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Heads up smokersby michael • March 07 2008
Jerusalemite has reported before on the draconian laws our beloved Municipality has recently passed to fight smoking in privately owned bars, restaurants and nightclubs. The same Municipality has just issued a press release crowing that obedience to the law is being enforced by a newly created Cheka of anti-smoking inspectors, empowered by the city government to levy massive fines on both smokers caught lighting up in public places and the business owners who fail to stop them. Yes, the municipality, apparently flush with cash and excess manpower they're withholding from worthwhile city projects, have hired and trained dozens of professional tongue-cluckers and finger-waggers - a veritable legion of critical grandmothers, except they won't ever make you chicken soup.
The citations began getting handed out to smokers and proprietors this week, after a sweep of city nightlife establishments during which smokers were given warnings and clarifications of the new law, and proprietors were given warnings concerning the prohibition of smoking in the establishment and a clarification of the the punishments and fines they can expect to receive if smokers are found in their establishments in the future.
Smokers caught smoking in defiance of the law will receive a ticket for 1000 NIS, and business owners will be hit up for a whopping 5000 NIS. Perhaps with the combination of excessive fines for smoking and heavy taxes for living, the Municipality will have enough shekels to complete the next phase of the light rail by, oh, 2019.
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