The Ministerial Committee for Legislative Affairs today approved continuity for the Health Ministry’s bill to amend the Tobacco Products Advertising and Marketing Limitation Act (Amendment Number 7)
The Ministerial Committee for Legislative Affairs today approved continuity for the Health Ministry’s bill to amend the Tobacco Products Advertising and Marketing Limitation Act.
The bill already passed the first reading on 25-Jul-2012, before the dissolution of the 18th Knesset. Today’s approval for continuity enables the legislative process to be continued from the stage at which it was left off.
The bill will be conveyed to the Labor, Welfare and Health Committee for its continued preparation towards the second and third readings.
The aim of the bill is to limit the advertising of tobacco products in order to reduce the exposure of the public to smoking, which causes death, morbidity and disability.
In particular, the aim is to protect children and youth from the influence of advertising, which creates a positive and attractive image for smoking.
- Advertising of tobacco products will also be prohibited in the press and on the internet, and only a few exceptions will remain, such as advertising within a shop for the sale of tobacco products.
- Cigarette companies will be forbidden to sponsor various events as the currently do, such as funding students’ days and the like.
- It will be forbidden to label tobacco products with pictures of fruits, as is currently done on tobacco for narghiles, thereby misleading the public, primarily the youth, as to the severity of the damage caused by smoking these products.
- The size of the warning that appears on advertisements for tobacco products will be increased to 30% of the area of the advertisement, up from only 5%, which is the current requirement.
- The manufacture and marketing of food products and toys that resemble tobacco products will be forbidden; among the reasons for this is their influence on the image of smoking in the eyes of youth.
- Cigarette companies will be forbidden to give out tobacco products at no charge or in exchange for joining mailing lists and the like.
- The prohibition of the sale of tobacco products to minors will be broadened, placing responsibility upon vendors in kiosks to ensure that they are not selling tobacco to a minor, just as alcohol may not be sold to minors.
- Health warnings on tobacco products will include pictures and not just words – in a similar fashion to that accepted in many Western countries. The Minister of Health will determine the number of warnings, their design, their variation, etc.
- Cigarette companies will be obliged to report to the Minister of Health (and for practical purposes to the general public) regarding the composition of the tobacco products and the toxicity of the various ingredients, as it is accepted to report the composition of any food product.
- The sale of tobacco products that are fruit flavored or that have additional flavors will be forbidden, since they attract youth and make it easier to start smoking and to become addicted.
- The Minister of Health will authorize inspectors for the purpose of enforcing the law, and they will be given broad powers to enforce the provisions of the law, such as the confiscation of smuggled tobacco products or of products not labeled as legally required.
- Expensive fines will be set for the various violations in order to achieve deterrence and compliance with the law.
After the passing of the first reading of the bill, the text of the bill was changed so that the prohibition to advertise will also apply to any product used for smoking, not just tobacco products, with the aim of limiting advertising of the various types of smoking substitutes, and of assisting, among other things, in the important fight against drugs sold in kiosks.
The various provisions of the law will come into effect gradually – some immediately and some to be phased in – in order to enable proper preparation for the implementation and enforcement of the law.