Ministers stymie effort to ban tobacco advertising

Knesset Economics Committee chairman Eitan Cabel said the government was “addicted to working for the tobacco companies.”

Smoking (photo credit: INGIMAGE / ASAP)
(photo credit: INGIMAGE / ASAP)
The Ministerial Committee on Legislation has postponed a vote on bills that would ban cigarette advertising, even though the bills had already been passed by the Knesset Economics Committee.
The bills’ sponsors, Knesset Economics Committee chairman Eitan Cabel and Likud MK Yehuda Glick, accused the ministers on Sunday of harming the health of the public at the behest of cigarette makers. Glick said the ministers had displayed chutzpa by stifling bills backed by the Health Ministry.
“The government of Israel serves the tobacco companies and surrenders to them,” said Glick, who ended a 25-day hunger strike over the weekend that was intended to advance his anti-smoking bills which have been blocked by Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon.
Cabel said the government was “addicted to working for the tobacco companies.”
“Eight thousand Israelis die annually from smoking, but our children will continue to hear that it’s cool to smoke from the commercials,” Cabel complained.
The ministerial committee did advance another bill by Glick that would require educational institutions to have on their premises an epinephrine auto-injector for treating allergic emergencies. The bill is expected to pass into law in the Knesset Monday.
The committee also advanced a bill that would gradually ban the import of live calves and sheep for slaughter over the next three years. The bill was proposed by Likud MK Miki Zohar, supported by MKs in both the coalition and opposition, and promoted by animal rights groups Anonymous for Animal Rights and Let the Animals Live.
A poll sponsored by AAR found that 86% of the public supported it. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the bill on his Facebook page after the vote passed.
“We have an obligation to make a real change to stop the harm that is being done to animals,” Netanyahu said.