Denmark has revealed plans to ensure future generations are tobacco-free and is considering banning the sale of cigarettes and other nicotine products to anyone born after 2010.
“Our hope is that all people born in 2010 and later never start smoking or using nicotine-based products.”Health Minister Magnus Heunicke told a news conference.
“If necessary, we are ready to prohibit the sale (of these products) to this generation by progressively raising the age limit”he highlighted.
Under current legislation, Danes must be 18 years old to buy cigarettes or e-cigarettes.
According to the Ministry of Health, About 31% of young people between the ages of 15 and 29 smoke.
Official figures also show that smoking is the leading cause of cancer in the Nordic country of 5.8 million people and responsible for 13,600 deaths a year.
A survey commissioned by the Danish Cancer Society showed that 64% of the people surveyed were in favor of the Danish government plan and that 67% of those people were between 18 and 34 years old.
The Danish move partly mirrors a pioneering plan to ban tobacco sales announced in December by the New Zealand government, which aims to progressively raise the minimum age to buy cigarettes from 2027.
Other measures included reducing the legal amount of nicotine in tobacco products to very low levels, eliminating stores where cigarettes could be legally sold, and increasing funding for addiction services.
In Denmark, the Social Democratic government said that it also plans to address alcohol use among youth.
For that, it will begin by raising the legal age for the purchase of beverages with less than 16.5% alcohol from 16 to 18 years.
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