The Knesset Economics Committee has authorized for its first Knesset reading a law that would virtually ban all advertisements for cigarettes and tobacco products. The law, sponsored by MKs Yehuda Glick and Eitan Cabel, would widen the already stringent regulations on advertisements for these products.
Under the proposal, any and all public displays that promote smoking in any way will be banned. The single exceptions will be displays in stores where tobacco products and cigarettes are sold, with the name of the products on them. The cigarettes, however, cannot be displayed openly; customers will see the display, and thus be informed that cigarettes are for sale at that establishment, and will have to ask for the cigarettes.
Also permitted will be print advertisements in newspapers – but if such an ad is run, the newspaper will be obligated to run a public service ad of the same size, adjacent to the tobacco ad. In addition, tobacco and cigarette makers will have to publish a full list of ingredients in their products, to be updated annually. Any violations of the laws will net the offending company a fine of NIS 450,000.
Glick, who last week announced he was going on a hunger strike over the Finance Ministry’s refusal to impose heavier restrictions on the sale of loose tobacco, said that the new measures were “a significant revolution” in helping to eliminate smoking, especially among youth. “This is a great victory for the good people,” he said.