The Education Ministry plans to extend the smoking ban in schools on teachers as well as students. Starting September, 200 schools will participate in a ministry pilot program.

Speaking at a conference Wednesday on “Tobacco or Health” at Tel Aviv University, Health Ministry director general Roni Gamzo reminded the assembled that teachers need to be role models. “Teachers who want to smoke will need to leave the school premises,” Gamzo said.

“Research has shown that a third of teenage smokers picked up the habit at school, and teachers need to take that into consideration when they have a cigarette break,” Gamzo said.

While students are not allowed to smoke at school, a 2009 proposal to ban teachers from smoking on campus never gained acceptance. They are, though, limited to smoking in designated areas only.