Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Norwegian government reveals tobacco ban, e-cigarettes to be legalized

"New ideas, better solutions" says the banner behind
prime minister Erna Solberg

On a surprise press conference this evening, Norwegian prime minister Erna Solberg revealed the Norwegian government's plans to implement a total ban on all tobacco products in Norway from 2015. "With the new electronic cigarettes there is no need for the deadly tobacco cigarettes any more", Solberg said and explained how the electronic cigarette will replace tobacco cigarettes in Norwegian stores from January the 1st 2015. "We want Norway to be the first tobacco free country in the world and electronic cigarettes will be our solution to this. However Norway cannot afford to loose all this tax money money over night so licences to distribute and sell electronic cigarettes will be auctioned out kind of like we do with frequencies for radio dustribution. The details for this is not worked out yet but will be released before August".

When asked what made the goverment choose a tobacco harm reduction strategy that is so dramatically different from what the EU has gone for she responds: "Well we had a look at the calendar and decided that this is a good day to say that enough is enough. We don't want to waste any more time watching smoking rates slowly go down when we have the means to make them drop dead".

The planned changes in the tobacco law still needs final approval in the Norwegian parliament but all goverment parties have said they will vote in favour. Nothing more was said tonight about how regulations will be done regarding nicotine content, allowed devices and so on, but Solberg promises more details on this in the near future. Maybe we will know more already tomorrow as the goverment has scheduled a new press conference at 16.00 tomorrow. I hold my breath in anticipation.

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