SHARE
A Norwegian medical association is pushing ban on tobacco products for the teenagers born after 2000 (Image Fotolia)

Anyone born after 2000 shall not be able to purchase any tobacco product, including vaping products with the forecasted implementation of the TPD. This is what is being proposed by the Norwegian Medical Association (NMA – Legeforeningen) in order to achieve the goal of a smoke-free country by 2035.

For medics, access to tobacco is “not a basic human right”

“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.” -M. Hermansen
The NMA, by the voice of her president Marit Hermansen, told Aftenposten, a Norwegian Journal, that preventing the youth from having access to tobacco may help reaching that goal. M. Hermansen is concerned by the increase of people using Snuff in the young generation and of the possible gateway to tobacco. By choosing the birth date in 2000, it leaves two years, according to Hermansen, to the government to act a law, since the people who may be concerned are currently 16 years old and won’t have access to tobacco before 2018, in the current regime. Then, the president expects that those teenager will never get access to tobacco products in Norway and won’t become smokers.

 

Despite the NMA’s propaganda and her president’s determination, health spokespeople for the different parties (Conservative, Labour, Centre and Christian Democrats) answered M. Hermansen via Aftenposten the idea was not currently feasible. The sale of tobacco is illegal under 18 years old in the country and smoking is prohibited inside buildings and in public spaces. But there is still about 5% of the 16-24 smoking on a daily basis and daily smokers of both sexes were (only) 13% in 2014, according to Norwegian Statistics Bureau.

Norway has reduced smoking prevalence by more than half since 1980 and has exhibited a remarkable performance with annual rates of decline greater than 2% from 1980 to 2012 which tends to demonstrate that their smoking policy is rather successful.

Even if concerns may arise with the increasing use of smokeless tobacco among the youth, it is still controversial whether it may be regarded as a gateway to smoking or a way to get rid of it and it deserves further dedicated studies. Based on the aforementioned figures, the second option may be the most likely.