There is an average 2% increase in the number of Jewish women in Israel diagnosed with cancer each year, according to new data released this month by the Israel Cancer Association (ICA). The data showed, however, that among Jewish men, the rate of people diagnosed with the disease has decreased, as has the number of men who smoke.November is International Lung Cancer Awareness month. In general, according to information the association collected from the National Cancer Registry, in 2016 there were 2,695 new lung cancer patients diagnosed in Israel, compared to only 1,292 in 1996. Those over the age of 70 are at more risk of contracting the disease, the data showed. In 2016, 28.2 out of every 100,000 Jewish men and 14.7 out of every 100,000 Jewish women were diagnosed with the disease. Among Arab men, those numbers were much higher: 49.7 out of 100,000 men. Only 7.7 out of 100,000 Arab women were diagnosed with lung cancer in 2016.The leading cause of lung cancer is expected: smoking.“Smokers risk of getting lung cancer is 20 times greater than that of non-smokers,” explained Miri Ziv, ICA's vice chair and former director general.She noted, however, that if a person quits smoking his or her risk of getting sick decreases as the years go by. After 15 years, according to most studies, the person’s risk becomes equivalent to that of the rest of the population, ICA said.The risk of developing lung cancer increases by 25% for people who live with someone who smokes.According to the Ministry of Health, every year about 800 people who did not smoke but were exposed to second-hand smoke die from lung cancer.There has been a slight decrease in the survival rate in Israel from the disease. According to the Central Bureau of Statistics 2018 report on deaths in Israel, 24.1% of all cancer deaths are a result of lung cancer – the highest among cancer deaths in Israel, but lower than in most other countries. The ICA said that the most effective step to reduce smoking is to increase taxation on cigarettes and other tobacco products. Israeli taxes on cigarettes increased in 2013 and taxes on rolled tobacco products increased in February of this year. The ICA noted that over the past year, the country has seen an increase in the use of e-cigarettes among Israeli teenagers and youth, equivalent to the increase being seen worldwide. Currently, Israel’s increased tobacco taxes do not apply to e-cigarettes. The ICA recommends that e-cigarettes be equally taxed.“The future of our public health depends on the steps taken today,” the ICA said in a release. On November 20, a free workshop with expert doctors will be made available for those suffering from lung cancer and their loved ones. The event will take place in Tel Aviv from 2:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Those interested in attending should call 03-572-1678.