Teacher smoking rooms to close in 200 schools

In Education Ministry pilot, these schools are to offer smoking-cessation courses for those who want to kick the habit.

May 27, 2013 03:48
2 minute read.
A MAN smokes in Duesseldorf

Man smoking 370. (photo credit: Ina Fassbender/Reuters)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


Starting this fall, 200 schools will open without smoking rooms for the teachers, according to the Education Ministry, which announced the pilot project on Sunday.

In addition, these schools are to offer smoking-cessation courses for those who want to kick the habit.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

The ministry called the decision a “revolution” that will bar smoking completely in 200 schools around the country. “It will begin gradually in cooperation with the Education and Health ministries that will teach health education.”

In addition, the Education Ministry said, smoking-cessation courses subsidized by the four health funds will be opened. “The ministries will inculcate among the school staff, pupils and their parents habits for a healthful lifestyle,” the ministry added.

“Prevention is the most effective way to cope with smoking. Its harm to health has been proven beyond all doubt,” Education Ministry director general Dalit Shtauber said.

A steering committee with representatives of the ministries, the local authorities and parents’ committees are to supervise application of the new rules in the pilot project.

Some of the changes will be implemented soon, while others will be introduced gradually.


Asked to comment, lawyer Amos Hausner – chairman of the National Council for the Prevention of Smoking – said the idea of smoke-free schools was certainly a good one, and such a program should have been put in place long ago, but “better late than never. It is sad that the pilot will include in the next school year only 200 schools when in fact there are thousands of educational institutions around the country.”

“At this rate,” he added, “it will take many years to include all schools.”

Hausner said it was unfortunate that only teachers in the pilot-project schools would teach pupils about the dangers of smoking. Although smoking rooms have been barred in all hospitals and medical clinics, the opposition of one of the teachers’ unions two years ago prevented making them illegal in all schools, he said.

“The late MK Gideon Ezra suggested that there will be at least one hour every year in all schools where the risks smoking will be discussed. His request was denied by the then-education minister Gideon Sa’ar,” Hausner said. “The question is whether current Education Minister Rabbi Shai Piron will agree to adopt this measure, which was proposed by Ezra when he was in the last stages of terminal- lung cancer caused by his smoking. It is time that that the Education Ministry take up this initiative immediately.”

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

August 31, 2014
Weizmann scientists bring nature back to artificially selected lab mice