In a shock change to the law, the Government has announced that it is to bow down to pressure from many lobbying groups and allow the controlled smoking of hookah pipes inside buildings for the first time since the smoking ban.
When the ban was first introduced, it was seen as unfair against shisha bars who’s sole trade was now suddenly made illegal. Without the fall-back of drink and food, some went out of business completely, while others had to find creative ways to get round the ban such as extending outdoor areas with cushions and heating, however costs spiralled.
This new change announced by Home Secretary Theresa May, will give new hope to Shisha Lounge owners. In a statement, she said, “We believe in free enterprise for all, and for too long now this ban has made it impossible for some to make a living. By removing it, we will allow business to grow.”
There will, of course, be rules governing air purity and filtration, and staff will need to be protected from second hand smoke, but lounge owners throughout the UK say it will help their business and is a better solution than expensive outdoor terraces.
One shisha bar owner in London, said, “This is a joke, surely?”