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A vision of Zero smokers

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At you can read that they got a vision of zero smokers in Sweden for the years to come.

This is because

Visions is a land without smokers

“Smoking is one of the most dangerous phenomena of the modern welfare state. Over 6000 people die in Sweden every year because of smoking. 10 000 smokers diagnosed with cancer each year – that’s a quarter of all cancers.

One in two smokers will die of a smoke related disease. Even those who survive have a poorer health and often suffer from painful chronic diseases such as COPD.

And in Sweden 200 persons die every year in traffic as from passive smoking.

Although smoking has declined in recent years, it increases again among young people. There is clearly still a long way to go. The conclusion is inescapable: we do too little to reduce smoking and its harmful, deadly effects.

The traffic – and thus yields far fewer deaths – we have already had a vision of zero. Although zero fatalities and serious injuries in traffic is a distant goal, it has given focus and momentum for improving road safety.

The same focus and effort would be needed in anti-tobacco efforts. And to achieve zero tobacco deaths and zero hard tobacco damaged, requires a zero for the actual smoking.

A vision of zero does not require prohibition. It would be undesirable and probably very effective. However, we need to step up efforts to reduce smoking significantly. A study by including the European association of cancer organizations shows that Sweden is lagging behind when compared to tobacco policy effectiveness in European countries.

Sweden has signed the WHO tobacco convention – but not comply with it fully, which we have committed to do. The Swedish government decline to move forward and appear to have no desire for action against the tobacco industry’s influence and marketing.

Youth smoking has declined since the 90’s – that it is increasing is very worrying. Those who start smoking at a young age is often difficult to stop and the risk of premature death is three times higher for those who started smoking in adolescence (for those who smokes for the first time as adults, the risk is doubled). Public Health Institute’s major research school children health habits shows that we will soon be back in the mid-1980s levels. As stated 17 percent of 15-year-old girls and 15 percent of 15-year-old boys that they smoked. In the latest survey, the figures are 16 percent for girls and 13 percent for boys.

Our Swedish self-image of being prominent in efforts to combat smoking crack when other countries go ahead with new, effective action. But it also means that there is much we can do – by following the examples and learn from others. It’s about helping smokers end up with the most efficient methods. Effective is that fewer, ideally none, ever start smoking.

We do not believe the ban to get there, but more active efforts to support the reduction in smoking is definitely possible. Finland has a declared goal of becoming a tobacco-free country by 2040. New Zealand has previously set a similar goal by 2025.

To achieve this goal is a long list of measures that we in Sweden would take:

Smoking cessation. The support of the successful Stop smoking-line and from health care – for example by stopping smoking before surgery – can be developed further. Effective treatments need to be made more accessible.

Neutral tobacco packets. Behavioral Scientists in Australia have shown that cigarette but attractive colors and logos – but with big warnings – reduce the temptation for teenagers. It is certainty to prevent smoking onset in young age. Australia took the November decision on neutral cigarette. England will investigate the introduction.

Warning Pictures. Deterrent images of the effects of smoking, which is available in several countries, including Sweden should complement today’s warnings.

Hidden sales. Norway, Iceland and Ireland have already introduced covert sale where tobacco products are not exposed in the shop, Finland following this year and the UK is on track. Together with neutral package, it can reduce smoking, which occurs spontaneously or by peer pressure and help keep the age limit.

Licensed stores. Today, only an obligation to the municipality. Sharper requirements and oversight for the stores could not at least improve age checks. License Requirements in Finland since 2009.

Higher tobacco taxes. Sweden will have to follow our European neighbors and apply the tax at a level that encourages people to quit smoking. When the rest of Europe sharpens fight against tobacco is no excuse for Sweden to take. We will not impose a ban. But we will support young people to abstain from the dangerous, addictive smoking. And all those who are stuck in their smoking will be helped to quit.

It is a task that requires more stringent regulations and expanded health care interventions. But above all, it requires that all of us help each other, support our youth and our smoking friends and relatives.”

And I can only totally agree. No one have any good out of smoking regardless if you smoke first-hand, second-hand or third-hand.

The Swedish party Centerpartiet on the other hand have had a discussion about smoking on residents apartments balcony. You can read about this in the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet. Centerpartiet by Annie Lööf, Minister of Industry states that smoking at for example home on balconies is nothing to be regulated by the government. She looks at it from her own view; the non-smoker not getting sick from it. For her it is only an annoyance.

Centerpartiet says that if one is “bothered” by the neighbours smoking one should go knock on the neighbours door and ask them to top smoking like one do if you are being kept awake ’til 2 in the morning because of a loud party or other use is a bather. Unfortunately most smokers would not agree with this and only tell you that “it is allowed to smoke at home, there is no law telling me I am not allowed” or something like that. Also the smoker likes their smoke, and they find it cozy sitting smoking. It is with like us others finding sitting drinking coffee in the sun cozy, and when we ask them to quit what is cozy for them they get mad.

But regardless of what you find cozy one must co-operate with people who find the habit or like you got bothering. If we have a cup of coffee most of you would find the fumes from it nice. But we who do not smoke either find the tobacco smoke an annoyance or we can get severely ill from it. And since to many smokers do not care and understand why so many do not want your smoke, a prohibition is the fastest way to go by my meaning.

Us who got a lung illness (and there are billions of us in the world) and who get really sick from others tobacco use, we do not have the possibility to find it ok for them to smoke when it makes us sick. The possibility for us is lacking since when they smoke we can not breathe, and you need to breathe to live.


We can not force you to move because you smoke.
You can force a lung sick person to move out of their home with your smoking.
Centerpartiet on their hand – and others with the same meaning,
What about others right to choose for themselves where they want to live and about their right to have a healthy life as possible where they live. Are the right only for the smokers or are the right for everyone, even those who get sick from the smoke?

Read more:
Framework Convention On Tobacco Control

“The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) is the first treaty negotiated under the auspices of the World Health Organization. The WHO FCTC is an evidence-based treaty that reaffirms the right of all people to the highest standard of health.

WHO FCTC are contained in articles 6-14:
• Price and tax measures to reduce the demand for tobacco, and
• Non-price measures to reduce the demand for tobacco, namely:

  • –> Protection from exposure to tobacco smoke;
  • Regulation of the contents of tobacco products;
  • Regulation of tobacco product disclosures;
  • Packaging and labelling of tobacco products;
  • Education, communication, training and public awareness;
  • Tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship; and,
  • Demand reduction measures concerning tobacco dependence and cessation.

WHO FCTC are contained in articles 15-17:

  • Illicit trade in tobacco products;
  • Sales to and by minors; and,
  • Provision of support for economically viable alternative activities.”

Source: WHO

Published: 3. apr 2012 @ 13:46


Author: Annelie

I like canoeing, photographing, friends, movies, food, humor, and going on trips. I dislike rudeness, dishonesty, violence, nastyness, and people not caring for others. I do not drink much, I do not smoke and I do not do drugs. I love friends who are kind to me and stick with me. If you want to give me a gift, the best gift is to stop smoking and stop using fragranced products. Then you give me health and that dear friend, is the best gift a person can get. It is a gift of love. I got asthma and I am hearing disabled.

One thought on “A vision of Zero smokers

  1. It was funny. Over 2 hours after I wrote this blog entry I discovered a entry from the Swedish Asthma and Allergy Association that actually talkes about and supports the same thing I am talking about here. (Swedish so use a translater).


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