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Israel: Prohibition on Machine Sale of Tobacco Products

(Sept. 28, 2011) On August 3, 2011, the Knesset (Israel's parliament) passed an amendment to the Tobacco Products for Smoking (Restriction on Advertising) Law, 5743-1983, as amended. The Law prohibits the advertising and sale of tobacco products to minors. It also authorizes sellers of such products to require customers to show identification for age verification. In 2001, the Knesset had passed an amendment to the Law in an effort to address the lack of enforcement of the ID verification requirement in connection with tobacco products vending machines. The 2001 amendment authorized the Minister of Health to designate places where machines that distribute tobacco products could not be placed. To date no such places have been designated.

According to explanatory notes on the amendment bill, the objective of the 2011 amendment is to extend the 2001 prohibition to all locations, not only those that can be easily accessed by minors. According to this amendment, the sale of tobacco products via vending machines will be completely prohibited, as of January 1, 2014. Until that day, the placement of such machines will only be prohibited near schools and other educational institutions in accordance with a directive to be issued by the Minister of Health. (Tobacco Products for Smoking (Restriction on Advertising) (Amendment No. 6) Law & bill, 5771-2011 [both in Hebrew], the Knesset website (both last visited Sept. 19, 2011); Tobacco Products for Smoking (Restriction on Advertising) Law, 5743-1983, 37 LAWS OF THE STATE OF ISRAEL 39 (5743-1982/83), as amended [in Hebrew].)