Norway’s Ministry of Health wants to set the age limit for e-cigarettes at 25

E-cigarettePhoto: Berit Roald / NTB

The Norwegian Ministry of Health wants to introduce an age limit for e-cigarettes – at 25 years. It is proposing a ban on smoking in cars with children.

In addition, it wants to ban packaging designs that attract young people and extend the smoking ban to apply in cars where children are passengers, in outdoor playgrounds, and in sports areas.

Minister of Health Bent Høie (H) says research shows that e-cigarettes can be a gateway to smoking among young people.

“That is why I am now submitting for consultation proposals for stricter regulation of e-cigarettes, which will protect children and young people from health damage and prevent new generations from becoming addicted to nicotine,” Høie said.

Today, e-cigarettes with nicotine are banned in Norway, but they will become legal when the Tobacco Directive enters into force, probably at the beginning of next year.

Cancer Association: Important measure

The Cancer Association supports the new measures. The Minister of Health’s proposal to introduce more non-smoking outdoor areas could lead to fewer young people starting to smoke, the Association believes. 

“The fact that the Minister of Health is now also proposing to raise the age limit for e-cigarettes to 25 years and introduce a ban on flavoring is an important measure to prevent new generations from becoming addicted to nicotine,” Secretary-General Ingrid Stenstadvold Ross of the Norwegian Cancer Association noted.

Effective tool

The proportion of daily smokers among young people between the ages of 16 and 24 in Norway is currently only 1%, while in the age group 55 to 64 years, it is 17%.

“It is especially important to prevent e-cigarettes with nicotine from becoming a gateway to tobacco use for young people. We know that age limits are a very effective tool for preventing accessibility and use among young people. By setting the age limit to 25 years, we protect young people, but do not prevent adult smokers from choosing e-cigarettes as a harm-reducing agent,” Høie said.

The proposal also includes a ban on flavoring when it comes to e-cigarettes. According to the Danish authorities, the taste is an important reason why young people try e-cigarettes, and young people perceive e-cigarettes with sweet flavors as less harmful to health than e-cigarettes with tobacco taste.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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