SHISHA bars are becoming more and more prevalent in our towns and cities, places where people of all ages can go to socialise and smoke from communal pipes.

But the practice has become trendy and attractive to teenagers who are exposing themselves to all kinds of harm by visiting the cafes.

In the past, council leaders and police have expressed concerns over paedophiles using the bars to get access to young people to then groom them.

Now, Blackburn with Darwen Council wants the government to tighten up the whole industry to protect youngsters.

It is only right that, with an hour’s shisha smoking equivalent to more than 100 cigarettes, the cafes are treated much the same as ordinary bars and clubs.

Premises should be licensed to ensure they are being run responsibly, for public health as well as public protection reasons.

Under 18s should be banned entirely and visitors should be expected to produce ID before entry.

The powers currently available under the smoking ban simply do not go far enough in protecting vulnerable people.