Freedom of Information requests suggest a there has been a 210% increase in the number of such cafes since 2007.Oh dear, now look what you've done. When you banned adults from associating with other adults in a private property to smoke, you honestly thought they would just stop didn't you. Well they didn't. They just took it underground.
According to requests submitted to 133 UK councils by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) the number of cafes nationwide has risen from 179 to 556.
The shisha bar used to be something frequented by various Middle Eastern types, but only hear of by westerners in conversation or on the telly. Now they are something that people from all walks of life are enjoying and taking advantage of.
Officials fear that more water-pipe bars are moving into enclosed premises, in a bid to escape anti-smoking laws.
And that's your new problem. Because you've moved smoking out of well regulated premises it's gone underground and you no longer have control over it. Owners don't bother with health and safety laws, they don't pay taxes and they don't care who pays for their services. Children are welcome in these bars because the owners, people from different cultures to our own, don't see a problem with it.
I suppose there is an element of the uncontrolled immigration problem here too, but I won't go off on a tangent.
Councils are considering bringing in licensing for shisha cafes, in an attempt to tackle the growing number of back-street premises.Of course that statement isn't anywhere near as good as it sounds. The councils are not thinking of granting licences for shisha bars to operate in enclosed premises. Perish the thought! They could never just allow adults to do what adults want to do, even if they are allowed to control it through licences. These days the primary role of the council is to seek out things that people enjoy doing and put a stop to them.
Councils say licences may be needed because of the health and fire risks associated with shisha.
Mr Gray said: "It's now a chic thing to do, especially among the young. It's becoming a young person's introduction to tobacco. I'd like to see a licence for selling tobacco, like they have in Scotland."No. The councils want to licence the sale of tobacco. This of course, will not affect these businesses that have gone underground. They will just continue to ignore the law as they do now. The only people this type of licence will affect are the shisha bar owners who try their best to run their business within the current framework of legislation. I wonder how many of them will simply decide it's best to go underground?
And let's not forget all the corner shops, small outlets, supermarkets etc that sell tobacco. The councils are not going to stop at shisha bars. If they introduce a licence to sell tobacco then it will be for all tobacco. 'Level playing field', you know.
Small businesses are already going to be hit hard by display bans and plain packaging. Why not hit them with something else too. White van man will love that.
Keep going bansturbators, keep going. Adults are not about to give up something they enjoy simply because you frown upon them. Keep this up though, and one day soon, all tobacco will be sold on the black market, out of the prying eyes of big brother. It will be tax free, unhealthy and available to people of any age.
See what you're doing yet?