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Denmark to ban sale of cigarettes to anyone born after 2010

Almost one third of young people in the country are smokers

Saman Javed
Wednesday 16 March 2022 15:53 GMT
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Smoking is the leading cause of cancer in Denmark
Smoking is the leading cause of cancer in Denmark (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Denmark’s Ministry of Health has announced plans to ban the sale of cigarettes and nicotine products to anyone born after 2010.

In a press conference on Tuesday 15 March, health minister Magnus Heunicke said the policy change would prevent the next generation from smoking any form of tobacco, AFP reports.

“Our hope is that all people born in 2010 and later will never start smoking or using nicotine-based products.

“If necessary, we are ready to ban sales to this generation [born in 2010] by gradually raising the purchase age limit,” Heunicke said.

Under current laws in Demark, people under the age of 18 are banned from buying tobacco and electronic cigarettes. But around 31 per cent of those aged between 15 and 29 are smokers, Heunicke said.

He said smoking is the leading cause of cancer in the country, accounting for 13,600 deaths every year.

The news comes after New Zealand announced plans to outlaw buying cigarettes for anyone born after 2008. The ban is expected to come into force this year.

In a statement in December 2021, health minister Dr Ayesha Verrall said the ban will ensure young people “never start smoking”.

“We want to make sure young people never start smoking so we will make it an offence to sell or supply smoked tobacco products to new cohorts of youth,” Verrall said.

“People aged 14 when the law comes into effect will never be able to legally purchase tobacco.”

Additionally, the government plans to introduce major tobacco controls such as reducing the amount of nicotine in products and restricting where cigarettes can be sold.

Under the changes, the number of shops authorised to sell cigarettes will be decreased from around 8,000 to under 500.

“These are world leading measures which will put us on track to achieve New Zealand’s long-standing goal of being smoke free by 2025,” Verrall added.

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