Smokers fined NIS 1,000 in nation's hospitals

Hospital in Nahariya says its inspectors, all hospital employees, have been specially trained by Israel Police, the courts.

women smoking_311 (photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
women smoking_311
(photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
Western Galilee Government Hospital in Nahariya has its own uniformed inspectors giving NIS 1,000 fines to people they catch smoking in closed places on the campus.
As municipal inspectors around the country generally are not very successful, or enthusiastic, about collecting smoking fines, hospitals are permitted to do this themselves and keep the money for the institution’s benefit.
The medical center said on Monday that its inspectors, all hospital employees, have been specially trained by the Israel Police and the courts. The District Health Office recently empowered 15 hospital inspectors to give NIS 1,000 fines, usually following oral and written warnings.
The government hospital said that illegal smoking in public spaces endangers the health of patients, staffers and visitors. Even though smoking in closed public areas and workplaces has been illegal for years, some people continue to break the law, the Nahariya hospital said.
It is the first time, the hospital said, that such heavy fines have been given by hospital employees who are smoking inspectors. The ministry is considering adopting it as a model for other hospitals.
Hospital Director Dr. Masad Barhoom said the patients and staff are pleased.
“I am glad that we were able to give an original and available solution to enforcing the law and hope that smoking here will be abolished completely,” he said.