Minister of Health report on smoking in Israel in 2015
; Public health
Today, May 31, 2016, Israel and the world observed the World No Tobacco Day. The Minister of Health publishes the annual report on smoking in Israel in 2015.
The annual report provides information about:
- Data on the smoking epidemic in the general population
- Updated data on water pipe and cigarette smoking among youth
- Smoking among soldiers
- A comprehensive review of prevention activities and the great efforts jointly invested in them by the Ministries of Health, Education, Finance, IDF, HMOs and many other entities.
- Review of legislation and enforcement activity in the field of smoking
- Smoking cessation in Israel
- Various economic data in relation to smoking, including state revenue from tobacco tax, national cigarette consumption and the volume of investment of the tobacco industry in encouraging and promoting cigarette smoking among young people and in general.
- Tobacco companies continued to invest this year in encouraging and promoting smoking through advertising, sponsorships, direct mail and sales promotion. At least 35 million were invested this year, but as outlined in the report, there are difficulties in enforcement and obtaining the full data.
- In 2015, the increase in people referring to smoking cessation in HMOs had stopped, and there was a 4% decrease in the number of participants in smoking cessation workshops, only 25,721 smokers out of about a million, which is only 2.5%.
Four HMOs had conducted nationwide smoking cessation workshops with linguistic and cultural accessibility for a variety of population groups. Workshops waiting times were usually a few weeks to a few months.
- As part of the expanding range of health services for 2015, screening for early detection of abdominal aortic aneurysm was introduced to the basket, as well as rehabilitation of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), two technologies dealing with disease often caused as a result of smoking. Thus, the basket include a "package" for all different prevention stages, from smoking prevention, early detection and treatment and rehabilitation of those sick. However, it is needed to examine how to make other technologies at every stage accessible for the benefit of smokers, to reduce morbidity and mortality from smoking.
- The report also presents data on the rolling tobacco market and tax differences compare to regular cigarettes.
The existing gap harm the effectiveness of tax policy as an efficient and proven tool to reduce smoking and its damages, and to prevent young people from starting to smoke, as well as cumulative revenue loss of hundreds of millions NIS to the state budget.
The Ministry of Health recommends raising the tax on rolling tobacco to a level equivalent to regular cigarettes.