Norway Wants Smoke-Free Society

Norway Wants Smoke-Free Society Norway Wants Smoke-Free Society

Norway’s biggest medical organization wants to ban the sale of cigarettes to adults.

In a drive towards a smoke-free society by 2035, the Norwegian Medical Association (NMA) is pressing the government to back its proposal for a ban on tobacco sales to citizens born after the year 2000.

Marit Hermansen, the president of the NMA, told Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten that access to cigarettes was not a basic human right, The Independent reported.

“We have long had the policy of phasing out smoking by 2035. This is a measure to achieve this goal. We want a tobacco-free generation,” she said, according to The Local newspaper.

“It shouldn’t be forbidden to smoke, but we want young people to not get started with tobacco.”

They hope the proposed legislation will mean future generations are unable to buy tobacco in Norway when they reach 18 years old, which is the current age limit. Given the choice of 2000, the law would technically come into effect in 2018.

“The [health] minister has said that the main objective is to discourage young people from starting to smoke,” Hermansen told Aftenposten.

“That means that when the new generations come of age, they won’t be able to buy tobacco in Norway.”

The emphasis will be on denying access to the substances, rather than criminalizing use, she added according to The Nordic Page.

In 2013, about 32% of the Norwegian population was smokers - a steady decline from 36% in 2008.

Among young people, 7% had reported that they smoked daily, the Nordic Page reported.

Yet despite the NMA’s hopes, health spokespeople for the Conservative, Labor, Center and Christian Democrats parties in the country told Aftenposten the idea was not currently feasible.

In the UK, meanwhile, 8% of 15-year-olds smoked regularly in 2014 - a significant decline compared to the 20% who were smoking eight years earlier.