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New Israeli Anti-Smoking Law to Go Into Effect Sept. 1

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Illustration of cigarettes in an ashtray on Oct. 17, 2016. Photo: Nati Shohat/Flash90. – A law that bans smoking in many public places will go into effect on Sept. 1.

Any place where outdoor events are conducted with the attendance of more than 50 people will now be a smoke-free zone, thanks to a new law by Israel’s Ministry of Health, in a bid to crack down on exposure to secondhand smoke.

Zoos, swimming pools, sports fields, indoor and outdoor parks, playgrounds, gyms, basketball courts, inside and outside hospitals and clinics, underground parking lots, kindergartens and nursery schools, government offices, courts and religious-council facilities will all be smoke-free, according to the new law.

Government offices, hospitals, health-care facilities, parking lots, zoos and events will be able to designate smoking areas within 10 meters of an entrance or exit, as long as they are not near residences or are otherwise bothersome.

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Individual law-breakers will be subject to a NIS 1,000 fine ($277), while owners of public places where violations take place will be fined NIS 5,000 (nearly $1,400).

Likud Party MK Yehudah Glick, who co-chairs the Knesset’s anti-smoking lobby, included in the ban most of the Knesset. All the parliament building’s smoking rooms will be closed, except for one near the plenum for Knesset members. Smoking sites outside the building will also be reduced.

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