• Issue: February 1983
  • designer: N. & M. Eshel
  • Stamp size: 30.8 x 30.8 mm
  • Plate no.: 49
  • Sheet of 15 stamps Tab: 5
  • Printers: E. Lewin-Epstein Ltd.
  • Method of printing: Photolithography

To-day there is general agreement that smoking gravely damages health. Statistics tell us that the death rate from lung cancer among smokers is over ten times that among non-smokers and that 80% of recorded sufferers from lung cancer are smokers. Not only are smokers much more susceptible to various forms of cancer (cancer of the throat, larynx, mouth) but they are twice as likely as non-smokers to contract heart disease or suffer a heart attack. Smoking also causes ulcers, affects the brain and kidneys and adversely affects one's physical condition. Hundreds of lives and thousands of work-days could be saved in Israel if only people would give up smoking.

Smoking, unlike drug-taking is not an addiction but an acquired habit that can be changed. According to the psychologists, the ritual associated with smoking - lighting the cigarette or pipe; rolling the cigarette, gripping it in one's mouth, exhaling the smoke - has a soothing effect on the smoker and in many cases the cigarette fulfils the same function as the baby's pacifier (dummy). According to the statistics, almost 40% of Israeli men over 18 smoke, while the corresponding figure for women is 34%. A large proportion of smokers get through more than 20 cigarettes a day while the incidence of smoking is higher among those of Asian or African origin than it is among those from Europe or America.

In most cases, the smoking habit is acquired at High School or in the army. Young people are socially pressured into demonstrating their manliness and independence by smoking, and cigarette manufacturers spend vast sums on subtly persuading them that it is the "in thing" to smoke.

Research has shown that children are affected by their parents' smoking habits and that the children of smokers are more likely to take up the habit than the children of non-smokers.

In recent decades there has been a sharp rise in the number of women smokers accompanied by a rise in the incidence of fatal lung cancer and other diseases. It is also generally accepted that the woman who smokes damages not only her own health but the health of her unborn child as the nicotine enters the bloodstream of the embryo and adversely affects its development in the womb. It has also been proved that small quantities of nicotine can get into the mother's milk so that one day's breast feeding is sufficient to affect the health of the infant. As the child grows up, the parents' smoking habits provide a bad example for them to emulate.

At least two-thirds of the poisonous materials in cigarette smoke including the cancer inducing ingredients, are exhaled by the smoker, and all those near him breathe them into their lungs and are converted into smokers against their will.

Smoking in enclosed places such as a bus or even a room, can produce quantities of carbon monoxide sufficient to endanger sufferers from disease of the heart or the blood vessels. Many people suffer irritation of the eyes and throat when exposed to cigarette smoke.

The Israel Cancer Association leads the campaign to stop smoking and provides help to smokers wishing to break the deadly habit. To those who succeed, the reward is incalculable - better health, a higher standard of fitness, revived appetite and a heightened sense of taste and smell, an end to coughing and above all a lessening of the risk of falling prey to various incurable diseases.

One of the main aims of the campaign against smoking is to limit smoking in public places and the non-smoking majority must stand up for their right to breathe smoke-free air. Another objective is support for efforts to pass legislation compelling cigarette manufacturers to print on their products a warning to the public that smoking is dangerous. Such laws are already in force in a number of countries.

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Anti-smoking campaign