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Smokers often suffer from the consequences of their addiction, but they don’t quit just because they smoke, even if doctors strongly recommend it. Dr. Dov Gavish, an atherosclerosis specialist at Shearei Tzedek Hospital, tells this story in his own column in Israel Hayom newspaper. Gavish explains that he often asked patients to stop smoking, but many of them never did, no matter how much he scared them or pleaded with them. The author reminds us that the “official” share of smokers among the Israeli population has not changed for 10 years, holding steady at 20%. And in general, it means that the absolute number of smokers is increasing – because the population is constantly growing.As the doctor notes, in many countries, including Britain, New Zealand, Japan, etc., the state officially introduces the “alternative” to tobacco products (apparently, this means electronic cigarettes). And in these countries the share of smokers is actually decreasing. By contrast, in Israel, officials believe that all “smoking” products are equally harmful, and the very idea that regular cigarettes can be replaced with other nicotine options disgusts anti-smoking government officials.Since the government fights smoking exclusively with prohibitions, this fight is not productive, Dov Gavish believes, and the whole thing with cannabis proves that once again. If smokers are given an accessible alternative, only then will the results appear. He therefore suggests that the authorities should “change the record” and not consider the very idea of “alternative smoking” to be as blasphemous as regular smoking.