Although Health Ministry regulations only bar “smoking rooms” in health facilities and government buildings, the Grand Canyon mall in Haifa is to become the first business to voluntarily shut down its smoking areas. From February 15 the mall will only allow smoking outdoors, at a minimum of 10 meters from its entrances.

“We want clean air,” said mall manager Yisrael Savyon, who pledged to fight smoking that “causes the deaths of many people, and disease in many more.”

Smoking is barred in workplaces and in a growing number of public spaces, and owners of establishments where illegal smoking is carried out are liable to enforce the laws or be at risk of paying NIS 5,000 per incident. Smokers in places where it is prohibited can each be fined NIS 1,000.

But the law is inadequately enforced by municipal inspectors, and the ministry has not yet finished preparing regulations on signs and other requirements to enforce the latest law that went into effect last July.


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