Unique initiative at the Annual School Competition on Tobacco Prevention


Residents of one local council smoke 720,000 packs of cigarettes a year! At a total cost of 288 million shekels! Is this a math exercise?  Absolutely not!

At Mahmud Darwish Junior High School in Majd El-Kurum, students decided to illustrate the magnitude of cigarette smoking within the community.

1000 teens collected cigarette packs and built a huge model illustrating the number of cigarettes smoked in their households over the course of one month.

The result - the model comprises about 60,000 empty packs of cigarettes!

Anti-smoking initiative

During a math lesson, students and the teachers calculated that among the community sample of smokers, people spent an estimated 288 million shekels on cigarettes a year!!!!

The students also presented proposals for streamlining - namely, what in fact can be done with these huge sums instead of spending them on cigarettes, for example: providing financial assistance to educational and social institutions, funding higher education, etc.

This unique initiative was presented during the Annual School Competition marking World No Tobacco Day.

The Annual School Competition on Tobacco Prevention in memory of the late Dr. Marcus, was held for the 18th consecutive year, in collaboration with the ICA, Shefi (the Psychology and Counseling Unit of the Ministry of Education), the Ministry of Health and the Israel League against Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases.  This competition sums up annual activity on smoking prevention and skills for healthy living, held at dozens of schools across Israel.

The moving ceremony was held at ICA Headquarters in Givatayim.

Five schools made it to the finals, and students, teachers and guidance counselors presented projects, initiatives, and fascinating personal stories.

Anti-smoking initiative

Dr. Marcus, may his memory be for a blessing, served as the Chairman of the League against Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases, and invested great efforts in smoking prevention and cessation, initiating prevention activity and the annual competition on tobacco prevention in schools across Israel.

The Marcus family honored the competition with its presence, and also presented awards to the winning schools.

Keren Roth, Director of the Director of the Unit for the Prevention of Alcohol, Drug and Tobacco Use at Shefi, Ministry of Education, Prof. Avraham Eliraz, Chairman of the Israel League against Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases, and Dr. Avital Pato Benari, ICA Health Promoter, delivered greetings at the ceremony.

The ICA is active throughout the school year in schools across Israel, delivering lectures and activities, launching initiatives and distributing public information materials on smoking-related issues.

The ICA in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education, developed unique educational kits under the slogan: "Diffusing the smoke screen".  The kits are tailored to children and prepubescent youth - up until 6th grade. 

The kits were also translated into Arabic and distributed at Arabic-speaking schools throughout Israel.

The following schools were the first prize winners:

Big-Bullet-SQR.gif Eshkol Elementary School, Beer Sheva.

Big-Bullet-SQR.gif Mahmud Darwish Junior High School, Majd el-Kurum.

Second-place winners:

Big-Bullet-SQR.gif Hofit, Ashdod.

Big-Bullet-SQR.gif New Comprehensive School Tet, Ashdod.

Third-place winner:

Big-Bullet-SQR.gif Amirim School, Beer Sheva.

Congratulations to all the participants in the program across the country for this wonderful and commendable activity! And to the winners - Way to go!