Sweden intends to be the first smoke-free country in Europe

a no smoking signage on a tree

With less than 5% of the population daily smokers, Sweden, the country with the lowest smoking rate in the European Union, is almost ready to declare itself a “smoke-free” country.

Many experts believe that decades of anti-smoking campaigns and laws deserve the credit for this. Now that it has fewer than 5% daily smokers, it is stated that the target figure is easily achievable.
According to statistics from Sweden’s Public Health Agency, the smoking rate has actually decreased since then, hitting 5.6% last year.

a sign forbidding smoking attached to a wall
Photo by Erik Mclean on Pexels.com

According to additional reports, Swedes who are concerned about their health, notably younger generations, seem to understand the dangers of smoking. Around 20% of the population smoked at that time, which was a low rate for the entire world. Since then, several initiatives to deter smoking have been implemented, such as smoking restrictions in restaurants.
Sweden has even gone farther in its efforts to eradicate smoking and intends to be the first smoke-free country in Europe, arguing that doing so contributed to a number of positive health effects, including a comparatively low rate of lung cancer. Sweden even imposed charges on cigarettes to stop the practice and imposed severe regulations on the marketing of these goods, both of which have significantly contributed.

Additionally, smoking is not permitted in bars and restaurants like it is in most of Europe, but as of 2019, Sweden has outlawed smoking even in outdoor seating areas.
Furthermore, the WHO credits a variety of tobacco control initiatives, including as advertising prohibitions, education campaigns, and “cessation support” for smokers who want to give up, for Sweden’s dropping smoking rate.

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