As many countries around the world battle to bring numbers of cigarette smokers to an absolute minimum, one country may take it a step further and simply ban the habit outright.
The suggestion comes from the Norwegian Medical Association, which, like many countries, has set up a target of a smoke-free society by 2035. In order to help achieve that goal, one proposal has been to ban the sale of tobacco products to anyone born after the year 2000.
Naturally, smokers are not impressed by this suggestion. In response, the association’s president, Marit Hermansen, has pointed out that smoking is not a right. When speaking to a local newspaper, Hermansen said that while it shouldn’t necessarily be forbidden to smoke, it may be a good idea to stop young people from starting the habit in the first place.
As a result, this move would ideally create the first smoke-free generation in the country, and perhaps the world. If such a measure were to be successful in Norway, it wouldn’t be impossible for other countries to introduce similar measures to drastically cut worldwide youth smoking rates.
The main problem would be implementing the law. Hermansen admitted that it would be highly difficult to gain political support for the cause, but believes that given the hugely damaging effects of cigarette smoking on individuals and society, it is not an impossible one.
The most recent statistics from Denmark report that even though numbers of smokers has been dropping since 1973, approximately 13 per cent of the population still smoke daily. The majority of smokers were older (45-64), as just 5 per cent of those aged 16-24 were daily smokers.
Almost everyone (90 per cent) had heard of electronic cigarettes at the time of the study, but only 15 per cent of people had tried them