Israeli Legislators Working to Ban Smoking in Sports Stadiums

Bill that would fine sports fans that are caught smoking $4,100 passes first reading in the Knesset.

Jaffa's Bloomfield Stadium, built in 1962.
Jaffa's Bloomfield Stadium, built in 1962. Yaron Bar Lev

The Knesset Labor, Welfare and Health Committee approved on Monday a bill to ban smoking in all sports stadiums across the country, Army Radio reported.

The bill, which proposes that two smoking areas be allocated in every stadium, will be brought for a second and third reading before the Knesset plenum.

According to the bill, proposed by Knesset Member Adi Kol (Yesh Atid), any sports fan caught smoking will be fined 14,400 shekels (about $4,100). Stadium owners will be fined even more if there is someone smoking on the premises: 75,300 shekels (almost $22,000). Local municipal authorities are responsible for enforcement.

"Sports and smoking don’t go together," Kol said. "Years ago people were convinced that a smoking ban can't be enforced on airplanes and in bars, and look where we are today," she said.