Only 20% of Israelis smoke.
Only 20% of Israelis smoke. Photo by Reuters
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The Knesset Labor, Welfare and Health Committee, approved an amendment to the order banning smoking and exposure to smoking in public places, substantially expanding the public places where smoking is prohibited.

Once the order takes effect in 30 days, smoking will be completely banned from performances, bus stops, swimming pools and the area around them, train platforms and bus stations.

In addition, bus drivers will be banned from smoking on buses before passengers board.

The smoking within ten meters of a hospital or health facility and allocating smoking areas in staircases will also be banned.

It was also determined that the area provided for smokers in restaurants and cafes is significantly larger than needed; non-smoking customers who wish to sit outside are forced to expose themselves against their will to smoke. Therefore, the area provided for smokers in restaurants and cafes shall be no larger than 15 square meters. Event halls and gardens will limit the smoking area to only 25% of the overall sitting area.

Shai Berman, director of the Union of Restaurants, Cafes and Bars, protested the decision: “We are the second largest employer in the market—let us continue to operate.”