Lancashire

Blackburn shisha-smoker in blowtorch blast

Shisha pipes
Image caption Shisha pipes are filled with aromatic tobaccos and must be smoked outdoors

A warning over shisha-smoking has been issued after a teenage cafe owner from Lancashire caused an explosion while lighting his pipe with a blow-torch.

Blackburn with Darwen Council said it would "prosecute anyone" smoking on premises as it was both "dangerous" and illegal.

Mohammed Wasim Natha, 19, of BBQ Base in Darwen Street, Blackburn admitted breaching health and safety laws.

He was fined £2,000 at Blackburn Magistrates' Court.

Natha, who suffered flash burns when gas leaking from a canister nearby exploded, was also ordered to pay £2,000 costs.

Shisha pipes or hookahs are filled with flavoured and aromatic tobaccos but must be smoked outdoors since the smoking ban was introduced in July 2007.

Councillor Arshid Mahmood said: "The defendant did not heed the warnings that health and safety officers had given him in an effort to assist the company.

"As a result, there was a serious risk both to public safety and employees. There was lack of awareness about the requirement of health and safety regulations which are in place for both the protection of staff and the public.

"I hope this case acts as a warning to anyone else who allows shisha-smoking on their premises. It is not only dangerous but we will prosecute anyone we catch breaking the law."

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