Smoke-free beach proposal unpopular with politicians but strikes a chord with public
Cancer concern group Kræftens Bekæmpelse (KB) has applauded a proposal to make Danish beaches smoke-free zones. However, it is doubtful whether there is the necessary political will to enforce a ban.
Following in the footsteps of the EU and several European countries – such as France, where the number of smoke-free beaches has risen from none to 53 in the last five years – Niels Them Kjær, a KB project manager, believes the proposal will lead to cleaner and more social beaches.
While Professor Morten Grønbæk, a board member at health body Institut for Folkesundhed, suggests fewer children will witness role models smoking in what is a fun environment – a little like the exposure granted by movies.
A good use of police resources?
Venstre’s health spokesperson, Jane Heitmann, questions whether enforcing it – in France, for example, those caught smoking are fined just 125 kroner – will be a good use of police resources. Socialdemokratiet is also opposed to a ban.
In response Kjær told DR the ban would need to be enforced by the beach-goers themselves. “We also have nobody enforcing the areas in which it is advised you’ll be skating on thin ice,” he said.
No to smoking in nature
And a series of DR interviews with a cross-section of beach-goers at Julebæk Strand in Helsingør would appear to have unearthed enough vigilantes to enforce the ban.
The public, increasingly it would appear, object to people smoking in Danish nature.