The number of Danes quitting smoking rose to record levels over the past year, with experts citing tougher laws as the catalyst.
According to a report published by the Copenhagen Post, about 120,000 residents in the Scandinavian country gave up smoking in 2012. Moreover, the number of occasional smokers saw a year-on-year drop of about five percent, whilst the number of Danes aged 16 and up that smoke on a regular basis depleted by a whopping 18 percent.
Dr Inge Haunstrup Clemmensen of Denmark’s cancer society Kræftens Bekæmpelse called the figures “a very pleasing development” in an interview with the Copenhagen-based Berlingske news agency.
The figures come as the country’s government continues to implement a variety initiatives designed to encourage the country’s smokers to abandon the habit; smoking is now illegal in the majority of public places in Denmark. The effort has proven to be effective, with well over 425,000 people having quit since 2008.
Among next steps, a ban on smoking in company cars has shown to be a popular prospect among Danes. However, some say the move will have little effect.
Speaking about the idead, Knud Juel from the Statens Institut for Folkesundhed public health agency said, “I don’t think it will do much. It would be more effective to toughen tobacco sales to children under 18. That isn’t enforced very well and doing so would be taking a considerable step in the right direction. That indicates that we are dealing with a smaller group that have a significant tobacco consumption and who are more difficult to get to stop than other smokers,” Berlingske reports.