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Swedish government to push ahead with public smoking ban despite feasibility concerns

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Swedish government to push ahead with public smoking ban despite feasibility concerns
Smoking at train platforms could be banned. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT
08:38 CET+01:00
The Swedish government will push ahead with banning smoking at outdoor restaurants, train platforms, playgrounds and other public places, despite objections from the country's Council on Legislation (Lagrådet).

The Council on Legislation, an agency tasked with evaluating the legal validity of legislative proposals, pointed out that it will be difficult to distinguish non-smoking areas outdoors and determine responsibility in for example a public playground or entrance to a building.

The government will nonetheless push ahead with its proposal.

"It is important to ban smoking in more places. I see playgrounds for example to be particularly important. We’ve therefore decided to go forward with the proposal. It’s crucial legislation if we are going to change the norms around smoking and improve public health," Health Minister Annika Strandhäll said in a statement.

READ ALSO: Swedish government moves to ban smoking in public places

Along with banning smoking in certain public spaces, the proposed ban also includes the possibility that Sweden’s moist powder tobacco snus may only be sold in packs of at least 20 in an effort to discourage non-users from buying it.

The proposal is the product of a government inquiry into the matter started by the previous centre-right government in 2014. Polls suggest Swedes are mostly in favour of an extended smoking ban, with opinion particularly positive among young people.

READ ALSO: Stockholmers react to proposed public smoking ban


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