Danskfolkeparti, Liberal Alliance and Konservative have all refused to support recommendations put forward by the Health Protection Agency’s committee of experts suggesting that the Danish parliament should vote on a proposal providing smokers with aids to quit their habit. The plans include providing smokers with cessation aids either free of charge or at subsidised prices.
“If someone is not willing to pay for their own aides to quit smoking, I doubt very much they’re very motivated to quit,” said Mette Abildgaard, member of parliament for Konservative, reported DR.
According to May-Britt Kattrup, health spokesperson for Liberal Alliance, Danes who smoke make an informed decision to do so despite knowing the risks and need to deal with the consequences themselves.
“It is not fair that other citizens have to pay for smoking cessation courses. Smoking is something Danes choose on an informed basis,” she said.
However, those in support of the measure have stated that a pilot project underway in a number of municipalities has proven a remarkable success.
The project – which gave 1,000 smokers anywhere between 1,500 kroner to 3,000 kroner in subsidies for anti-smoking aides – found that 52 percent of them had managed to remain smoke-free for six months after and counting.
Paid to eat your greens
But critics are still not impressed.
“If we offered people 100,000 kroner to stop smoking, I’m certain that 100 percent would,” said Mette Abildgaard.
“I refuse to help in turning Denmark into a society where the state must reward us for making the right choice. What next? Should our government also subsidise carrots so we will eat more of them than pastries?” she added.