Israel - Health Ministry to target web smoking ads..

August 26, 2010 - Since 1983, there has been a ban in Israel on advertising tobacco on conventional electronic media, TV and radio, but there are no restrictions on Web sites – and youth spend hours a day online.

Health Ministry director-general Dr. Ronni Gamzu will ask the special ministry tobacco control committee to examine ideas to fight tobacco advertising in Israel, including that on Web sites. Among the popular Israeli news sites that have presented tobacco advertising are Ynet and Walla.

Deputy director-general Dr. Boaz Lev, who supervises the ministry’s 2020 Israel Plan to promote better health in another decade, told the Post that fighting tobacco advertising on the Web was a “worthy target, and we will consider ways of doing it.”

Meanwhile, the journal Tobacco Control (one of more than 30 specialist titles published by British Medical Journal Group), on Thursday, August 26th published an article saying that the world tobacco industry is “apparently using the YouTube” video Web site to advertise cigarettes subliminally, with a target audience of young people, who regularly visit the site.”

See the following news brief:
PAPER: Pro-tobacco videos have a significant presence on YouTube...

Amos Hausner, chairman of the Israel Council for the Prevention of Smoking, said youths are clearly being targeted by the tobacco industry via films and the Internet through subliminal and direct advertising. “These media have a strong influence on children and youth, and they are wanted by the tobacco companies as new customers.”

Hausner added that his council had received complaints from the public about tobacco ads on Israeli Web sites.

Reference: Health Ministry to target web smoking ads by JUDY SIEGEL-ITZKOVICH, Jerusalem Post. 26/08/2010

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