B-G's Terminal 3 goes smoke-free

Decision made after airport threatened with NIS 1.25 billion class-action suit.

Ben Gurion 298.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Ben Gurion 298.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
All smoking has been barred at Ben-Gurion Airport's main Terminal 3, except in three smoking rooms, thanks to a threatened NIS 1.25 billion class-action suit. Israel Airport Authority director-general Gabi Ofir has barred smoking in the terminal and staffers have been appointed to tell violators to put out their cigarettes. The law prohibits smoking in public places except in separate, ventilated rooms (no more than 25 percent of the total area) that nonsmokers do not enter. According to one complaint, which was backed up by photographs, the "no smoking" and "smoking" sections were separated only by a rope. Ofir assured Hausner in a letter received on Monday that illegal rope separation had been eliminated, with smoking allowed only in three rooms at the end of each arm of the terminal. Next year, he said, an additional smoking room would be set up in the VIP area. Airport employees have been told smoking is prohibited except in the smoking rooms, and they have been instructed to tell passengers, staffers and others to observe the law. A number of employees have been designated as inspectors, but the law does not allow them to issue fines, which in a few weeks will be NIS 1,000 per smoker. Under a law sponsored by MK Gilad Erdan (Likud) that takes effect soon, owners of public places will be fined many thousands of shekels when they fail to summon municipal inspectors if smokers violate the law on their premises.