Over half of Israeli students have tried smoking by age 13

Health Ministry report shows number of smokers dropped since 2016, but over half of Israeli students try a cigarette at age 12-13.

Tags: Smoking
Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Teenage boy lights a cigarette
Teenage boy lights a cigarette

Deputy Health Minister Yakov Litzman (UTJ) and the Health Ministry's senior staff told the Knesset Labor, Welfare and Health Committee the percentage of Israelis who smoke has dropped.

According to the Ministry, 20.5% of the adult population in Israel smokes, representing a decrease in comparison to 2016, but a rise in comparison to 2015.

Appearing in conjunction with World No Tobacco Day, the Ministry reported that over 50% of the students smoke their first cigarette at the age of 13. In the Arab sector, 56% smoke their first cigarette at 12 years of age.

In addition to legislation approved yesterday to expand no-smoking areas, measures will be approved limiting the advertisement of tobacco products, and there will be an anti-smoking campaign during the upcoming World Cup soccer tournament.

On Wednesday, the Knesset's Labor, Welfare, and Health Committee on Wednesday morning approved the Order to Prevent Smoking in Public Places and Exposure to Smoking, expanding the list of places in which smoking is prohibited to include government events with over 50 attendees, playgrounds, and courts.

Earlier this month, a report found that 59% of Israeli children are exposed to secondhand smoke - more than their counterparts in Canada, England, and Germany but less than their counterparts in Poland.