William Eichler 29 April 2016

Birmingham’s shisha bars like ‘smog-hit Beijing’

Birmingham’s shisha bars like ‘smog-hit Beijing’ image

Customers in some of Birmingham’s shisha bars experience pollution levels higher than those in ‘smog-hit Beijing’, report says.

An investigation by researchers at the University of Birmingham discovered dangerous levels of carbon monoxide and fine particulate matter in 12 shisha bars across the city.

Both of these substances are connected to respiratory illnesses, such as lung cancer and bronchial asthma.

The study revealed levels of toxins were higher than those experienced in pubs and bars prior to the smoking ban, introduced in England in 2007.

Birmingham City Council commissioned the report in a bid for more power to tackle smoking indoors.

Under current legislation it is illegal to smoke in an enclosed public space but, the council argues, the current maximum fine of £2,500 is not enough to discourage the practice.

Jacqui Kennedy, acting strategic director of place for Birmingham City Council, said: ‘We do take enforcement action under the smoke free legislation but existing legislation isn’t necessarily the best way to tackle this issue.

‘The maximum fine is £2,500 but some of these businesses can make that in just one night and we don’t have closure powers – even as a last resort.’

She added: ‘Of course this isn’t always about enforcement. We also want to educate businesses and their customers on the dangers and we now have the evidence to take to the Department of Health and Chartered Institute for Environmental Health to underline the risks.’

The power of local systems to save lives image

The power of local systems to save lives

Councils and their partners could do even more to contain the spread of COVID-19 if properly funded to undertake a robust localised system of testing, tracking and tracing, argues Professor Donna Hall.
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Principal Flood Risk Officer

Lancashire County Council
We have an exciting opportunity for a Principal Floor Risk Officer Lancashire
Recuriter: Lancashire County Council

Duke of Edinburgh Youth Support Worker

Essex County Council
£14597.0 - £19106.0 per month
Please note this is a part time contract - annualised hours 106 per year. Therefore the actual salary range is from £995.44 up to £1049.79 per annum. England, Essex, Harlow
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Head of Internal Audit

Kent County Council
Up to £97,000 + benefits
We now have an exciting opportunity to strengthen and shape our Audit function, as... Maidstone, Kent
Recuriter: Kent County Council

Director of Children’s Services

St. Helens Metropolitan Borough Council
circa £120,000
This is an exceptional opportunity for someone who wants to make a real difference to the children, young people and families of our Borough. St Helens, Merseyside
Recuriter: St. Helens Metropolitan Borough Council

Assistant Director, Social Care & Public Health Commissioning

Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council
c£71,000 to £89,000 per annum
Reporting to the Director of Strategic Commissioning you will lead Commissioning in the context of a developing Integrated Care System.  Bolton, Greater Manchester
Recuriter: Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue