After three weeks of refusing to enforce the new law requiring municipalities to enforce prohibitions on smoking in public places, the Tel Aviv Municipality has changed its mind and is already sending out inspectors and bolstering phone lines to accept complaints.
Hadas Shachnai, a member of the Tel Aviv municipal council representing the Green Party, had a long conversation with senior city manager Menahem Leiba, who said he was well aware of the obligations set out by the law.
He said the 106 municipal information and complaint line will give special attention to phoned-in complaints about illegal smoking. In addition, the municipality - which stands to gain huge sums from elevated fines against smokers and new high fines against proprietors who do not file complaints or send smoking customers and workers away - will launch an "Enforcement Glove" against smoking and move city inspectors from other tasks to enforcing the no-smoking law.
Shachnai said she was pleased by the change in policy.
The Jerusalem Municipality has said it is increasing its enforcement of the law, but so far it has not sent out inspectors on Shabbat to restaurants and pubs, allowing them to be smoke-filled because customers are not afraid of getting caught.
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