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Park Royal shisha cafe Beirut Nights breaks tobacco advertising rules

PUBLISHED: 09:09 16 January 2019

Beirut Nights in Park Royal. Picture: Google

Beirut Nights in Park Royal. Picture: Google

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An award winning Lebanese shisha café in Park Royal has been slammed by regulators for promoting tobacco use.

Beirut Nights, in Abbey Road, has been found to break tobacco advertising rules by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) following a complaint by the community advocacy group It’s Still Tobacco.

Last April the group reported an advert appearing on the cafe’s website entitled “THE BEST SHISHA IN LONDON”, which showed images of people smoking shisha alongside the text and pricing for different flavours.

Text on the webpage said: “Beirut Nights in Park Royal offers the best Shisha in London...finish your meal with a relaxing smoke of high quality flavoured tobacco in a relaxed, ambient environment. We offer the following range of Shisha flavours”

It’s Still Tobacco argued that the page was promoting tobacco products.

In response Beirut Nights replied that the webpage promoted their business rather than tobacco products.

However the ASA upheld the original complaint.

The regulator said the website “promoted shisha as an attraction of visiting their restaurant”, and as such was prohibited under the Tobacco Advertising and Promotion Act 2002.

The ASA ruled that the advert must not appear again in its current form and that future adverts must not feature shisha menus or promotional images of customers smoking shisha.

Beirut Nights, which won a certificate of excellence from Tripadvisor in 2017, has removed the page from its website.

Zaid Alkateb, chair of It’s Still Tobacco said: “This ruling on shisha sets a precedent for the many hundreds of examples of websites out there which do not comply with UK tobacco advertising laws.

“We urge the ASA to be proactive in their post-ruling approach to enforcing these laws.”

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