Army nixes emergency cigarettes
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Army nixes emergency cigarettes

Old edict not in line with current IDF policy to promote healthy lifestyle for soldiers

An Israeli soldier smokes a cigarette at the Beersheba central bus station (photo credit: Serge Attal/Flash90)
An Israeli soldier smokes a cigarette at the Beersheba central bus station (photo credit: Serge Attal/Flash90)

The IDF on Monday announced the cancellation of an old order requiring that soldiers be provided with cigarettes and matches in times of emergency, saying the rule does not jive with the army’s current policy of encouraging a healthy lifestyle.

“The IDF invests a lot of resources in encouraging a healthy lifestyle among its soldiers,” the army’s website states. “The contents of the order are inconsistent with current trends in the IDF.”

This is not the first move aimed at counteracting the culture of smoking in IDF ranks. In 2008, the Knesset banned smoking indoors at IDF facilities.

Some of the army’s measures have fallen short of their target, however.

The IDF tried a pilot program banning the sale of cigarettes at army bases, but found that soldiers actually ended up smoking more because they brought cartons of cigarettes with them instead of buying them by the pack at the canteen, according to Channel 2.

And several years ago, during the army’s health and fitness month, then chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi was photographed holding a cigarette.

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