September 18, 2010 - Norway is being urged by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to ban smoking even in private homes and gardens. The state Ministry of Health has said it will evaluate such a ban, but not even the country’s own medical association supports it.
Norway banned smoking in most all public places several years ago, and heavily taxes all tobacco products, but newspaper Aftenposten reported this week that the WHO remains concerned about the public’s exposure to passive smoking in the country.
Background:The WHO criticized Norway’s anti-tobacco efforts and recommended that Norwegian authorities intensify them by launching a new new anti-smoking campaign in the media, offering stop-smoking courses and even evaluating a ban on smoking in private homes and gardens.
On 29 March 2004, the Republic of Ireland became the first country to ban smoking in all indoor workplaces, including in restaurants and bars. Norway was the
second nation in the world after Ireland to ban smoking in bars and restaurants. In Norway, smoking has been banned in public buildings, workplaces and public transportation since 1988. Since 1 June 2004, smoking is also banned in restaurants, bars, cafes etc. The Norwegian government says the ban is needed to protect people who work in bars and restaurants from the effects of second-hand smoke. (The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of the Surgeon General June 27, 2006)
From January 1st 2010, tobacco, snuff and other tobacco goods may no longer be displayed near the The new ban will also affect tax free stores at Norwegian airports and on international ferries and ships registered in Norway.
Norway - starting January 1, 2010 - tobacco no longer on display..
Kids are twice as likely to be influenced by advertising as they are from peer pressure. They are three times more sensitive to advertising than adults. Norway banned advertising and reduced by half the number of children who started smoking. (Smoking - Exploiting Children
Here's what the Canadian Lung Association has to say:, Canadian Lung Association)
Smoking is decreasing among adolescents, but an increasing number use moist snuff. The number of children exposed to passive smoking is decreasing as the number of adult non-smokers increases. (Norway - the state of public health 2010 – new report published..)
Health Minister Anne-Grete Strøm-Erichsen said she will evaluate a ban on smoking at home and in private cars, for example, as a means of ensuring children’s rights to a smoke-free environment.
Recently Professor Steve Field, chairman of the UK's Royal College of General Practitioners (GPs), has condemned society's attitudes to food, alcohol and cigarettes. Dr. Fields has stated, parents that smoke in front of their children at home or in cars are "committing a form of child abuse". United Kingdom - head GP physician calls smoking in front of children "child abuse". - please see related news briefs at the end of this brief. The health minister should know for the developing child - with an increased heart and respiratory rates - the heavy concentration smoke can readily impair a child's health. Yes - the ban can be enforced.
That’s set off protests in several sectors and now even the local medical association (Legeforeningen) says it won’t support any ban on smoking in private homes and gardens.
Dr Hege Gjessing of the association said the group shares the WHO’s concerns of children’s exposure to passive smoke,, but she thinks it’s too “dramatic” to impose a prohibition on smoking at home. “We know far too little on what type of consequences such a ban would have, and it would lead to too much interference in peoples’ private lives,” Gjessing told Aftenposten.
Nor could she understand how such a ban would be carried out or monitored. “Shall there be a system of surprise visits by the authorities, or would fines be based on neighbours’ reports?” Gjessing mused. “The fight against passive smoking must continue, but in other ways.”
Reference: Doctors against smoking ban at home, Nina Berglund, Views and News from Norway, 9/10/2010.
Norway - some related news briefs:
Norway - the state of public health 2010 – new report published..;
Norway - health secretary no graphic warnings on snus boxes for now..;
Norway - Philip Morris announces lawsuit challenging tobacco product display ban..;
Norway - drops top cigarette makers from wealth fund..;
Norway - starting January 1, 2010 - tobacco no longer on display..;
Norway strict tobacco display ban by October 2009..