• Sweden's news in English
 

Homeless people get cigarettes for Christmas

Published: 15 Dec 2012 11:42 GMT+01:00

The charity, called Omsorgsjul - Hemlösa (Care Christmas - the Homeless) has organized traditional Christmas smorgasbords in Norrköping for the past 17 years.

At this year's Christmas party, the charity handed out gifts like hats, warm clothes and boxes of chocolate to the homeless and other vulnerable people who attended the festivities. The guests also received a pack of cigarettes each.

"There would be an outcry if they didn't receive their cigarettes," Lennart Cederberg, head of the charity, told the local Folkbladet newspaper.

"It has become a tradition and, moreover, many of them are sick and they must have this," Cederberg said, adding that the 150 packs handed out this year were light cigarettes.

Lena Sjöberg, president of Dentistry Against Tobacco (Tandvård mot tobak) said handing out cigarettes "sends the wrong signal".

"I think it is in the human interest to try to inspire people to take up more healthy habits, and giving cigarettes as Christmas presents is not the right way forward," said Sjöberg.

"Only the tobacco industry needs tobacco. Besides, the government has decided that we should try and reduce tobacco use among those who smoke the most, including the homeless."

Asked if he thinks handing out cigarettes sends "the wrong signal", Cederberg replied: "These people are our friends whom we care about and in this context the cigarettes aren't that dangerous. They smoke all the time anyway."

"They have smoked for a long time. We can't take that away from them. The most important thing is that we don't hand out alcohol and money."

He said the recipients keep calm by smoking and that those who complain about the unorthodox Christmas gift should instead focus on the real problem, which is homelessness.

"Come and help them and make sure they receive accommodation instead of whining," Cederberg urged.

"Some of these people have to go into communal garbage rooms to smoke. The cigarettes help them stay awake and keep them from freezing to death."

None of the charity's donors have complained about the cigarette gifts. If they do, said Cederberg, the charity would have to rethink its policy.

"Otherwise we will continue handing out cigarettes at the Christmas party," he stated.

The Local/nr Follow The Local on Twitter

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

12:03 December 15, 2012 by swinglish
"Come and help them and make sure they receive accommodation instead of whining," Cederberg urged.

Well said.
15:10 December 15, 2012 by Rishonim
Kudos to Lennart Cederberg. There is nothing wrong with handing out a pack of smoke to the homeless. They're already down and under and sometimes the only comfort and dignity they find is blowing out some smoke.
16:33 December 15, 2012 by engagebrain
Why not just give some money and let them spend it any way they want.

Rishonim - there is little dignity in dying of lung cancer.
17:37 December 15, 2012 by Rishonim
engagebrain, there is no dignity in death. all deaths are immoral. There is a fantastic book written by a professor of mine; it is called Dance with Chance. I recommend it.
20:17 December 15, 2012 by Svensksmith
Huh? All death is immoral???

Death is natural. Everything dies. How is it immoral?
21:29 December 15, 2012 by Emerentia
I hope the people who donate money to this charity know that they spend it on cigarettes instead of food and clothes. I would give a single krona to such a charity. The 7500 kr they spent on cigarettes, they could have given a lot of clothes and food, and roof over the heads. to people who really need it.

If a person start smoking when they are like 15, and smoke a pack of cigarettes a a day for 50 years, that will cost them about 900 000 kr. If they had saved those money instead of buying cigarettes (and alcohol), they could easily have bought a place to live and didn't have to be homeless.
06:54 December 16, 2012 by Flygger
Can't believe how sanctimonious some posters here are.

I also wonder how many homeless people there are who have never smoked or touched alcohol in their lives.

I wonder if perhaps Emerentia was smoking something or drinking something when they put down their ridiculous comment.. like..
14:49 December 17, 2012 by BroX
@Emerentia: the charity is spend on cigarettes AND food and clothes.

Typical Swedish rational: "The most important thing is that we don't hand out alcohol..."
15:10 December 17, 2012 by frankstrudel
"Some of these people have to go into communal garbage rooms to smoke. The cigarettes help them stay awake and keep them from freezing to death."

Garbage, drowsiness and cigarettes sound like a terrible combination.
Today's headlines
Viking 'forest' language set for Nordic preschool
Älvdalan in central Sweden where Elfdalian is spoken. Photo: Elfdalian

Viking 'forest' language set for Nordic preschool

A rare Nordic language used by a tiny forest community is set to be taught in a preschool in central Sweden. Elfdalian, which shares some similarities with Old Norse is a hot topic at an international linguistics conference in Copenhagen this week, as Scandinavian language experts campaign to stop it dying out. READ  

Night owls nab jobs at Sweden's Volvo Cars
Volvo shift worker Sandra Hellgren. Photo: Björn Larsson Rosvall / TT

Night owls nab jobs at Sweden's Volvo Cars

Volvo Cars has reintroduced night shifts at its plant in Torslanda in west Sweden, creating an extra 1,500 jobs in the company's home region. READ  

Raspberry dessert 'kills' Swedish pensioners
Not the raspberry dessert in question. Photo:TT

Raspberry dessert 'kills' Swedish pensioners

Two Swedes from a nursing home in Ljungby in southern Sweden have died after a raspberry dessert apparently caused an outbreak of food poisoning affecting more than 60 pensioners. READ  

Video
'I've heard the King likes Swedish House Mafia'
The Royal Swedish Army Band performed at King Carl XVI Gustaf's birthday celebrations. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

'I've heard the King likes Swedish House Mafia'

Sweden's largest military orchestra plays more than just marching tunes. The Royal Swedish Army Band starred in the King's birthday celebrations last week, performing Swedish House Mafia's 'Don't you worry, child' in a clip that has since gone viral. The Local speaks to the man behind the performance. READ  

Sweden told to invest in better teaching staff
Pupils in Stockholm. Photo: TT

Sweden told to invest in better teaching staff

UPDATED: Swedish schools have been sharply criticized by experts from the OECD after a decade of slipping education results and told to invest in teacher training. READ  

My Swedish Career
'Swedes need to just let their kids be kids'
David Lynch and the players he coaches. Photo: TT

'Swedes need to just let their kids be kids'

Scottish-born David Lynch, 53, is making a name for himself as a children's football coach in Sweden after his list of tips designed to stop Stockholm's "helicopter" parents from mollycoddling their children went viral. READ  

Ecuador stray dog Arthur in global charity race
Arthur and his Swedish owner Mikael Lindnord. Photo: Richard Ström/wingsforlifeworldrun.com

Ecuador stray dog Arthur in global charity race

Sweden's most famous stray dog, Arthur, made his return to the racing scene on Sunday, much to the delight of spectators who had followed his epic journey from the streets of Ecuador to family life in northern Sweden over the past year. READ  

Zlatan makes comeback after 'France is sh*t' ban
Swedish footballer Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Photo: AP Photo/Christophe Ena

Zlatan makes comeback after 'France is sh*t' ban

Sweden's controversial star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic sparked Paris Saint Germain's 2-0 win at Nantes in Ligue 1 on Sunday, on his return to the football pitch after a three-match ban for a foul-mouthed rant in which he blasted his host country as "shit". READ  

More illegal immigrants on the run in Sweden
Henrik Montgomery/TT

More illegal immigrants on the run in Sweden

Sweden's immigration agency (Migrationsverket) is powerless to enforce deportation orders, says a spokesman for the organisation, as more than 11,000 asylum seekers go underground in Sweden READ  

Sex-crazed grouse terrorizes Swedish family
Photo: Nikita Maykov/Shutterstock

Sex-crazed grouse terrorizes Swedish family

A family in Singö in Roslagen have been told they can do nothing about a lovesick, aggressive capercaillie patrolling their property READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Sponsored Article
'Educated immigrants get stuck in limbo in Sweden'
National
IN PICTURES: Sweden's King Carl XVI turns 69
National
Dolphins spotted in Baltic
Gallery
People-watching: May 1st-3rd
Sponsored Article
How to change the world: Malmö to Mogadishu
Blog updates

4 May

 (Joel Sherwood) »

"Taxes time in Sweden. Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXDvQwWz3Ks I invite you to follow more posts at my FB page. ..." READ »

 

30 April

 (The Local Sweden) »

"Greetings from Sweden’s capital, where there’s been a big buzz in the city’s creative and business..." READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
'Never waste a good crisis'
National
Road trippers flock to 'The Bridge'
National
Why are Swedish supermarkets banning paracetamol pills?
Gallery
People watching: April 29th
National
"In many ways Swedes and Americans are kindred spirits"
Politics
Did you know four Swedish party leaders are women?
National
Swedish rescue team stuck on way to Nepal quake zone
National
Why Sweden's brown bear population is in danger
National
TIMELINE: Julian Assange sex allegations in Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Forshaga
National
Here's how a Swede became the world's boxing champion
National
Swedes bask in early summer sun
Business & Money
Is this Sweden's priciest flat ever?
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Sweden's Princess Leonore meets Pope Francis
VIDEO: How did these Swedish cops become New York heroes?
Business & Money
Five crucial things you need to know before you move to Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: April 25th
National
What's on in Sweden: April 23rd - 30th
National
Brits in Sweden face NHS black hole
Business & Money
The Swedish regions where you're least likely to stay jobless
Gallery
People-watching: April 22nd
Sport
Sweden's Eriksson joins row over foreign England player quotas
National
MEP says ignoring migrant crisis like 'Sweden's Holocaust appeasement'
National
How much would you pay for first Swedish strawberries of 2015?
Gallery
IN PICTURES: The Swedish mining town that's being moved
National
Refugees in Sweden fear for families lost at sea
Gallery
Property of the week: Kungsholmen, Stockholm
National
Swedish researchers pore over link between coffee and cancer
National
Syria claims ‘most dangerous’ Isis leaders are Scandinavian
Gallery
People-watching: April 18th
Features
What you can buy in Sweden for the price of a London shed
Politics
Is Sweden returning to 1990s social democratic welfare politics?
National
Mamma Mia! Abba entertainment venue set to open in Stockholm
National
Swedes launch first donut into space
Stockholm School of Economics
Sponsored Article
How the Stockholm School of Economics changes expat lives
National
Why Sweden is top place in the world for expats to raise children
National
What does Zlatan think of his ban?
National
Swedish 'submarine' was civilian boat
National
Why has a US town got pulled into a Swedish spelling row?
Swedish Hasbeens
Sponsored Article
Is the world wrong to connect Sweden with sex?
National
Swedish teenagers help rebuild Breivik massacre island
Sport
What does Sweden think of Zlatan's recent outburst?
National
How an act of kindness by one Syrian immigrant went viral
Sponsored Article
'Impossible' to run Skanska without Bromma Airport
Sponsored Article
Does far-north Sweden have to punch above its weight?
Sponsored Article
Want to study in Sweden? Read why Stockholm is the best choice
Sponsored Article
'Sweden must embrace openness and diversity'
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

3,353
jobs available
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
psdmedia.se
?>