Big Brother 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Although about 78 percent of Israelis don’t smoke, Keshet Broadcasting has a
talent for finding those who do and locking them up in a house for 100 days as
contestants on the top-ranking reality show Big Brother, according to an Israel
Cancer Association complaint sent to Channel 2 and the chairmen of two Knesset
ICA director-general Miri Ziv and information director Rivka
Froelich-Zeltzer wrote on Monday to MK Alex Miller (Israel Beiteinu) of the
Education Committee and MK Ophir Akunis (Likud) of the Economics Committee,
noting that they had previously complained to Keshet about participants’ smoking
in the 2008 Big Brother show, but nothing had been done.
The new show,
which began last week, has more smokers than ever lighting up inside the house,
with non-smokers exposed to the toxins. As the competitors for NIS 1 million
prize (for the last person to be sent home) often receive a limited expense
budget while in the house, ordering cigarettes comes at the expense of their
The ICA officials said that many viewers had called to complain
about the constant smoke, as it misrepresented the smoking rate in the country
and gave tobacco – which kills 10,000 Israelis annually – legitimacy, especially
in the eyes of young people. This casualty figure is higher than all road
accidents, suicides, murders and AIDS deaths combined, they said.
have shown that seeing tobacco products and smoking in movies and TV shows
encourages young people to smoke and turns occasional smokers into permanent
As cigarette advertising is prohibited in the electronic media,
some tobacco companies pay cinema companies to add suggestive smoking scenes to
promote their products.
They called on the two committees to schedule a
discussion of the matter and invite officials from Channel 2 and Keshet to
appear. If the current batch of people on the show smoke, at least scenes of
them smoking could be edited out, the ICA suggested.