More bans, more coming

    Israel has ramped up its restrictions on tobacco smoking in public places, according to a BBC Online story quoting a Ynet news report.
    A ban on smoking tobacco, which applied to government offices, courts, religious councils, hospitals and clinics, is being extended to concerts, demonstrations and all open-air events attended by more than 50 people.
    It is being extended also to swimming pools, open-air sports facilities, playgrounds, zoos, the entrances to pre-schools, and in enclosed car parks.
    Some venues are allowed to designate smoking areas at least 10 meters from the entrance ‘as long as they do not inconvenience other parts of the facility, or residences’.
    The new restrictions, which were set out in a bill in May, came into force on September 1 after years of complaints by campaigners that the health ministry had not done enough to tackle the relatively high rate of smoking in the country.
    Further restrictions are planned. The Health Ministry’s Moshe Bar Siman Tov promised parliament in May that the government would ban smoking areas in bars and restaurants.