Announcement made at joint press conference with Norwegian Cancer Society and Ministry of Health and Care Services
At a press conference with Secretary General Anne Lise Ryel of the Norwegian Cancer Society, Minister of Health and Care Services Bent Høie announced today that his Department will consult on proposal for standardised and ad-free packaging for all smoking and smokeless tobacco products soon.
The communication aims at creating awareness among young people, policy makers, interested organisations and groups as to why standardised packaging is an important and necessary measure to reduce the uptake of smoking and positively impact people’s health. The measure will concern both tobacco packs and smokeless tobacco (snus) boxes.
Smoking accounts for over 6600 deaths in Norway each year. It is the main cause of early death, and treating people with smoking-related conditions costs the health care system billions each year. Among adolescents, smokeless tobacco (snus) use is overtaking smoking. Although smokeless tobacco (snus) does not cause the same health damage as smoking, it is harmful to health and gives the same nicotine addiction.
Health Minister Bent Høie said:
“Smoking remains one of the most significant challenges to public health. Each year it accounts for over 6600 deaths in Norway and one in two long-term smokers will die prematurely from a smoking disease. It is our responsibility as a nation to look closely at initiatives that may stop young people from taking up smoking”.
Secretary General Anne Lise Ryel of the Norwegian Cancer Society said:
“This is indeed a great day for public health and cancer control in Norway. Evidence suggests that branded packaging plays an important role in encouraging young people to smoke and in consolidating the habit. This announcement from Health Minister Høie comes only days after World Cancer Day. This first step is a signal that the Government places the health and well-being of all Norwegian children before any other considerations. We congratulate Health Minister Høie for having his priorities right.”
Public consultation will be opened in a few days.
However, the law will not be applied to cigarettes purchased in the internet. therefore if you buy a carton of cigarettes online you will not get cigarettes in plain packs.