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Sweden on course to become the first 'smoke-free' country in Europe

Swedens smoking rate is the lowest in Europe (Picture: PA)
Smoking causes mouth and throat
and Smoking kills are warnings that have been drilled into peoples minds from a young age.
In England, such anti-smoking campaigns do not seem to have worked as targets to make the country smoke free by 2030 are expected to be missed by almost a decade.
In contrast, Sweden is on course to become one of the worlds first such country.
Some experts have said the Scandinavian countrys rate of smoking the lowest in the EU is down to decades of anti-smoking campaigns and legislation.
Others point to the prevalence of snus. It is a smokeless tobacco product banned elsewhere in the union but marketed in Sweden as an alternative to cigarettes.
Sweden is now close to declaring itself smoke-free that is defined as having less than 5% daily smokers in the population.
Only 6.4% of Swedes over 15 were daily smokers in 2019, the lowest in the EU and far below the average of 18.5% across the bloc, according to the Eurostat statistics agency.
Carina Astorsson, a Stockholm resident, said: We like a healthy way to live, I think thats the reason.
Smoking never interested her, she added, because she does not like the smell and wants to take care of her body, and se is not the only one.
But some 20 years ago, it was different, and 20% of the population were smokers which was a low rate globally at the time.
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Since then, measures to discourage smoking have brought down smoking rates across Europe, including bans on smoking in restaurants.
Sweden has gone further than most to stamp out cigarettes, resulting in a range of health benefits, including a relatively low rate of lung cancer.
Ulrika Arehed, secretary-general of the Swedish Cancer Society, said: We were early in restricting smoking in public spaces, first in school playgrounds and after-school centres, and later in restaurants, outdoor cafes and public places such as bus stations.
In parallel, taxes on cigarettes and strict restrictions on the marketing of these products have played an important role.
She added that Sweden is not there yet, noting that the proportion of smokers is higher in disadvantaged socio-economic groups.
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Wednesday, May 31, 2023 at 4:03 pm

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