May 31, 2011

Cigarette Vending Machines Will Soon Be Illegal!

Four months ago, at the end of January 2011, MK Uri Ariel proposed a new law that would ban the selling of cigarettes in vending machines. At the time, the initial reading of the law was passed by a majority in Knesset of 45-1.

Yesterday, the proposal was finally finalized into law. It will soon be illegal to sell cigarettes in vending machines, and the new law will take effect as of the beginning of 2014.

It is amazing how this was not made into law many years ago. I have seen numerous young adults, even as young as 14 year olds, 15 year olds and the like, buying cigarettes in the cigarette vending machine in the shopping center near my house. Better late than never.

Interestingly, Mk Uri Ariel, the sponsor of the new law and himself a heavy smoker who successfully quit smoking, had some interesting comments on the discussion surrounding the new law. (source: Srugim) Ariel said:
  • .. The problem with the machines is not just that they make cigarettes more accessible to kids, but they increase the accessibility to everyone. The less cigarettes are available, the less people will smoke...
  • In response to complaints from smokers that it will be much harder for them to buy cigarettes, Ariel responded that there is no need to take into account the interests of smokers. Anybody addicted, Ariel said, can continue to buy his cigarettes in the places that will continue selling them. Whoever will be forced to buy less because of the removal of the vending machines should just say thank you to us and stop complaining. 
  • Ariel said the ban would save many youth from the harm of the smoke that causes damage to the smokers as well as to those nearby. This has become a national plague that costs us billions of shekels, treating cancer and other diseases caused by smoking.
It is about time!


  1. I'm all for banning cigarette vending machines. But I didn't like Ariel's comment at the end.

    It's a slippery slope. Because the same arguments can be used to make snack and soda vending machines illegal. And in any of these cases, it's one step closer to making them illegal altogether. After all, they're all bad for you, so you should just say thank you and stop complaining.

    And that brings you into a whole new discussion about how involved government is allowed to get when it comes to personal choices and habits.

    Take a look at this. It's an oldie, but explains the point.

  2. according to the article the main delay and argument has been when the law should go into effect. the owners of the machines are upset that they are not going to be able to recoup the money they laid out, including loans they entered, to invest in the machines. The delay until 2014 seems to be in consideration of them


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