The Labor, Welfare and Health Committee of Parliament today approved the extension of the Ordinance on Prevention of Smoking in Public Places and the Exposure to Smoking (amendment of the addendum to the law) - 2012
The ordinance on prevention of smoking has been extended to include public swimming pools, public shelters, youth, sports and culture centers (MATNASS), synagogues, churches, mosques, government offices, performances, taxi cabs while passengers are on board, bus shelters, central bus stations, train stations and platforms, vehicles used for driving instruction while driving learners are on board, old age homes and assisted living,, with the exception of areas specially designated for smoking, as described in the regulations.
The extension of the ordinance facilitates protection of the public in Israel against passive smoking in open spaces.
The ordinance forms an important milestone in promoting public health; this is a substantial extension and addition of open spaces to the smoking prohibition.
These amendments will come into effect 30 days after their publication in the government gazette.
The Deputy Minister of Health, MP Jacob Litzman said that “the battle against smoking and its harmful effects necessitates the broadening of the enforcement and increased awareness of exposure to second-hand smoke, which is prevalent in many of our open spaces. We shall do everything to prevent exposing the public to the dangers of smoking, any way we can”.
The Director General of the Ministry of Health, Prof. Roni Gamzu: “The extension of the ordinance is another link in the chain of measures which the Ministry of Health has taken and is taking in accordance with its policy of reducing smoking in Israel. The Ministry is determined to lead further steps, in spite of all opposition, for the benefit of the public’s health”.
As mentioned earlier, the Labor and Welfare Parliamentary Committee today approved the extension of the Ordinance on Prevention of Smoking in Public Places and the Exposure to Smoking (amendment of the addendum to the law) - 2012.
The ordinance is based on the recommendations from the public committee on reducing smoking and the effects of smoking, concerning the hardening of the legislation on smoking in public places.
Preventing public exposure to smoking in public places is highly important from the health aspect. Second-hand smoking is a cause of premature death and disease among non-smoking children and adults. Furthermore, exposure of adults to second-hand smoking has an immediate impact on the blood circulatory system and on the heart, and there is no safe level of exposure to second-hand smoke.
The public awareness of second-hand smoke has been on the increase, and there has been an increase in the size of the non-smoking population to approximately 78%.