More than every fourth Dane wouldn't mind seeing the sale of tobacco banned in Denmark within the next five years for the betterment of public health, according to a YouGov survey for Metroxpress newspaper.
And it is particularly the young who would like to see a ban. Of the people asked who were aged between 18 and 29, some 37 percent were ready to ban tobacco sales, compared to 25 percent among the 60 to 74-year-old age bracket.
“It's really interesting because it shows culture has changed in the direction of smoking not being natural anymore,” Mette Lolk Hanak, the head of prevention at cancer society Kræftens Bekæmpelse, told Metroxpress.
“And there's absolutely no doubt that if tobacco arrived on the market for the first time today, it would be banned.”
Forcing people wouldn't work
But despite that, Kræftens Bekæmpelse didn't think a ban would be the right way forward. Better preventative measures to stop children from becoming smokers and political goals – such as in Finland where they are working towards being completely smoke-free by 2040 – are the way forward, according to Hanak.
British American Tobacco – the tobacco producer that produces cigarette brands like Prince, Kings and Cecil – warned that a ban would lead to a significant escalation of organised crime concerning tobacco sales.
The most oft-used argument against a ban by the 1,012 people asked in the survey was that it was encroaching on their personal freedom.