Smoking shisha can harm people's health and, at commercial premises, can lead to a range of amenity and safety issues.
The council wants to help people make informed choices about shisha and the health risks it poses, while also making sure that businesses offering shisha do it safely, legally and with minimal nuisance and disturbance to others. We’re working with partners, including central government, other councils, the NHS, Public Health England, local schools and shisha businesses, and all of Westminster’s residential and business communities, to find ways to achieve this balance.
We're continuing to develop our work in this field, but our overall approach is outlined in Reducing the Harm of Shisha: Towards a Strategy for Westminster (PDF, 16MB). This was launched at our Shisha Symposium event in February 2017, hosted by the council in partnership with the Tri-Borough Smokefree Alliance.
There are some misconceptions about the health impacts of shisha as people often thinking it’s less damaging than other types of smoking, and not addictive. This isn't the case and we want people to understand the true risks of shisha smoking so that they can make informed choices.
Some points to note are:
There are a number of regulations to operate a shisha business legally in Westminster.
Businesses must comply with legislation to offer shisha safely, and limit the disturbance and nuisance to others. The council can support you in this, and will take enforcement action where necessary to ensure compliance.
Guidance for businesses about shisha is under development. In the meantime, teams within the council who oversee the relevant area of business regulation can advise, including: