The Israel Cancer Association petitioned the High Court of Justice requesting that the Second Channel Authority assume its responsibility for overseeing the "Keshet" franchise, in order to prevent this TV company from featuring smoking on the popular "Big Brother" reality show, and thus help safeguard the well-being of the general public.
The petition claims, inter alia, that the smoking portrayed in the show violates the ban on smoking in public places, and as such, may be defined as an illegal act.
Additionally, the Second Channel Authority was requested to thoroughly investigate the subject of smoking on the program, in the context of hidden and indirect advertising.
The Second Channel Authority was required, among other things, to request all the contracts that were signed with the show's promoters and the producers, as well as every document relating to smoking.
The Second Channel Authority was also requested to obtain and publish the criteria according to which the show's participants are selected, and whether they coincided in any way with the candidates' smoking habits.
These measures were taken given that the reported smoking rate in Israel is 20.6%, whereas the percentage of smokers on the "Big Brother" show to date far exceeds this number.
The Second Channel Authority was requested to handle this matter on numerous occasions in the past, however up until now, it has avoided doing so.
The petition asserts that the display of a great deal of smoking on the program distorts reality, and presents smoking as a positive, desirable and acceptable habit that is commonplace among the general population.
These measures have been carried out in view of the fact that smoking and passive smoking constitute a health hazard; additionally, tobacco use has been declared the number 1 preventable cause of death.
The reported smoking rate in Israel is 20.6%, whereas the number of smokers on the "Big Brother" show to date has been much higher.
The petition was filed in collaboration with Clean Air ("Avir Naki") Association (NPO), with Attorney Amos Hausner and Attorney Nir Ofer acting as intermediaries.