Shisha cafés and lounges

Helpful definitions

Enclosed premises

Premises will be considered to be 'enclosed' if they have a ceiling or roof, and except for doors, windows or passage ways are wholly enclosed, whether on a permanent or temporary basis.


The term roof includes any fixed or movable structure or device which is capable of covering all or part of the premises as a roof, including, for example, a canvas awning.

Open to the public

Premises are 'open to the public' if the public or a section of the public has access to them, whether by invitation or not, and whether on payment or not.

Substantially enclosed premises

'Substantially enclosed' is when a premise has a ceiling or a roof but have an opening in the walls which is less than the total area of the walls. This opening does not include windows, doors and any other fittings that can be opened or shut for example shutters or tarpaulin.

This means that at least 50% of its sides must be permanently open. If the smoking shelter is located too close to a wall or another obstruction, then the shelter could be classed as substantially enclosed. This also applies to temporary structures such as ‘jumbrellas’ or an awning that covers most of a courtyard which could become substantially enclosed.

Please note that walls, other structures and items close to the shelter may be counted when
determining the degree of enclosure.

Walls and other structures that are more than 1.5 metres away from the perimeter of the smoking shelter will not be considered by us as part of that shelter*, while those that are 1.5 metres or nearer to the perimeter of the smoking shelter will be considered part of it.

In the case of a nearby wall, where the roof edge is the same height or higher than the adjacent wall, then the distance between the wall and roof edge measured horizontally will be used to calculate the openness of that wall. Where the edge of the roof is higher than the top of the wall the direct distance between them will be used. This calculation gives credit for increases in either or both the height of the roof above the top of the wall or the distance the structure is placed from the wall.

In the cases shown in the drawing below the area credited as being open is achieved by multiplying distance 'a' and the relevant distance 'b'. However where the wall is more than 1.5 metres away from the shelter, the wall won't be counted as part of the structure and no calculation is needed.

Enclosed premises drawing

* The legislation gives rise to the need for local authorities to interpret how far away another structure or wall is from the smoking shelter before they do not class it as being part of it.

Smoking shelter calculations

The calculation to establish if an area is open enough to allow smoking is as follows:

  • measure the whole of the perimeter, excluding the roof and floor (that is, work out the total area of the four walls).
  • measure the total area of all enclosed parts of the four walls (again, exclude the roof and floor)

To determine whether smoking will be permitted within this structure the percentage of enclosed (E) over total (T) perimeter areas must be calculated as shown below:

--- X 100 = % Enclosed

If the percentage calculated is more than 50% then smoking will not be permitted.

For the purposes of all of the above calculations, any openings (such as doors and windows) are considered to be enclosed areas.