Dizengoff Center penalized for not enforcing smoking laws

Small claims court orders shopping center to pay NIS 4,000 to singer and performer Noam Peled - who is allergic to tobacco smoke.

dizengoff center 88 (photo credit: )
dizengoff center 88
(photo credit: )
The noose is tightening around shopping centers, cafes, restaurants and other public places where illegal smoking is allowed - even though there is not yet a law that fines owners of premises for smoking violations by customers. A small claims court in Tel Aviv has ordered Tel Aviv's Dizengoff Center management to pay NIS 4,000 and NIS 500 in court costs for not preventing illegal smoking there to Noam Peled - a singer and performer who is allergic to tobacco smoke. The ruling, handed down Monday by Judge Yael Ilani, marks the first time a shopping center has been fined for this, and the highest-ever fine for this violation. Until now, only cafes and restaurants had been fined, and the largest amount was NIS 2,500. Peled, who had demanded NIS 17,800 for his suffering, noted that a security guard in the shopping center was smoking as well, that ashtrays had been illegally placed there and that the mall failed to hang "No Smoking" signs every 30 meters. The Israel Council for the Prevention of Smoking, headed by lawyer Amos Hausner, is encouraging the public to take many more such violations to small claims courts in the hope that public places will enforce the laws and the Knesset will pass a private member's bill, initiated by MK Gilad Erdan, to fine proprietors and not only smokers. More information on suing violators can be obtained at www.linshom.com.