Council shuts down illegal shisha den in Batley

Our Environmental Health Officers received several complaints about shisha smoking at Chai Shai (Limited) in Batley so decided to pay it a visit.

When they got there, they found people smoking shisha pipes inside the premises. Seeing as the business operators had chosen to ignore the numerous previous warnings given to them, we were left with little option but to seize over 40 shisha pipes and a substantial amount of tobacco.

What’s more, the inspection ended with the business being shut down on food safety grounds. 

“We will always take action”

Councillor Will Simpson is our Cabinet member for Culture and Greener Kirklees and said;

“The indoor smoking ban applies to shisha as well as regular tobacco. To smoke in any public premises with a roof, at least half the wall space must be open, under the smoke-free legislation. This was not the case at this business.

“We will always take action to tackle the negative health impacts arising from direct and passive smoking; this includes the seizure of smoking paraphernalia such as shisha pipes and tobacco from premises such as this one. Our aim is to make Kirklees a cleaner and healthier place to live and work. We will continue to take such action where necessary to achieve that goal.”

The legislation

Smoke-free legislation applies to business owners, managers and those who have the responsibility to comply with smoke-free legislation. Failure to comply is an offence and risks prosecution resulting in fines of up to £2,500.

Our Smoke Free Team undertake regular visits to premises, often accompanied by the Police and Trading Standards Officers.

The smoking laws apply to waterpipes whether the shisha products being smoked contain tobacco or not.

Health Warning

The World Health Organisation says that one hour of smoking Shisha is the equivalent of inhaling up to 200 cigarettes. Even tobacco–free shisha is not a safe alternative; smokers can inhale dangerous levels of carbon monoxide and other toxins. Second-hand shisha smoke also poses a serious health risk.

Rat infestation

During the inspection, our Offers detected a serious rat infestation in the premises which they decided was an imminent risk to public health. We shut the premises using a hygiene emergency prohibition notice.  An application was made to Kirklees Magistrates Court for a hygiene emergency prohibition order, which was granted on Wednesday 6th July. 

The business is now prohibited from operating until an authorised officer is satisfied that the premises are no longer a risk to public health.  Environmental Health Officers are working with the owners so that the business can open again and operate safely.   

Report businesses operating unsafely

To report business premises that you think are operating unsafely, call 01484 221000 and ask for Environmental Health or email Environmental.Health@kirklees.gov.uk