Shisha 'Isn't The Same As Smoking'

By London_Sian Last edited 130 months ago
Shisha 'Isn't The Same As Smoking'

Whether we're happy about it or not, everyone is aware that the smoking ban is in full force. And going down surprisingly well for the most part. The one downside of the ban is that it will unfortunately have an impact on some pubs and restaurants. Especially those without outside seating areas. But two weeks into the ban and it seems that some people aren't too happy with this. They think that for some reason unknown to Londonist, they should be exempt.

Shisha restaurant workers in Camden are having a bit of a moan saying they will lose half their profits this summer from customers not being able to smoke shisha. However, bear in mind that the Marrakech restaurant in The Stables does have outside seating so there is still the option to smoke outside. Yes, it's annoying and it'll be even worse when it's pouring with rain but everyone else is putting up with it. What makes this restaurant so special?

Camden Gazette reported Naz Mardine saying "We would prefer people to still be allowed to smoke shisha inside. They should allow a special space with ventilation for it. Some people don't like the smell of cigarettes but shisha is different."

Londonist decided to do a little bit of digging and we found out that actually, shisha is not different to smoking. One source tells us that one 80 minute shisha session can be as bad as smoking 100 cigarettes. So no health risk there then.

If smell is the issue, why not give smokers apple flavoured fags and let them back indoors?

photo from simonkoleznik's flickr stream.

Last Updated 16 July 2007


If it was about smell, they'd reverse the ban now, as all pubs - as widely predicted - now stink of sour, stale beer.

I had to leave The Dove on Broadway Market last week it was so unpleasant in there...

James (


apparently this is the case... but as a 'filthy smoker', my sense of smell is useless anyway, so I don't notice!


That report quoted in the New Statesmen has been widely discredited. And I think the New Statesman is misleading in its focus on "youth culture". In my neighbourhood of Finsbury Park the vast majority of shisha smokers are middle aged and older.

While I welcome the ban on cigarettes I do think it's a shame that the shisha is gone as well. There was something very civilised about the whole thing. Calming. And I hear that shisha is not included in the New York ban, for example.


There are other sources that suggest this, but obviously I couldn't link them all. Smoke is still uncomfortable to breath in if you're not a smoker and it can't be good for you in any capacity. I am however aware that studies haven't porved just how bad shisha smoking is.

It is a shame that it's been banned. But no more of a shame than the cigarette ban. And whilst people can still do this outside the Marrakech restaurant in Camden, they really have no cause for complaint.

blu cig

how come the ones we chose to rule us, ban us all sort of crazy things. I am a grownup, why do you ban me to smoke. It's my choice. If i own the damn building i will do whatever i want in it. i;m kidding. Its ok to ban public smoke, but it would be better to create special places for smokers.