Israel officials consider a ban on smoking in cars

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Members of the Israeli government, Knesset are pushing to adopt a bill to prohibit smoking in cars in presence of minors.

A member of Knesset from Yisrael Beiteinu (a nationalist political party in Israel) Robert Ilatov, whose associate Yuri Shtern, also a member of the government, introduced the bill to ban smoking in vehicles a month before he passed away due to a malignant brain tumor two years ago, declared that the government should pass the bill to revere the memory of the late Knesset member.

Smoking in cars

Ilatov stated that he decided to introduce the bill to the Knesset after he read a research by Johns Hopkins where it is found that vehicles account for the highest second-hand smoke rates. He advised everybody to look through the study published in the August issue of the Tobacco Control journal.

It has been scientifically proven that adolescents are more affected by environmental tobacco smoke and its negative consequences to health.

Dr. Boaz Lev, a vice head of Israel Health Ministry admitted that he has been in favor of the legislation prohibiting smoking in cars in presence of children, however, he had considered the introduction of such a bill with the Public Health Minister Yaakov Litzman (representative of ultra-Orthodox political party, United Torah Judaism), who is responsible for introducing bills concerning public health

At the same time, Israel principal anti-tobacco attorney Amos Hausner, head of Smoking Prevention Council declared that lighting up in cars should be prohibited completely, regardless of the presence of adolescents in those vehicles, because it presents danger to the health of both passengers and driver due to higher probability of road accidents and the severe health complications related to the exposure to secondhand smoke and chemicals contained in the smoke.

Hausner mentioned that there is a legislation, although often flouted, prohibiting usage of mobile phones while driving the vehicle since it distracts drivers and increases chances of road accidents. He recalled that several years ago transport officials launched a campaign urging drivers to avoid smoking while being on the road for the same reasons as in case of mobile phones.

Although, many developed nations implemented strict restrictions on public smoking, banning puffing almost in all enclosed public areas, only a handful of countries has banned lighting up in vehicles in presence of kids.
However, in America, unintentional exposure to environmental tobacco smoke results in thousands of respiratory illnesses and other diseases among children annually.

In addition, the Associated Press reported that Malawi kids as young as 7-10 years old who work at tobacco plantations suffer from severe nicotine poisoning similar to smoking 50 cigarettes daily.

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