Tobacco policy in Israel: 1948-2014 and beyond

Laura J. Rosen, Maya Peled-Raz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Tobacco is the only consumer product known to kill half of its users, and is a significant cause of death and disability to exposed nonsmokers. This presents a unique conundrum for modern democracies, which emphasize personal liberty, yet are obligated to protect citizens. Aim: This paper provides an overview of tobacco policy in Israel since the inception of the State, presents the development of the National Tobacco Control Plan, and recommends future actions. Methods: Sources for this article included the Knesset (Israeli Parliament) and Ministry of Health websites, Health Minister Reports to the Knesset on Smoking, and the scientific literature. Results: Israel has an impressive record on tobacco control policy, beginning with taxation in 1952, landmark smoke-free air and marketing legislation in the early 1980's, tax increases and expansions of smoke-free air and marketing legislation in the ensuing years, and the addition of subsidized smoking cessation technologies in 2010. Until 2011, actions were taken by various organizations without formal coordination; since the passage of the National Tobacco Control Plan in 2011, the Ministry of Health has held responsibility for coordinating tobacco control, with an action plan. Recommendations: In order to prevent hundreds of thousands of preventable premature deaths in the coming decades, Israel should considerably strengthen tobacco control policies to include: guaranteed funding for tobacco control; strong curbs on advertising, promotion and sponsorship of tobacco and smoking products; public education; law enforcement; protection of children from exposure to tobacco; regulation of electronic cigarettes and other alternative harm-reducing products; tobacco control research; and systematic monitoring of, and periodic updates to, the National Tobacco Control Plan. Israel should also begin discussions of Endgame scenarios, and consider abolition of tobacco, as it continues its progress towards making smoking history.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12
JournalIsrael Journal of Health Policy Research
Volume4
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 May 2015

Keywords

  • FCTC
  • Health policy
  • Israel
  • Legislation
  • MPOWER
  • Secondhand smoke
  • Smoking
  • Tobacco control
  • Tobacco policy
  • Tobacco smoke exposure

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Tobacco policy in Israel: 1948-2014 and beyond'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this