Danes still puffing away despite price hike
A little over a year ago, Denmark upped the price of cigarettes to around 60 kroner a pack in hopes it would encourage smokers to give up the habit.
Those hopes seem to have gone up in smoke according to a new survey compiled for, among others, Sundhedsstyrelsen health authority.
The figures showed that every fifth person (19 percent) in Denmark smokes daily or occasionally – which is on par with the 18 percent in 2020.
And almost 25 percent use at least some sort of nicotine product – such as tobacco products, e-cigarettes or nicotine bags.
Look to Australia and Norway
The stagnating number of people quitting is particularly evident in the younger generation.
In 2020 some 23 percent of 15-29-year-olds smoked daily or on occasion, a figure that increased to 25 percent in 2022.
The same age group also saw a rise in users of e-cigarettes and smokeless nicotine products.
In 2020, cigarette pack prices rose by 15 kroner and then by another 5 kroner in 2022. But experts maintain that it’s not enough and that the price of tobacco must be pushed up considerably to have an impact.
“It was evident that more people wanted to quit when the price rose by 15 kroner, but not when it was upped by 5 kroner. So the price needs to increase significantly if we want fewer smokers,” Mads Lind, a lead consultant with Hjerteforeningen heart association, told DR Nyheder.
“We think that 90 kroner for a pack of cigarettes is reasonable. That will put us up there with the likes of Australia, Norway and England, where prices are over 100 kroner.”
According to Sundhedsstyrelsen, around 13,600 people die every year from smoking in Denmark – about a quarter of all deaths.