Restaurant Fined NIS 50K Over Smoking Violation

YERUSHALAYIM -
Smokers Photo by Hadas Parush/Flash90
Israelis smoking. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

A customer who was exposed to secondhand smoke sued a Tel Aviv restaurant – and won a NIS 50,000 settlement, which he promptly donated to an organization that promotes smoking cessation programs.

Moshe Cohen patronized the Bila restaurant during 2013, a time when laws preventing smoking in public places were already in place. Cohen did not want to breathe in the smoke of other diners but his complaints to management were to no avail. Cohen sued, and after realizing that he was not the only victim, turned the suit into a class-action one.

According to the law, places of entertainment must, if they want to accommodate smokers, set off a specific area where smoking is permitted, and must ensure that secondhand smoke does not drift into areas where non-smokers sit. The establishment in question complied with the first directive, but did not take enough steps to ensure that the smoke did not drift into other areas, the court said.