Israel is failing to protect its citizens from secondhand smoke: underestimating public support. Rather than clearly and unequivocally requiring 100% smokefree workplaces and public places (including restaurants, bars and other entertainment venues), Israeli law contains several elements that parallel the tobacco companies' "accommodation" program, which is designed to maintain the social acceptability of smoking and protect industry profits. Rather than 100% smokefree workplaces, smoking is permitted in private offices despite the fact that it then wafts throughout the building. Bars and pubs are allowed to set aside a quarter of their space for smokers, as long as it is in a separate room, and this explains the dangerous levels of secondhand smoke air pollution in Israeli bars and pubs. The weaknesses in the current Israeli laws are sending Israeli citizens to the hospital for secondhand smoke-induced heart attacks, asthma and other diseases. The Israeli government needs to catch up with the rest of the developed world and enact and implement a strong smokefree law.
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