Israel: A global leader in smoking legislation

Published date13 October 2021
Publication titleJerusalem Post, The: Web Edition Articles (Israel)
One of the most successful countries for tobacco legislation is Israel. Their government has implemented a broad range of innovative smoking prevention techniques which continue to pave the way in global tobacco policies.

Israel's achievements in smoking legislation have been recognised with great optimism, whereby in May 2019, the World Health Organisation granted the World No Tobacco Day Award to the Smoke-Free Israel organisation. In the awarded letter, the WHO praised Israel for its action, stating that the country's initiative has been enough to "inspire other countries" to "undertake (the) next bold steps in putting health first".

Smoking Trends in the UK

In the UK, 14.1% of people aged 18 years or older smoked cigarettes in 2019, equating to 6.9 million of the population. Although this rate had fallen from 14.7% in 2018, there were a reported 1.9 million smoking-related hospital admissions in 2019 and 2020.

It is estimated that smokers cost the UK economy a sweeping £12.6 billion a year, which covers costs to the NHS and social care services, as well as business losses from reduced productivity and premature deaths. Not only is smoking damaging the health of individuals and significantly impacting the UK economy, but the environmental consequences are equally substantial. From deforestation to discarded cigarette butts in our seas and oceans, smoking poses a range of severe threats for ecosystems across the globe.

Fortunately, there are a number of annual stop-smoking campaigns in the UK with online e-cigarette stores such as even offering a free quit smoking programme in support of Stoptober.

Their campaign, named Switch2Vaping, offers a free vaping kit and e-liquids alongside one-to-one mentoring through phone, text, and email to help people quit.

" have always promoted vaping as a safer, healthier alternative to smoking. When we saw that the pandemic had caused an increase in smoking rates, we knew we had to try and do something different to drive people to more effective methods of quitting. Our Switch2Vaping programme ensures that those who want to give up smoking have all of the necessary tools available to do so." - Jane Buxton, General Manager.

It is abundantly clear that smoking has a significant burden on the UK, and one which will only exacerbate if these campaigns government regulations fall short in effectiveness. How has Israel managed smoking legislation throughout the years, and what can the UK learn from...

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