Ministerial committee opposes relaxing anti-smoking laws

The ministerial committee on legislation decided on Tuesday to oppose a bill that would allow smoking in 20% of bars and restaurants, making it very unlikely that the bill will pass in Knesset on Wednesday. The bill's sponsor, MK Zvi Hendel (NU/NRP), who is himself a heavy smoker, expressed outrage and said that the committee should have allowed MKs to think for themselves about whether to ease the anti-smoking bill that "tramples over the rights of smokers." "It is wrong that they are continuing to embitter the lives of one-and-a-half million smokers and take away their rights," he added.