‘Bring back public smoking in Sweden’: politician

A member of the Swedish parliament is calling for the country’s ban on smoking in restaurants and pubs to be overturned.

'Bring back public smoking in Sweden': politician
Folkpartiet, Richard Mallinson

The law has been in force since 2005, but Liberal Party (Folkpartiet) politician Camilla Lindberg thinks the measure goes too far in restricting individual freedoms, reports the Expressen newspaper.

“Sure smoking is hazardous to one’s health, but an individual also has the right to make poor decisions in their life. The way in which smokers are persecuted is completely unacceptable,” writes Lindberg in a motion she recently submitted for consideration by the Riksdag.

Lindberg believes the law should be amended to allow restaurant and bar owners to decide for themselves whether or not they want to allow smoking in their establishments.

“Bar owners and restaurateurs now know that a section of the public appreciates having a smoke-free environment. If the possibility to allow smoking were introduced, at least in certain section of the pub or restaurant, some would choose to adopt it, while others would not,” writes Lindberg.

Speaking with the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper, Lindberg agrees the people who don’t want to be exposed to smoke should be able to avoid it, but that some measures have been carried too far.

“Some can’t smoke in their homes, on balconies, or in bars. I think that we’ve gotten carried way this obsession over health and safety,” she told the newspaper.

A smoker since turning 17, Lindberg told added she is fed up with people who urge her to quit.

“I get annoyed when people go on and on that I should quit smoking. One day I’m sure I’ll feel like I want to quit, but I don’t feel that way now,” she said.