April 1st, 2019 by Camrin Parnell
8,000 people in Israel die every year from smoking or smoking-related deaths. Israel is one of the few western countries where the numbers of smokers is increasing, especially among Arab men. The life expectancy of smokers is twelve years less when compared with non-smokers and smoking can cause an array of diseases as well as complications when treating other diseases and conditions.
Contrary to what many people think, there is no such thing as “healthy smoking.” Every cigarette contains 4,000 different compounds many of which are toxic and 50 of which are carcinogenic including arsen , cadmium, arsenic, formaldehyde, lead and benzene. Can you imagine anyone pouring themselves a cup of these substances??
People in Israel are spending billions of shekels buying tobacco products and, in addition, tax payers are also paying the bill for over 370,000 days of hospitalization due to diseases connected to smoking.
Today, all of the medications available to help people stop smoking in Israel are part of the health basket. Prof. Gabriel Izbicki, Director of Shaare Zedek Medical Center’s Pulmonary Institute recommends that, “Smokers decrease the number of cigarettes they smoke a day by one cigarette a week. While it may take longer, the smoker does not have withdrawal symptoms and it is safe. Stopping to smoke should really be done along with lifestyle changes that will prevent the former smoker from going back to smoking.” Prof. Izbicki recommends that young people don’t ever try that “first cigarette.”
Shaare Zedek offer a unique clinic to help people stop smoking that offers a team of pulmonologists and a nurse who specializes in addiction. Each participant receives a tailored treatment plan and the program is recognized by the Ministry of Health משרד הבריאות.