Yaakov Litzman
Yaakov Litzman Hadas Parush/Flash 90

In a discussion held by the Health Ministry and the Knesset Committee for the Fight Against Illegal Drugs, Health MInister Yakov Litzman (UTJ) announced that he would not submit the report on time, and does not know when he will be able to submit it.

"I am not submitting the report today, since there have been professional doubts regarding the way the statistics were measured," Litzman said. "Currently, I am not sure when we will submit the report, but I will try to speed the process as much as possible."

Health Ministry Director General Moshe Bar-Siman Tov explained, "There has been an unexplained and illogical rise in the number of smokers in 2016 when compared to 2015. We prefer to research the statistics and analyze them critically. We will maintain transparency."

Litzman also said that he intends to add to the list of places where smoking is forbidden. The new list will include all areas of restaurants, hospitals, nursing homes, sports buildings, parks, preschools, parking lots, zoos, and more. In addition, he said that he had suggested limiting tobacco companies' advertising rights, and is waiting for the Finance Ministry's approval on the matter.

The number of smokers in Israel jumped from 19.7% in 2015 to 22.5% in 2016. In addition, 37% of Israelis are smokers by the time they leave army - and only 26% were smokers when they join the army.

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