The percentage of smokers in Jerusalem is not relatively high, but Jerusalemites smoke more cigarettes per day. Only 17% smoke fewer than five cigarettes per day, compared to 30% in Tel Aviv and 25% in Haifa. A total of 70% smoke more than 11 cigarettes per day, which is much higher than the figure for Tel Aviv (50%) or for Israel and Haifa (55%).
The data indicate that the starting age for smoking in Israel is quite young. Among today’s smokers aged 20 and above, 64% started smoking before age 18. In Jerusalem the percentage of smokers who started smoking before age 18 was 58%, in Tel Aviv it was 65%, and in Haifa 67%.
Today 39% of smokers in Jerusalem are trying to quit. Jerusalemites who had smoked in the past indicated that their main reason for quitting was a health problem or health concern (70%), family and societal pressure (8%), or an aesthetic problem (6%). Less than 1% indicated that they quit smoking because of the high financial cost.
And what about passive smoking? In 1983 a law was passed to prevent smoking and exposure to smoke in public places, including workplaces. Despite this, approximately 338,000 individuals in Jerusalem, representing 77% of the population aged 20 and above, reported on exposure to smoke in their workplaces. Among these, 45% are exposed to smoke to a large or very large extent.
Source: Analysis of data from the Social Survey 2010, Central Bureau of Statistics