Next step in tobacco marketing ban to hit next week

This phase includes a new list of provisions intended to prevent aggressive promotion of tobacco products.

July 5, 2019 01:25
3 minute read.
israeli soldiers smoking cigarettes

Silhouetted Israeli soldiers from the Home Front Command Unit take a smoking break during an urban warfare drill inside a mock village at Tze'elim army base in Israel's Negev Desert June 11, 2017. (photo credit: REUTERS/AMIR COHEN)

The Restriction on Advertising and Marketing of Tobacco Products Bill, the second phase of Israel’s new anti-tobacco marketing ban, will go into effect on July 8. This phase includes a new list of provisions intended to prevent aggressive promotion of tobacco products to the public.

The Israel Cancer Association (ICA) said it’s an important step in the fight against smoking addiction as it will prohibit advertising and restrict marketing of tobacco products. In a release, the association explained that the law is crucial, taking a step further in preventing exposure to the addictive nature of tobacco.

This includes a provision prohibiting manufacturing and use of tobacco gum, candy cigarettes, and toy cigarettes. These products have been known to encourage smoking among teenagers.

According to the association, decades of marketing chewing gum and candy cigarettes have insinuated to the younger population that cigarettes are both “legitimate and “desirable.” Multiple scientific studies show that children who consume these products are more prone to a cigarette smoking addiction in their teenage years and adulthood.

Official US documents revealed not only that tobacco industry leaders view sweets as effective means of advertisement and consumption, but also that they worked closely with the candy cigarette manufacturers to squash evidence of the potential damage these products cause.

A University of Rochester study also showed that some tobacco companies gave permission to candy manufacturers to use original designs of cigarette packs in their logo. This was part of the tobacco companies’ attempt to encourage teens to view cigarettes as a legitimate product. Tobacco and nicotine addiction can shorten life expectancy by 10 years, according to the study.

“Every day smoking in Israel causes death and morbidity in many families as a result of lung cancer, throat, liver, pancreas, colon, cervical cancer and many other diseases,” said Miri Ziv, deputy chairman of ICA.

Former members of the 20th Knesset Eitan Cabel, Yehuda Glick and Eyal Ben Reuven pushed for the bill’s approval, which ended in their favor. The bill was approved by a large majority in the final days before the Knesset was dissolved.

“The whole concept of the law in my eyes is really a major revolution in lifesaving,” Glick told The Jerusalem Post. “Smoking was something that was considered a part of public society, our tradition and everyday life.” According to Glick, they will finish implementing the law in a few months with the hope that people will not see cigarettes in ads or on front windows. Glick said the goal is that smoking will no longer be a part of public life.

One provision of the law is that newspapers must give ad space to the Ministry of Health to advertise against smoking. According to Glick, the ministry does not use the ad space properly. “So far the Ministry has only been putting in ads like ‘8,000 people die from smoking,’” he said. “I don’t think scaring people is going to cause people to stop smoking.” Glick believes the ads would be more effective if they displayed courses on how to stop smoking or publicizing personal stories of people who successfully quit smoking. “The smokers are not my enemy,” he said. “I would be more than happy to help them.”

Seventy percent of smokers want to stop, according to Glick, but they do not know how to beat addiction. Another tool Glick suggested is the use of social media in convincing people not to begin smoking in the first place, and hopefully convince addicted people to stop.

“The power that social media has is so strong,” he said. “Find those heroes who have stopped smoking and have them talk to the youth and convince them not to smoke.”

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