Friday, October 27, 2006

"The only thing we smoke here is Salmon"

That's the slogan put out by Norway's Minstry of Health as part of their year old smoking ban in public places. I thought the ad, which is posted among other places in city guides, was interesting (although notice the men in the picture look more Midwestern than Norwegian, but still).

Of course, the ad refers to public places and restaurants only, not a general ban on smoking. Smoking rates are still alamingly high, especially when compared to the U.S. (a quarter of 15 years smoke up, according to the World Health Organization, which is not of course nearly as hig as in Greeland, where more than half of boys in that age group smoke. In Gaza, its around 15% in 2001, West Bank is higher with around 25%. I am certain the rates have markedly increased since, or are underreported however).

In June 2004, Norway became the second European nation, after Ireland, to ban smoking in public places. The idea is, children are less likely to begin smoking when they are not directly exposed to cigarettes or to people smoking them, a strategy that has proven to reduce smoking rates in the U.S. during the past ten years.


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