He was fined £1,225 with costs and given a 12-month conditional discharge.