Danish politicians against increasing the price of tobacco
Venstre, Dansk Folkeparti and Socialdemokraterne do not intend to increase the price of tobacco in spite of recommendations from Kræftens Bekæmpelse (the Danish Cancer Society), reports Jyllands-Posten.
According to the organisation, the number of smokers in Denmark has remained unchanged since 2011 and 17 percent of the population continues to smoke.
Although some 300,000 people quit the habit annually, roughly the same number of Danes start or return to smoking every year.
Meanwhile, a recent Gallup survey shows 62 percent of smokers say they want to stop.
Leave old smokers in peace
“I think we have come to a point when those who wish to smoke will continue smoking no matter what we do,” Liselott Blixt, the health spokesperson at Dansk Folkeparti, told Jyllands-Posten.
“I think we should leave the old smokers in peace and focus our effort on children and young people.”
Similarly, Jane Heitmann, Venstre’s health spokesperson, believes increasing the price of cigarettes is not the solution.
“It’s all too easy to drive down to the border and buy cheaper cigarettes in Germany,” Heitmann told Jyllands-Posten.
Turn rules around
Leif Vestergaard Pedersen, the managing director at Kræftens Bekæmpelse, thinks politicians are giving up easily and calls for higher taxes on tobacco and stricter rules.
“We need to turn things around, so instead of allowing smoking in places where it is not prohibited, it should be banned everywhere where it is not explicitly allowed,” Pedersen told Politiken.
Since 1953, the number of smoking Danes has dropped significantly.
At that time, 60 percent of the population smoked.