The proposed measure is part of a new bill that the government believes will help reduce the number of smokers. If the bill becomes law, the current tobacco age limit of 18 would be moved up so that no one born after 2010 would be able to purchase nicotine products in Denmark for the rest of their lives.
The proposed ban would go into effect in 2028, when Danes born in 2010 turn 18. That year, the 18 year age limit would start being extended each year in order to prevent those born in 2010 or after from ever purchasing nicotine products.
“We’re ready to resort to drastic methods. If necessary, we are ready to ban the sale (of these products) to this generation by progressively raising the age limit,” said Denmark’s Minister of Health Magnus Heunicke (S) as quoted by Danish news agency Ritzau. “We’re not proposing a ban on using these products, but on buying them.”
Similar measure proposed for Malaysia
A similar approach is being considered by Malaysia. Earlier this year, Malaysia’s health minister Khairy Jamaluddin announced a ban on the sales of cigarettes and safer nicotine alternative products to anyone born in 2005 or beyond. The plan was released at the 150th session of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) executive board meeting where Jamaluddin said the hope is that the legislation is finalized this year and that it would bring about a “generation endgame to smoking.”
“This is by making it illegal for the sale of tobacco and other smoking products to anyone born after 2005,” said Jamaluddin, “Malaysia feels that it will have a significant impact on preventing and controlling NCDs (non-communicable diseases),” he added.
Discussing the Danish proposal, Patrik Strömer, Secretary General of the Association of Swedish Snus Manufacturers, said that the bill is a form of “state-mandated discrimination” for anyone born 2010 or later. “It would mean that people who are born after a certain year lack the same choice as someone born earlier. That feels as arbitrary and undemocratic as limiting a person’s choices due to their skin colour or country of birth,” he tells Snusforumet.
The proposed ban fails to consider tobacco harm reduction strategies
Moreover, added Strömer, the Danish nicotine ban’s is failing to incorporate harm reduction and differentiate between cigarettes. “Instead of really focusing on public health, more and more politicians are now advocating smoking reduction measures that can only be described as desperate symbolism,” he says.
“It would be easier to simply stop lying about how dangerous nicotine is and instead inform people that smoking is the real health problem. But it seems impossible for politicians around the world to actually listen to the science and learn from the countries that have better health outcomes.”
Read Further: Snusforumet