New cigarette restrictions came into effect in Israel, banning smoking within ten feet of the entrance to many public places and making a non-smoking zone of any gathering of over 50 people even outdoors. Outdoor areas of hospitals and health clinics were also included in the new ban.
The Knesset excluded itself from the new measures, claiming it was a workplace where smoking rooms are allowed. Only a few dozen people are fined under the smoking laws annually in big towns.
As in most of the West, Israel’s smoking rate fell from 45% to 20% in the past 35 years.