Israel became a Party to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control on November 22, 2005.
Smoke Free Places
Smoking is prohibited in specified indoor public places and indoor workplaces, including government offices, hospitals, childcare facilities and preschools, and primary and secondary schools. The law permits designated smoking rooms in other indoor public places and indoor workplaces, such as malls, restaurants, bars, pubs, and nightclubs. Smoking is also prohibited in specified forms of public transport, including trains, buses, and taxis.
Tobacco Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship
The law prohibits most forms of tobacco advertising and promotion, subject to some exceptions. These exceptions include some advertising in newspapers, written advertising (mail, text message, etc.) to consenting consumers over the age of 21, and advertising at certain points of sale. Product display is prohibited at most points of sale. It is uncertain whether tobacco sponsorship is permitted.
Tobacco Packaging and Labeling
As of January 8, 2020, plain packaging is required for all tobacco products, excluding cigars and pipe tobacco sold in specialty tobacco shops. The law requires text-only health warnings to appear on smoked and smokeless tobacco products. The health warnings must cover 30 percent of each of the two principal display areas. There are twelve warnings that must be rotated with equal frequency. Misleading packaging and labeling, including terms such as “light” and “low tar,” is prohibited.
Cigarette Contents and Disclosures
The law does not grant the authority to regulate the contents of tobacco products. The law requires that manufacturers and importers disclose to government authorities and the public information on the contents and emissions of their products.
The law prohibits the sale of tobacco products via vending machine. There are no restrictions on the sale of single cigarette sticks, small packets of cigarettes, or tobacco products via internet or based on location. The sale of tobacco products is prohibited to persons under the age of 18.
The retail sale of e-cigarettes is allowed. Most forms of advertising, promotion and sponsorship of e-cigarettes are prohibited. The law does not regulate the use of specified contents, ingredients or additives. Internet sales are allowed with restrictions but vending machine sales are prohibited. The law establishes a maximum nicotine concentration of 20mg/ml. In addition, the law requires a text-only health warning covering 30 percent of the two largest surfaces of product packaging.
Roadmap to Tobacco Control Legislation
There are two primary laws governing tobacco control in Israel. The Prevention of Smoking and Exposure to Smoking in Public Places Law, 1983 regulates smoke free environments. It has been amended several times, most recently in February 2016. The Restriction on Advertising and Marketing of Tobacco Products Law, 1983 regulates tobacco and e-cigarette advertising, promotion and sponsorship. It also establishes the framework for health warnings on tobacco and e-cigarette packaging and labeling. It has also been amended several times, most recently in June 2022.
The Restrictions on Advertising and Marketing of Tobacco Products Smoking Order (Change of Wording of Warnings), No. 5763-2002 contains the specific requirements for health warnings, including their contents, and other packaging and labeling requirements. The 2004 Amendment to the Consumer Protection Order (Labelling of Goods), 1983 prohibits the use of misleading indicia on tobacco product packaging and labeling. In addition, the Health Administration Circular No. 7/2012 on Prohibition on Smoking in Hospitals and Clinics provides details on the prohibition of smoking in hospitals and clinics. Similarly, Israel Prison Service Order No. 00-53-04 addresses restrictions on smoking within prisons and detention facilities.
This country’s legal measures were reviewed by our legal staff. No in-country lawyers or tobacco control experts were consulted for the review.