IDF soldiers share cigarettes while resting in the shade near the central Gaza Strip in July 2014..
(photo credit: FINBARR O'REILLY / REUTERS)
In 2005, Israel ratified the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC). In the ensuing years the smoking rate, which had been about 45% in the early 1980s, fell to under 20%.Sounds good, right? Not so fast. A recent Health Ministry report indicated a rise in smoking rates to 22.5%, ranking Israel 28th out of 35 countries in Europe, which has the highest rate of smoking in any region in the world.