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Health trio want tobacco banished from supermarket counters

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Mayor looking to end Copenhagen tobacco investments

Owned bonds incompatible with city’s smoke-free ambitions

Copenhagen Municipality may be a smoke-free place to work, but it still owns bonds worth 6.5 million kroner in tobacco companies.

But those investments are about to go up in smoke, as the capital’s mayor Frank Jensen is pledging to offload all of the city’s investments in tobacco firms.

“We already have a clear green and ethical investment policy regarding not investing in companies that breach human rights, or earn money from coal and oil,” Jensen told Metroxpress newspaper.

“In my eyes, tobacco bonds are in the same league. So I will see how we can add the tobacco companies to our blacklist.”

Barred and blacklisted

Jensen has already been backed by the city’s deputy mayor for health issues, Ninna Thomsen, who agreed that investing in tobacco was an odd message to send.

Thomsen wants the municipality to blacklist all tobacco-producing companies.

“I am trying to ensure that the next generation will be smoke-free and Copenhagen is trying to become a smoke-free city – and yet we are investing in tobacco,” Thomsen said.

Earlier this year, Jensen announced plans to divest the city’s 6.9 billion kroner investment fund of all its fossil fuel holdings.

Tata, tobacco! Denmark aims for 1st smoke-free generation by 2030

Smoking bans in restaurants and bars have become commonplace in many countries, but Denmark isn’t stopping there. The Danish government has announced plans to create the “first smoke-free generation” by 2030, as part of a $333 million initiative.

The ambitious plan detailed in a presentation by health minister Sophie Løhde at Rigshospitalet hospital on Wednesday includes putting new restrictions on smoking at educational institutions and “partnerships with the business community” aimed at getting stores to stop selling tobacco to minors.

“Far too many children and youth take up smoking. We need to do something about that. And if we can reach our goal of having none of the children who are born today smoking in 2030, we will have gone very far in terms of preventing new cancer cases,” Løhde said, as quoted by The Local.

She added that the plan would “send a clear signal that children and smoking don’t go together.”

The plan is part of the Danish government’s Cancer Pack IV (Kræftplan IV) plan aimed at combating cancer throughout the country – at a cost of 2.2 billion kroner ($333.6 million).

“The government puts a high priority on the fight against cancer and therefore we want to inject a historically large amount of money into the area. With Cancer Pack IV we will ensure that more people survive cancer and that they can live a good life when they complete treatment,” Løhde said.

Denmark’s 50.9 percent survival rate for cancer patients is near the bottom amongst Western European nations, and far below the level of its neighbors Sweden (64.7%), Finland (61.4%), Iceland (61.2%), and Norway (58.6%).

According to Løhde An, the goal of Cancer Pack IV is to bring Denmark’s cancer survival rates up to “match the other Nordic countries.”

The plan also includes a “patient-first” strategy that emphasizes individual decisions about treatment options.

“Cancer treatment should be based on the individual patient’s needs and life situation. Patient involvement is already an integral part of the health care system, but we should turn to the patients themselves even more for advice, listen more to them and be better and considering their experiences,” Løhde said.

Cancer Pack IV has been praised by the Danish Cancer Society (Kræftens Bekæmpelse), which said the initiative will “hit the nail on the head.”

“There are a lot of good things to say about Cancer Pack IV, but the thing I am most pleased with is the ambition to make future generations smoke-free,” the society’s chairwoman, Dorthe Crüger, said in a press release. “No other initiative could save us from more instances of cancer than if we succeed with that.”

However, the Danish Health Authority has reportedly recommended going even further and proposed additional measures including increasing tobacco levies, mandating plain-label packaging for cigarettes, and forcing stores to place tobacco products out of plain view, the Politiken newspaper reported in June.

The Danish government isn’t alone in aiming to stop smoking in Denmark, no matter what the cost. TrygFonden, an anti-smoking foundation, has suggested offering financial rewards to those who kick the habit, and the Danish Cancer Society has voiced support for the idea.

Association of smoking and alcohol use with the increase in social inequality in mortality in Denmark

What is the association of smoking and alcohol use with the increase in social inequality in mortality in Denmark? A nationwide register-based study



The aim of this paper is to estimate the impact of smoking and alcohol use on the increase in social inequality in mortality in Denmark in the period 1985–2009.


A nationwide register-based study.




The whole Danish population aged 30 years or more in the period 1985–2009.

Primary and secondary outcome measures

The primary outcome is mortality rates in relation to educational attainments calculated with and without deaths related to smoking and alcohol use. An absolute measure of inequality in mortality is applied along with a result on the direct contribution from smoking and alcohol use on the absolute difference in mortality rates. The secondary outcome is life expectancy in relation to educational attainments.


Since 1985, Danish overall mortality rates have decreased. Alongside the improvement in mortality, the absolute difference in the mortality rate (per 100 000 persons) between the lowest and the highest educated quartile grew from 465 to 611 among men and from 250 to 386 among women. Smoking and alcohol use have caused 75% of the increase among men and 97% of the increase among women. Among men the increase was mainly caused by alcohol. In women the increase was mainly caused by smoking.


The main explanation for the increase in social inequality in mortality since the mid-1980s is smoking and alcohol use. A significant reduction in the social inequality in mortality can only happen if the prevention of smoking and alcohol use are targeted to the lower educated part of the Danish population.

A systematic review of health effects of electronic cigarettes

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