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A young woman smoking

Denmark wants to create a nicotine-free generation

Denmark wants to create a nicotine-free generation

Its new healthcare reform proposal seeks to ban people born in and after 2010 from purchasing cigarettes

Yesterday, the Danish government presented its proposal for “Make Denmark Healthier”, a healthcare reform focusing on prevention and the wellbeing of young people. As part of this reform, the country wants to create a nicotine-free generation and address the excessive drinking culture.

To achieve the former, the government wants to impose a ban that prevents young people born in and after 2010 from buying cigarettes and other nicotine products. In this way, it wants to reduce the number of deaths caused by the bad habit as about 13,600 people die as a result of smoking every year.

Acknowledging that banning the purchase of cigarettes is not enough, the government is also strengthening its efforts to help those who want to quit smoking. To do so, it will promote the operations of smoking cessation centres and courses to help the over 70% of smokers who want to adopt healthier lifestyles.

Raising the age requirement for the purchase of alcohol

Teenagers in Denmark can currently purchase alcohol at the age of 16; for this reason, Danish young people hold the “European record in drinking”. To address the excessive drinking culture and the serious consequences that arise from the consumption of alcohol, the government will now increase the age limit for the purchase of alcohol to 18.

“We know that young people who drink large amounts of alcohol at once are at an increased risk of accidents, violence, and unwanted sex. Alcohol can also be harmful and affect both memory and learning ability in children and adolescents, where the brain is still developing,” shared Niels Sandø from the National Board of Health in a press release.

Local governments are one step ahead

Several Danish municipalities have already taken actions that address excessive drinking and smoking in their cities. Taking a case in point, Aarhus municipality recently adopted a seven-point plan designed to improve the drinking culture of young people. One of these points includes raising the age requirement for the purchase of alcohol from 16 to 18.

Meanwhile, the Municipality of Furesø addressed the prevention of smoking by launching an initiative titled “Furesø quits smoking” after discovering that 71% of its smokers wanted to quit the bad habit. Now, it is offering smoking cessation courses, sharing people’s stories, launching fun competitions, and offering gift cards to help its residents lead healthier lives.

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