“It's like giving poison to children.” Reaction to the Elad Incident
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The Cancer Association reacted strongly to the distribution of cigarettes by the mayor to children during the Purim holiday in the city of Elad.
The Cancer War Association commented on the incident: “It must be understood that experimentation with smoking among children and adolescents is a dangerous path into the world of smoking with all its serious health consequences. Young age – Vulnerable to start smoking when “just experimenting” turns into an addiction among teenagers, and this is because the brain is in the process of development and learning, so addiction to cigarettes and electronic cigarettes develops faster and stronger.
Cigarette smoke contains about 7,000 different chemicals, including about 350 toxic substances that act in various body systems, and about 70 of them are known to be carcinogenic (such as cyanide, cadmium, benzopyrene, ethrane, etc.), so actually giving a child a cigarette on Purim is like handing out samples of poison.
On the legal side of things, it is illegal in Israel to distribute and give away smoking products to a consumer, and even less so to minors under 18 years, which the sale is also strictly prohibited.
The beginning of smoking among children in the ultra-Orthodox community during the holiday of Purim is a disturbing and dangerous custom that we are aware of, and in the lead-up to the holiday, the Cancer Society, in cooperation with yeshivas, studios and governments worked to prevent smoking among ultra-Orthodox children and youth. As part of this work, we distributed free stickers and information leaflets about the dangers of smoking and ways to quit smoking based on scientific research. At the same time, we are distributing copies of the halakhic ordinance on smoking intended for the religious community.
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