Today, May 31, 2015, is commemorated in Israel and across the globe "World No Tobacco Day", which has been held every year since 1987.
The objective of commemorating this special day is to put awareness of the smoking pandemic and the dangers associated with smoke on the global agenda, as well as to stress the need to heighten awareness of the prevention of cigarette smoking-attributable mortality and morbidity.
The ICA is now embarking on a new initiative on Instagram under the slogan "Anyone who "burns" money on cigarettes is a pushover".
This initiative aims to underline the high cost of tobacco use, beyond the medical damage incurred.
In this activity, participants post personal photos on Instagram featuring products that they purchased instead of cigarettes.
The ICA calls upon the public to take part in this significant initiative, to post personal photos on Instagram, and prove that they are not 'pushovers' of the tobacco companies, investing their money where they can gain benefit.
Would you like to quit smoking on your own? A new ICA manual marking World No Tobacco Day will help you achieve your goal.
Ways to stop smoking on your own are outlined in this manual, which aims to impart tools to construct a self-help smoking cessation plan.
The manual specifies stages of the cessation process (increasing motivation, developing awareness and self-control, smoking cessation and retention).
Moreover, the manual contains information regarding the various cessation services available in Israel, medicinal aids for those encountering difficulties in cessation, and more.
The manual was written by Dr. Tuvia Lerrer, Dr. Yael Bar-Zeev and Ms. Irit Mentesh. Rabbi Yehezkel Ashayak provided assistance in adapting the content to the religious-ultra-Orthodox sector. The manual is currently being translated into Arabic.
Please click here to read the Self-Help Smoking Cessation Manual (in Hebrew)
The manual may be obtained free of charge by contacting the ICA Telemeida teleinformation service hotline at 1-800-599-995.
The Annual School Competition on Tobacco Prevention, in memory of the late Dr. Marcus, was held on June 3, 2015, at Beit Mati, ICA Headquarters in Givatayim, in collaboration with the Israel Cancer Association (ICA), Shefi - the the Psychology and Counseling Unit of the Ministry of Education - and the League against Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases.
Projects designed by pupils attending schools across Israel, on the fight against tobacco consumption, and which reached the finals, were presented at this competition.
This competition is part of ICA's extensive smoking prevention activity in schools throughout the year. Lectures are delivered by professional instructors who work with the students and guide them on how to serve as opinion-makers, who will make a difference among their close surroundings - friends and family - to [help them] avoid smoking.
As part of ICA activity in schools, the translation and publication of 200 education kits on smoking prevention in Arabic, adapted to 6th graders, have currently been completed, and 500 kits in Hebrew have also been completed.
This kit is the product of collaboration between the ICA, the Ministry of Health and the Psychology and Counseling Unit of the Ministry of Education, and constitutes a part of the "life skills" program included in the elementary school curriculum.
ICA Anti-Smoking Activities Conducted over the Past Year:
With the aim of encouraging the enforcement of the legislative ban on smoking in public places:
The ICA has provided the public with a solution by providing guidance on the legislative ban on smoking in public places and the law restricting advertising and distribution of tobacco products.
Similarly, during the course of the year, and in view of the flood of calls it has received, the ICA contacted the various local authorities and warned against places in which this law is violated, in collaboration with the new Enforcement Unit of the Ministry of Health.
Cancellation of the Event aimed at Recruiting Students to the Management Team of Philip Morris Tobacco Company:
The ICA contacted the Tel Aviv University Administration, requesting to cancel an event which invited undergraduate and graduate management students to become a part of the Management Team of the Philip Morris Tobacco Company.
In a letter addressed to the university administration and the Deans of the Faculty of Medicine, the Faculty of Life Sciences and the Faculty of Management, the ICA announced that if the event would not be cancelled, it would consider freezing new research grants which it awards to researchers from Tel Aviv University.
Prof. Eliezer Robinson, ICA Chairman, and former President of the UICC, wrote in a letter to the University: "It is unacceptable that, on the one hand, we assist your excellent and devoted researchers in the battle against cancer, and on the other hand, you empower and reinforce a destructive and cancer-causing industry."
In 2014, the ICA awarded research grants to researchers from Tel Aviv University, amounting to over NIS 600,000.
Tel Aviv University cancelled the event in response to the ICA's request.
The ICA appeared as a "Friend of the Court", represented by Attorney Amos Hausner, in an appeal to the Supreme Court on the ruling of the Tel Aviv District Court.
The Supreme Court accepted the appeal on this issue, and established that class actions may be filed for violation of the prohibition against smoking in public places. Hence, in any case of exposure to smoking - one may submit a claim, and this private action may be centralized into a class action.
A class action signifies that whoever is exposed to smoking is entitled to file a lawsuit: on his or her own behalf and on behalf of any individual who has been exposed to smoking in the same public place, even if this involves thousands of people or more, with each individual being entitled to a compensation of NIS 1000 in each case of exposure.
A 'Lifetime Achievement' Award was presented this year to the ICA at the Annual Conference of the Israel Medical Association for Smoking Cessation and Prevention (part of the Israeli Medical Association), for promoting action in the fight against the tobacco pandemic in Israel through the years.
Israel Cancer Association Information Center presents a new research study:
Electronic cigarettes may make it difficult to quit smoking
Researchers from San Diego University in California, United States, conducted a research study to investigate how e-cigarette (electronic cigarette) use may impact smoking cessation: the researchers examined whether smokers who used e- cigarettes are more likely to quit smoking after the elapse of one year, than smokers who had never used e-cigarettes.
1000 female and male California smokers, who smoke regular cigarettes on a daily basis or weekly basis, participated in the study. They all completed a socio-demographic questionnaire regarding smoking habits: regular cigarette use and e-cigarette use.
Of the total participants, 24.1% reported that they have used e- cigarettes in the past: 35.9% reported that they might use one in the future; 31.2% reported that they haven't used an e-cigarette in the past, nor would they use one in the future, and 8.8% reported that they had never heard of an e-cigarette.
The researchers surveyed the subjects at two time points, one year apart, in which they were asked about e-cigarette use, as well as about the reduction of regular cigarette smoking and attempts at smoking cessation.
Following a weighting of the data, including level of nicotine addiction, smoking habits and smoking cessation intentions, it emerged from the findings that the smokers who used e-cigarettes had a 49% lower chance of reducing cigarette smoking by 20% during the follow up year, compared to smokers who had never used e-cigarettes.
Similarly, the findings showed that e-cigarette smokers had a 59% lower likelihood of quitting regular cigarette smoking for 30 days or more, during one-year follow up, compared to smokers who had never tried an e-cigarette.
Statistically significant findings did not emerge regarding the two groups of participants who reported that they might use e-cigarettes in the future, and those who had never heard of an e-cigarette.
In conclusion, the researchers indicate that smokers who smoked regular cigarettes and also used e-cigarettes are liable to encounter significantly greater difficulty in quitting smoking, than smokers who did not use e-cigarettes and suggest the need for further research on this subject.
The article will be published in the June 2015 issue of the American Journal of Public Health