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PAGE 14A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JUNE 16, 2017 By Andrew Tobin TELAVIV (JTA)--Israel has one of the highest life expec- tancies in the world--82.5 years, on average. But a surprising increase in smok- ing rates may threaten that status. In line with with global trends, the smoking rate in Israel fell from about 45 percent in the early 1980s to about 20 percent or less in the years since 2011. However, in its annual report on smoking released last week, Israel's Health Ministry recorded the biggest single-year setback in more than a decade, with the rate rising to 22.5 percent in 2016 from 19.7 percent the previous year. "This is unheard of in the developed world," Leah Rosen, who heads Tel Aviv University's Health Promo- tion Department, told JTA. "There's an epidemiological curve of tobacco use, and as people start to get sick from smoking, the [smoking] rate starts going down, and it never goes back up: We have now broken that trend." Health professionals and anti-smoking activists have long been sounding the alarm about smoking in the Jewish state--the decline of the national smoking rate had slowed before 2016. And while numerous factors are likely in play, many have accused the government of not taking the threat seriously enough. Smoking is one of the lead- ing causes of death in Israel. According to the Health Min- istry, approximately 8,000 Is- raelis die each year for reasons linked to smoking, among them 800 non-smokers ex- posed to secondhand smoke inhalation• The Jewish state's new smoking rate is compara- tively high--ranking 28 out of 35 European countries, according to the World Health Organization. Europe has the highest rate of any region of the world. In the Health Ministry re- port, Health Minister Yaakov Litzman acknowledged "a decline in efforts" to com- bat smoking and pledged to introduce a package of new measures to reverse the up- ward trend. "The increase in smoking rates, which brings Israel back above the 20 percent mark, demands that the healthcare system reexamine its policies for coping with tobacco prod- ucts and whether to allocate more resources to contend with the problem," he said. About 15 percent 0fAmeri- cans smoked in 2015, accord- ing to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Litzman, a member of the haredi Orthodox United Torah Judaism party, has recently come under fire for hindering some efforts to curb cigarette advertisements and for oppos- ing regulations that would require manufacturers to put warning images on cigarette packages, saying, "it's not aesthetic•" In January, reporters for Israel's Channel 2 TV sta- tion, posing as agents for a company that imports electronic cigarettes, paid thousands of shekels to a go-between to schedule meet- ings with Litzman and the Health Ministry's head of public health services. The undercover reporters were assured on camera that no legislation restricting the sale of e-cigarettes in Israel was expected. Although e-cigarettes are not tobacco products, they often contain nicotine and other chemicals that could pose health risks to users. At the time of the Channel 2 report, a Health Ministry spokesperson said Litzman had not been aware of the payments and that he has a well-known"policy of keeping his door open to any person or organization or company that wishes to see him." Rosen said Israel should introduce additional warn- ings on cigarette packages, as well asstrict limitations on how tobacco can be marketed and where it can be used. One of the most impactful policy changes, she said, would be to close a loophole in the taxation of cigarettes--which allows for loose tobacco to be taxed at a rate lower than pre- rolled cigarettes. Taxes on packs of ciga- rettes have risen in the past few years--the most recent increase, in 2013, brought the toll to 3 shekels (about 85 cents) a pack, up from 2.5 shekels. The price of a pack or cigarettes is now between 22 and 35 shekels (about $6 to $10). But a growing number of Israelis have started smoking loose tobacco, which costs about 43 percent less than buying the same amount of tobacco in a pack, according to Israeli daily Haaretz. Elad Sheffer, an activist with the anti-smoking group clean'Air, said it was nonsen- sical to tax loose tobacco at a lower rate. "There is no case in terms of health or economics because cheaper cigarettes aren't any less dangerous than expensive ones," he said in a 2015 policy statement. Amit Farag, a 24-year-old waitress in Tel Aviv, told JTA she started smoking in high school. She switched to hand- rolled cigarettes a few years ago, at the end of her army service, because packs had gotten too expensive. Still, she and most of her friends would prefer to smoke Marlboros, she said. "When they can have a regular cigarette they want to," she• said. "Sometimes I still take a box from my par- ents, and it's like, yeah, I have a box, and it's nice." If rolled cigarettes cost as much as packs, she would have to quit, she added. It's still something she plans to do "one day" because "we all know it's bad for us," she said. Yehuda Glick, a Knesset member for the ruling Likud party, said he recently sent a letter to the Finance Ministry, • which formulates the budget, requesting a boost in the tax on loose tobacco, but was told no increases were being introduced for now. Glick said he personally brought up the matter with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week, and he said he would look into the matter. In the meantime, Glick is working on a bill to reduce smoking among Israelis un- der the age of 21, since many young Israelis begin smoking in high school or during their army service. Rosen agreed that Israel's anti-smoking policies should focus on young people. Al- though Israel last year enacted a ban on smoking at educa- tional institutions, she said it needs to be better enforced. The Health Ministry found that 24.8 percent of males and 14.9 percent of females were smoking by the time they began their mandatory military service after high school. A study Rosen spearheaded in January found that by the time they were discharged from the army, 40 percent of men and 32 percent of womensmoked--a42 percent increase over the •course of service. The good news, Rosen added, is that as one of Israel's most powerful institutions, the army is in a position to get Israel back on the wagon. NATHALIE TOLEDANO REALTOR® (407) 488-2763 CELL (407) 647-1211 EXT 3685 BUSINESS (407) 628-1210 FAX RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE 400 Park Avenue South, Suite 210 Owned And Operated Winter Park, FL 32789 By NRT tkC 14 V A N 17 N A S T 20 • E S T E 23 $ T A N |- % 29 30 31 J O B E 41 42 T E S T 46 T A 49 50 B A W L 56 A T O L 59 BORE 62 E N D S 65 L E S T 10 11 12 13 E B A N 16 L A T E 19 D E A E H ._SAR Z 0 R S 2,,3 34 35 R B I S 4°R T E 45 V E S T E 52 53 54 55 N I Ni E I R El S S E R S O N D E N E S S 47.5981263 926437518 381526-974 814.359726 659278341 237614859 193765482 762843195 548192637 ( A day before embarking on her first trip to Israel as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley demanded that the U.N. Human Rights Council address its bias against the Jewish state. "It is essential that this council address its chronic .anti-Israel bias if it is to have any credibility," Haley said Tuesday at the opening of WASHINGTON (JTA)-- Ivanka Trump said she did not expect the level of "vicious, ness" her father's presidency would bring her, but also felt "blessed" by moments, including a private visit to the Western Wall. "There is a level of vicious- ness that I was not expecting, I was not expecting the intensity of this experience," she said Monday morning on "Fox and Friends" on the Fox News Chan- nel."Ithinksomeofthedistrac- tions and some of the ferocity was, I was a little blindsided by on a personal level." Ivanka Trump, an unpaid aide in President Donald Trump's White House, did not describe what attacks particularly affected her. She has come under fire from the left for claiming to bring pro- gressive values to the White House, including on LGBT andwomen's rights, while her father rolls back some gains in these areas. A gag started by "Saturday Night Live" in which Ivanka Trump, who be- fore joining the White House ran an eponymous lifestyle branding company, launches a perfume called Complicit has gone viral. Trump said she understood the work would not be easy and was instead focused on advancing her father's jobs agenda. the UNHRC's 35th session in Geneva. Prior to addressing the council, Haley published an op-ed in The Washington Post asserting that the UNHRC must "end its practice of wrongly singling out Israel for criticism." "When the council passes more than 70 resolutions against Israel, a country with a strong human rights record, "My father and this ad- ministration intends to be transformative, and we want to do big bold things andwe're looking to change the status quo," she said. She praised her father and her husband, Jared Kushner, another unpaid White House aide, for the successes of Trump's first foreign tour as president last month, to Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Palestinian areas, and the Vatican. "It was amazing the leader- ship my father showed, the way he was able to foster real dialogue, substantive dia- logue that not only concluded in billions of dollars--S400 billion of business for Ameri- can businesses, which was an amazing thing in of itself, but there was able to be this substantive dialogue with these 54 leaders about how they'll collectively join to stop funding terrorism," she said. The business deals dis- cussed on the trip are stiI1 at the proposal level. The commitment to collectively defund terrorism resulted in part in the decision by five Arab countries to isolate Qa- tar, where much funding for terrorist activity originates, setting offa minor diplomatic crisis because Qatar is also a U.S. ally housing a major American military base. and just seven resolutions against Iran, a country with" an abysmal human rights re- cord, you know something is seriously wrong," Haley wrote• During Tuesday's UNHRC session, U.N. High Commis- sioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein said the Palestinians were marking "a half-century of deep suffering under an occupation imposed by [Israel's] military force." Hussein added, "Maintain the occupation and for both peoples there will only be a pro- longation of immense pain." Haley's reprimand of the UNHRC followed U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres's comments Mon- day, on the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the Six-Day War, conveying concern about Israel's "occupation" in the disputed territories. AFP/Pool/Ronen Zvulun lvanka Trump, the daughter of US President Donald Trump, visits the Western Wall, the holiest site where Jews can pray, in Jerusalem's OldCity on May 22, 2017. Trump, who is Jewish, said her visit to the Western Wall in Jerusalem was one of many "surreal" moments since her father assumed the presidency. "It was the first time a sit- ting presidentwas at the West- ern Wall and visited the Kotel," she said, using the Hebrew word for the site. "Every day in this experience has been surreal, but that was truly an unbelievable moment, so I feel truly blessed and privileged to have been there." A "Fox and Friends" inter- viewer pressed Trump as to what the visit meant to her as a convert. "It was deeply personal for me as you note standing at the Western Wall in a moment of privacy because it was really just us, it was our family that was there," she said. "It was beyond special--for each of these moments it's hard to find the words to adequately describe them." Trump said her life has been upended toadegree by the me- • dia attention, particularly be- ing trailed by photographers. "I'm looking for alternative routes outside of my home," she said. "There's a scrutiny and there's an interest that exceeds anything I've ever experienced before." 1#