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Government to push anti-smoking bills

20 Jan 2022. Knesset Health Committee Chairwoman Idit Salman wants to raise the minimum smoking age to 21 and require police to enforce anti-smoking laws to combat smoking in Israel, reports Israel Hayom.

At a meeting of the Knesset's Health Committee, Silman pledged to pass a series of new anti-smoking laws that would raise the minimum smoking age to 21, require police to enforce anti-smoking laws, and change the status of apartment balconies to prevent neighbours from having to inhale second-hand smoke.

According to the report, around 8,000 Israelis die from smoking each year, 800 of them because of exposure to second-hand smoke. About one-fifth of Israelis smoke.

MK Alon Tal commented on balconies, "Your rights end where my nose begins. Smoking is not a neutral activity, it has grave implications for people around you. In the same way, we limit the kind of noise somebody can make from their house... if you go out on your balcony, and the smoke wafts up to your neighbours, then that is unacceptable." He pointed out that roughly 28 per cent of young men who enlist in the army smoke, as do 35 per cent of the Arab sector.