The initial results of the Sundhedsstyrelsen health authority’s new campaign to prevent youngsters from taking up smoking are looking promising.
The results show that every fifth young person living in an apartment has cut down on the smokes, while every fourth non-smoker is even less inclined to start puffing after seeing the campaign. But to see even better results, parents need to get actively involved.
“If we are to prevent youth smoking, the parents need to come onboard,” said Ellen Trane Nørby, the health minister.
“But it can be difficult for parents to have the discussion about smoking with their teenagers, so as part of the campaign’s second phase we will be helping the parents. They need to feel prepared to have the talk about smoking with their teenagers and help ensure that fewer young people start smoking.”
Phase 2 initiated
As a result, Sundhedsstyrelsen has launched the website www.butwhysmoke.dk, where parents can obtain good advice relating to having the discussion with their kids – including pointers from experts and a number of short films.
And, as opposed to what many parents of teenagers believe, their teens actually do listen to them.
“The opinions and actions of parents are important – also in terms of smoking,” said Lotus Sofie Bast, an expert in smoking prevention.
When parents talk about their teenagers in terms of experience and thoughts about smoking, and when they make it clear that they don’t expect them to start smoking, they help reduce the risk of their teens starting to smoke.”
Despite the positive findings of the campaign, a recent report from Sundhedsstyrelsen revealed there was an increase in the number of people between 16 and 45 who smoke daily.
It perhaps doesn’t help that Denmark is among the cheapest countries in Europe when it comes to tobacco prices.