Ministry of Health is preparing a bill to sue Big Tobacco

Bill would seek to compensate for the Ministry of NIS 14 billion in costs incurred from treating smoking-related diseases.

Within one month, the Ministry of Health plans to release a government bill authorizing the health care system to sue the American, British, Japanese and Israeli companies to compensate tobacco he incurred on the treatment of smoking-related diseases. This can make NIS 14 billion in losses over the past seven years - the scheduled time for the civil suit statute of limitations.

Ministry Director General Prof. Roni Gamzu confirmed The Jerusalem Post; on Monday night that such a bill will be prepared for a month and submitted for approval by the Cabinet and the Knesset. Gamzu said Tuesday its interest in a position to sue the tobacco companies at a meeting of Committee of the Knesset Labor, Social Affairs and Health. “I am an enemy of all tobacco companies and all those who benefit economically from smoking,” he said. “I will not compromise on this issue.”

The economic costs of smoking in Israel are estimated to 8b of the CIS. per year, this figure includes the treatment of smokers and those who have suffered from second-hand smoke, hospitalization, disability, dedicated to the patient, reducing the income tax, because patients could no longer work, due to the reduced load a smoke, fire and more.

The Government will only accept 5b CIS. a year in tobacco taxes, according to senior officials of the Ministry of Health. The Ministry thus follows the example of Canada and several U.S. states that use the law to obtain compensation from the four large conglomerates of tobacco.

Following similar claims by the Canadian provinces such as British Columbia and Ontario, Quebec, last week filed a lawsuit against the tobacco companies for $ 60b. as compensation for medical care for patients with tobacco-related diseases.

The Canadian Supreme Court in 2005 in a historic 9-0 decision, that such legislation is justified and covered by the constitution. Fourteen years ago, 50 states reached a series of five settlements with the tobacco conglomerates that pay them for 25 years, a total of $ 246B.

In July last year the Supreme Court called for the urgent adoption of bylaws for the initiation of such actions, which will update NIS 7.6b. claim Clalit Health Services, the largest in the health insurance fund against tobacco companies. It will also allow other providers of medical follow their example.

In the 1990s, after the success in this area in the U.S., the lawyer Amos Hausner - who formulated much of the Israeli law on smoking - a claim put forward the idea of tobacco companies in Israel. Hausner was one of the lawyers for Clalit in the case.

Asked to comment, Hausner Gamzu congratulated for making policy. “The health system needs this compensation from tobacco companies, as air.

The Ministry is constantly says he does not have enough money to fund thousands of new beds. This will give the money. Residents of Minnesota, which has a much smaller population, receive $ 7b. -. While the Israeli health system gasps» The ministry said that last year 64 children were poisoned and in need of hospitalization, because they ingest cigarette butts that are thrown into the street.

When the acting chairman of the Knesset Orli Levy, Abecassis asked why municipal inspectors who do not hand out fines for violations are not prohibited by the laws are not penalized, Gamzu said that there is currently no legal penalty option of municipalities that do not enforce laws. By the way, Uncle K., the former mayor of Lod Maxim Levi, died suddenly of a heart attack attributed to his smoking.

Within two weeks, the new laws banning smoking in various public places, including bus stations and train platforms, to take effect. Gamzu said he will emphasize in public institutions, the state workers is strictly forbidden to smoke outdoors, and only a short distance from the entrance. He said that those who violate the law will be punished. Full function at a recent conference on tobacco or health will appear on Health on Sunday, June 24.

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