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Israel investigates tobacco firms for misleading the public

BMJ 2001; 323 doi: (Published 27 October 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;323:956
  1. Judy Siegel-Itzkovich
  1. Jerusalem

    Tobacco company executives who market their cigarettes in Israel as “lite,” “low tar,” “mild,” or “low nicotine” could face a prison sentence of one to two years.

    This is the prescribed but little used punishment for violation of the 1981 Consumer Protection Law, which is the basis for a criminal investigation just launched by the ministry of commerce and industry against cigarette manufacturers and importers. They are suspected of misleading the public into believing that this form of tobacco is “safer” than ordinary cigarettes.

    The investigation was initiated after the filing of a lawsuit in the Jerusalem district court last June by lawyers for Clalit Health Services, Israel's largest public health fund. They asked for an injunction to prevent cigarette manufacturers and importers from using the terms “light,” “mild,” “low tar,” and “low nicotine” to describe and market their …

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