A report from the Health Ministry published Thursday showed that an increasing number of Israelis are enrolling in programs to detoxify their systems and quit smoking. The report examined enrollment patterns within the framework of the health insurance funds across Israel.
Director General of the Ministry of Health, Moshe Bar Siman Tov said, "Children and teenagers mainly use disposable electronic cigarettes, which are their gateway to the world of smoking. We have seen a jump in the use of these products that harm their health: 3% of children in grades 5-6 and 10% of teenagers in grades 10 report smoking electronic cigarettes."
He continued with more data. "In one year, the percentage of children who report starting to smoke at the ages of 12-14 tripled (from 3.4% in 2021 to 13.7% in 2022) - this is a real epidemic that harms the healthy future of children and we must do everything to stop this trend. A decision to reduce the tax will do exactly the opposite. This low taxation conveys an apparently reduced risk, although this is not the case, and will encourage even more consumption of a product that causes addiction to our children and is harmful to their health. Like any bad habit that is harmful to health, the best way to get rid of it is not to start at all."
In 2021, a broad test on decreasing smoking habits in the IDF commenced. This continued work includes expanding personal counseling to all IDF units, by training the medical faculty to provide smoking cessation counseling.
In addition, the Medical Corps launched a program to hire smoking cessation instructors to improve the professionalism of the service provided to soldiers.
As part of the program, it is also planned to introduce nicotine substitutes to the IDF basket committee, so that the soldiers can receive the treatment free of charge. The IDF held 10 group detoxification workshops in the various units, in addition to individual counseling and support processes for detoxification.
Since the introduction of the detoxification workshops, as well as the medicinal response to smoking cessation to the basket of health services from 2010 to 2021, 308,054 smokers, women and men, have applied for assistance in quitting smoking.