Anti-Smoking Laws in the Air

YERUSHALAYIM -

The Israeli Health Ministry has sent draft legislation to the Knesset calling for a new round of anti-smoking restrictions in public places and additional taxes to discourage smoking, Arutz Sheva reported on Wednesday.

Director of Public Health Services Prof. Itamar Grotto said that Israel is playing catch-up in the fight against smoking in western countries.

“Israel once had the best smoking laws, but we’ve fallen behind. The Health Ministry intends to fix this, and we have already drafted several law proposals,” Grotto said.

“We want to forbid smoking in public areas such as stadiums, and enlarge the no-smoking radius around preschools and playgrounds. Regarding smoking with children in the car – this is something we are working on, because it’s much harder to enforce. Maybe it can be added into the Transportation Ministry’s laws, there are disagreements on it.

“It will also be forbidden to smoke in zoos and at open-air shows, and we want to close smoking areas in places like restaurants and the Knesset,” Grotto added.

The proposals also include raising the tax on electronic cigarettes to match that of conventional cigarettes and limiting tobacco advertisements in all media.

Even though smoking was on the decline in 2016, nearly 40 percent of Israelis are smokers by the time they finish their mandatory military service.