Tuesday, 28 January 2014

The Norwegian Minister of Health and Care Services says he will consider repealing the ban on e-cigarettes

Bent Høie, Minister of Health and Care Services
The new, well kind of new, Norwegian Government seems to have an agenda of removing old, meaningless laws since they took over charge in October 2013. Here in Norway we have a tradition of banning whatever someone thing might be kind of dangerous for some people. I mean ... did you know skateboarding was illegal in Norway from 1978 to 1989? That's pretty much my whole childhood. Since the new government took over there has been debates on revoking the bans on professional boxing, gambling and Segway(!). So, I thought it was worth checking out if they had any plans on removing the e-cig ban.

In an article in Aftenposten (http://www.aftenposten.no/nyheter/iriks/politikk/Helseministeren-vurderer-Ae-sigaretter-7391529.html#.UueSLfE1i2N) on the 1st of December, the Minister of Health and Care Services, Bent Høie, says he is open to consider the repealing the ban. He was asked by a member of the opposition, Snorre Valen, about this during a parliamentary question hour and his answer was that (of course) we still don't know the long term effects of vaping, but he also says that the Health and Social committee believes the e-cigarette will save more lives than it takes. Another member of Høie's party (Høyre) says he wants to repeal the ban and that it is completely illogical that normal cigarettes are legal and e-cigarettes is not. He calls for regulation to ensure safety but do not know how this should be done yet. He also speaks about Big Pharma and Big Tobacco trying to stop their new competitor with all kinds of means so he obviously has been following the development in the EU and the debate, and is able to see what is happening and who is behind what to some extent. I think this looks kind of promising. For once I actually agree with Høie and his party. And that doesn't happen very often. His views on the abortion debate that is kind of loud here in Norway at the moment is a large step back in my opinion.

Snorre Valen, the politician that asked Høie about this in the first place has been pictured vaping in the media and is advocating for e-cigs at least a couple of times lately. Lets hope he keeps up the good work. He also plays in a couple of cool bands by the way. Go Snorre!

4 comments :

  1. That looks really promising, let's hope it spreads across the EU.

    By the way, your politicians are way hotter than ours!!

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