Tuesday, November 09, 2004

No smoking in Petach Tikva!

I visited the Kanyon in Petach Tikva the other evening with my fiancee - we were just looking for somewhere to grab a coffee and do a little shopping in the vicinity of her home. It's a fairly standard mall - much like Jerusalem's Kanyon Malcha in terms of the layout and the shops that it has to offer - not the sort of place I'd cross the country to visit.

One thing did strike me though - around the Kanyon, on almost every available pillar, were big "No Smoking" signs. Even more striking was the fact that people seemed, for the most part, to be complying with the restriction (which is the law and has been for quite a while).

When we sat down for a coffee, there was a separate, enclosed room for smokers - as required by law. A far more pleasant experience for me then having someone puffing away in my face from the "smokers section" - often just a table away.

This reminds me of my favourite smokers' section story - told by a friend who swears that it's true (and I have no reason to doubt him) no matter how unlikely it sounds. In the old days, the smoking section on a plane was usually at the back of the plane - not so on Turkish Airways however - there the appropriate section was (drum roll) the right side of the plane.

Enforcement of no smoking laws in Israel is fairly pitiful. The compliance with the law regarding smoking sections in restaraunts is also usually poor with the law being regarded as a recommendation which can be ignored. As long as this situation continues, smokers regard it as their right to light up wherever they want. My challenge to you as a smoker is to respect the law and to you the non-smoker is not to turn a blind eye but to ask smokers to put out their cigarettes fi they're being smoked illegally.



Anonymous said...

The problem is that if you ask them to put it out... and they say no... you have nowhere to go from there.

Not only have you been forced to back down, but you have emboldened the smoker (now the smoker knows that short of violence there is nothing you can do to stop him/her).

Mall security and eatery owners just shrug and say there is nothing they can do but ask.


Anonymous said...

It IS pathetic, the way the law is ignored. How many times have I gotten lip from someone smoking RIGHT UNDER THE NO SMOKING SIGN when I politely asked them to put out their cigarette? The manager won't help- he's usually got a ciggie hanging from his own lips while he's telling you it'll hurt his business to make people stop smoking.

The funniest thing was in Rabin Hospital- the visitors lounge on the maternity ward is no smoking. Some jerk lights up, the desk clerk actually said something to him (shock no. 1). He rudely refused, and then the others in the room yell at him (shock no. 2) til he puts out his cig (shock no. 3).