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'Total smoking ban in Sweden by 2025'

13 Mar 2013, 13:01

Published: 13 Mar 2013 13:01 GMT+01:00

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In an opinion article published on Wednesday in the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper, the four authors argue that a total ban on smoking would "prevent many human tragedies" associated with smoking tobacco products.

The authors cite New Zealand and Finland as role model countries where parliaments have decided to work toward a complete ban on smoking.

"We therefore urge the Riksdag to implement a decision that totally bans smoking from 2025 and works toward a gradual phase-out until then," write Ola Brodin of the Swedish Lung Cancer Study Group, Tommy Björk of the lung cancer patient advocacy group Stödet ('Support'), Gunnar Wagenius of the Swedish Cancer Society's (Cancerfonden) lung cancer planning group, and Roger Henriksson of the Swedish Association of Oncologists (Svensk onkologisk förening).

"Thereafter it should no longer be legal to import, distribute, or sell cigarettes or other tobacco products meant for smoking."

While the authors admit that such a ban amounts to an infringement on personal privacy, they argue a ban is justified considering "the enormous damage to society" caused by smoking and the fact that it is the "cause of a huge number of personal tragedies".

However, the authors stop short of advocating for a ban on all tobacco products, explaining that prohibiting smokeless tobacco such as Swedish snus would go too far.

"We're no friends of snus, but we don't want to infringe on people's privacy more than absolutely necessary," they write.

The authors also suggest a number of measures to reduce smoking even further in the lead up to the 2025 ban including the use of neutral packages with prominent anti-smoking warnings and free programmes to help people quit smoking.

Another suggestion is to limit where cigarettes can be sold, with the authors proposing that they only be sold in pharmacies.

"Our aim isn't to make life hard for heavy smokers, but rather to get them to switch over to other forms of nicotine," they write.

Story continues below…

"We're frightened by the incredibly large risk that smokers (active and passive) have of being hit with lung cancer and other serious illnesses."

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Your comments about this article

14:26 March 13, 2013 by Great Scott
This is not even the top of the iceberg. This is only to fool the public that the government is doing something good. The real stash is in the Cayman Iles and is probably 100 times this amount.
16:26 March 13, 2013 by rfmann
How about banning the spreading of demonstrable untruths in public, i.e. religion? That causes enormous tragedy the world over, is totally useless and counterproductive, and, most importantly, I don't like it, so I guess that makes it fair game for legislating against it. Also, the benefits clearly outweigh the little sacrifice in personal liberty.That is how this works, isn't it?
17:11 March 13, 2013 by BackpackerKev
2025? When the damage to this and the next 2 generations have been done.

Sure Have a total ban in 10 years or whatever, but there is so much that can be done right now overnight that isn't being done and it isnt even extreme, but it protects the non smokers from having no choice but to breath in second hand smoke.
17:35 March 13, 2013 by DuHello
What about cigars? Don't you dare outlaw them, Sweden!
19:09 March 13, 2013 by skogsbo
If you can justify a total ban in 12 years time, which you can, then the ban should start tomorrow. Politicians just need to grow some ba......
19:30 March 13, 2013 by rfmann
What about second-hand ignorance and stupidity? When's that gonna be banned??
21:31 March 13, 2013 by sqwimpy
The problem you are going to run into is the same problem that the US had with alcohol. They tried to have prohibition, but people made it themselves and sold it underground. The ones they caught, they criminalized. It's easy to outlaw something in the beginning, but to allow it for so long and then turn around and outlaw it causes more problems than it's worth. BTW religion is exactly what takes a hold when you take all the "sinful" addictions out of the equation.

Banning just causes criminals. If you want that, than become like the US.
21:55 March 13, 2013 by comfreak
Yes. But not a sales ban, just a usage ban for all public places (for health reasons) and in traffic (for safety reasons). That's enough. As long as there is no harm to me and everyone else I care about, I don't care what smokers do in their private rooms, provided that their windows are shut so no smoke blows into other flats.

Further, we should increase the health insurance payments of smokers or increase the prices of the drugs a lot. Smokers have about 20% more health costs in older age after years of smoking than non-smokers. That calculation has been demonstrated by administrations across Europe. Make people pay for their costs and offer addiction aid services to get people out. Works in the UK, will work in Sweden if done correctly.

Outlawing will, as pointed out already, not change anything and just criminalise people unecessarily which leads to strong disrespect for the state as a system.
22:03 March 13, 2013 by leenux5030
This is not good man, this place is already pretty depressive, why take away cigarettes too ?
01:34 March 14, 2013 by rfmann
@comfreak The healthcare cost argument is nonsense. In fact, smokers are cheaper overall in spite of being more expensive by age, because they die earlier on average. (Barendregt et al, N Engl J Med 1997; 337:1052-1057October 9, 1997DOI: 10.1056/NEJM199710093371506)

So, since you just so handily resolved the solidarity contract implicit in health insurance when you thought it was in your interests, would you, now armed with facts, therefore advocate that non-smokers are charger higher premiums, as they will incur higher lifetime costs in healthcare?

Or is your ethics entirely, uhum, "situational"?
08:01 March 14, 2013 by skogsbo
it should be banned in all public places, inside / outside, everywhere. It may seem harsh, but the next generation of kids will thank us. Think of all those kids now being pushed around in their buggies by a smoking parent, they can't escape the smoke, like we can etc..or the fact that they create a smoking culture at home.

If a food additive or medication caused as many deaths as smoking it would be banned instantly, just look at the farce over horse meat. No one has died from eating it!!
08:52 March 14, 2013 by Migga
Smoking should be regulated just like religion. It should be done in private. What people do in their own home or in private establishments is up to them. The public room should be free from people who force smoke or religion down ones throat.
10:16 March 14, 2013 by rfmann
Oddly enough, the government is still fingerf***ing with established cults (members of which perform their voodoo to open the parliament etc.), while the idea of banning and criminalizing the inhalation of smoke from smoldering plant parts seems to have broad support in the public.

As for the poor children being pushed around by smoking parents --- how about children being pushed around by idiots, children being fed industrial garbage, children being indoctrinated with bulls***t during their formative years, etc.? If one *really* cared for children and their welfare, as opposed to just enjoying the feeling of being part of a majority telling a minority what to do, is hypothetical second-hand smoke from stroller-pushing chain-smokers really #1 on the list of concerns?
14:05 March 14, 2013 by peterrkj
Hmm sounds to me like Sweden is looking for another monopoly, either it will end up with all cigarettes being sold in chemists which are all ready state owned or they will do away wit cigarettes cornering the tobacco market for snus and we'll all get oral,pancreatic and esophageal cancer instead.

Like the government gives a flying f*ck about our health. It always boils down to one thing cash.
17:48 March 15, 2013 by tadchem
The US tried that with alcohol early in the last century. Prohibition fails miserably. Consumption went up - mostly due to the 'forbidden fruit' aspect. Everything went underground and under the control of criminals.

When the government bans something completely, they can no longer control it nor tax it.
03:15 March 16, 2013 by Marc the Texan
Sweet Jesus! Is a more arbitrary ban possible? What a weak, weak defense for not banning snus, when Sweden is the snus capital of the world. Obviously this recommendation comes down from the personal preferences of a group of non-smokers who may possibly be snus users. How can you not consider a ban on alcohol and fireworks using this logic?
19:19 March 21, 2013 by Steggles
I would like to believe that........ but when it comes to giving up smoking, clearly the Swedes are not getting the message!

Everyday day I see groups of people standing outside their workplaces smoking, (IS ANY WORK GETTING DONE?)........doesn't matter how cold or what the weather conditions are you will see them smoking!

Not good advertising for the businesses....especially the restaurants.......I can't believe the number of chefs I see outside restaurants smoking! Puts me right off from dining in such places.

The streets of Stockholm are an absolute disgrace littered with cigarette butts!

00:58 March 22, 2013 by jess805
Either do it now, or shut up about it.
15:44 May 30, 2013 by fasbracke
I absolutely welcome banning cigarettes as I welcome anything else. Banning is a good thing.

The thing is that public-health advocates and law-makers have gained power which dramatically exceeds their compentence and their sense of responsibility. The best way to reduce their power is to shift more and more transactions to the black market.

These days the technology is there. We can place orders and pay in total anonymity. This market is still small, but I have more trust in it than I trust lawmakers and bublic health advocates. If they want to saw off the branch they're sitting on, who am I to prevent them from doing so.

Every additional ban strengthens the black market, and this is good thing.
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